Pharmacy Rage: A Comprehensive List of Emo Favorites by Gowi (2019)
The point of this list is to have an educational and useful utility for those who aren’t too particularly “in the know” for the genre. I’m including my favorite Midwest indie records with distinct emo influence here as well as emocore, emo-violence/screamo, and the hybrid movement that is currently mixing sludge and post-rock with the style. This will be updated until I have 100 and I hope to have description notes for everybody.
Let me give you some background here, the musical history and an understanding of “emo” is something I am very much familiar with as it was one of the earliest things I researched back to the start and the root of all of it. I’ve discussed it at length with people who’ve been with the scene since the early nineties and some of them even go all the way to the start. Before I sort of start here I will say this much; for a community that prides itself against ignorance and being informed it has extremely dropped the ball here—and I’m not thrilled about it, actually, I’m rather emotional about it.
Emo was originally coined by an idiot journalist from Thrasher magazine, if I remember correctly, which Ian MacKaye of Embrace had a big thing to say about it.
“Okay, I must say one thing. I must say emo(core) is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. I read in my Thrasher the other day—that in fact, what my band, along with other bands from the city was playing emo(core). I’m thinking… Emo? Emo Phillips, comedian? I know emotional hardcore… as if hardcore wasn’t emotional to begin with. It’s ca-ca.” – 1986, Ian MacKaye
Despite this “stupid as shit” terminology it stuck and these punk bands who were more personal than political began to be called emotional hardcore which was eventually shortened to emo. Later in the 1990s a bunch of small time rock bands with pop sensibilities began to pick up on the style and added the harsh sort of personal clutched vocal delivery as well as the sloppy, almost deconstructive noise punk guitar sections. At the same time bands in another area (which became ‘emo-violence’) took the harshness of the style of punk music in another direction, sort of continuing where Embrace left off whilst the Midwest Emo scene (which was just indie rock with emo influences) began to cook.
Why did pop-rock bands that sound more like Blink-182 than any of the things I mentioned get labeled as emo (see: scene emo/mall emo)? Simply because Gerard Way and a bunch of others happened to like bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, and Sunny Day Real Estate. All of which being from the previously mentioned Midwest emo scene. But nothing in these bands (My Chemical Romance, Hawthorne Heights) represented anything from “emo” music. It’s not that they were commercial or polished; but simply did not hold ANY attributes of what at that point made an actual band in the style. But journalists began to joke around and reach for idiotic conclusions like they tend to do. So… history was made.
- Chart updated: 12/01/2019 09:45
- (Created: 03/09/2014 17:19).
- Chart size: 99 albums.
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Embrace were to emotive hardcore to what MC5 and The Stooges were to punk rock, the progenitors alongside the Washington DC punk scene that set aside politics for emotional vitriol as the construction of the music itself became more frantic—sort of reflecting the desperation that emocore would soon have in coming years. [First added to this chart: 03/09/2014]
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Pharmacy Rage: A Comprehensive List of Emo Favorites composition
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Pharmacy Rage: A Comprehensive List of Emo Favorites chart changes
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La Fine Non È La Fine
by La Quiete
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To The Beat Of A Dead Horse
by Touché Amoré
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"There are 100 albums you've not listened"
Hm... I'll be back sometime during the next few decades.
brilliant list, gowi. great notes and (esp) introduction. i am going to explore a lot of these.
but before i dig in, have you listened to cursive's the ugly organ? i'm not familiar with ~90% of this list, so i suppose it's a bit pretentious of me to say, but it's one of the greatest emo albums i've come across.
I'm glad someone here really knows what emo is. "Every punk band that is more emotional than pollitical or any emotional indie rock band with emo influences" is a great definition to emo.
However this chart shows more of the subgenre screamo, maybe add more of the punk emo? There area few great bands that represents the modern emo like Destine, Paramore etc.
This is excellent an very helpful. Thanks!
Okay... Personal question: just based only off how much I lie American Football s/t which I these albums do you think will be my most obvious cuppa tea? Should I stick to the Midwest emo/math rock tagged stuff? Any in particular I should dig my teeth into first?
wheres simple plan :/
Very little I've heard of on this list. My exposure to the genre is mostly limited to Chinese indie rock bands (SUBS, Final Message, The Reason) but I like what I've heard. I'll have to make time to work my way through this list. Not rated....but favourited! Thanks!
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