Emo is a rock/punk subgenera of music, evolved into a subcultural scene for depressed teenagers.
Emo, as a music style, was originally a type of music coined by the post-hardcore band "Rites of Spring" to describe their type of music. As years passed, the original genera began to die out. However, the tag "emo" remained. It began to describe many bands such as Hawthorne Heights, My Chemical Romance, and Taking Back Sunday.
Modern-day emo is often characterized by depressive lyrics, often criticized as whiny; screaming in some or many parts of songs (which goes into screamo
, a subgenera of emo); distorted guitars, often using two or three guitars to create dissonant harmonies; drums that in most cases accentuate the guitar rhythm, rather than create its own separate rhythm; bass, which shares the dissonant, minor qualities of the guitar, but has lost importance in many of the bands.
Lyrical content of the music often contains thematic elements and undertones of self-inflicted wounds, depression, suicide, hopelessness, being murdered, stalking, being overly fixated on past relationships, and being tortured. Emo lyrics are often criticized by the public as a bad influence on the teenage population and encourage self-inflicted pain, depression, and suicide.
As a subculture for teenagers, emo has evolved into an entire scene characterized by long, black hair with fringes off the the side, tight pants, the color black in general, horn-rimmed glasses, and excessive amounts of black eyeliner.
The "emo" look is marketed towards the masses, rather than only the depressed, angsty teenagers. It is considered "cool" by many to look "emo"
The band Silverstein, often referred to as "emo," provides an example of the emo look.