Most people have a horribly limited idea of what emo is, simply because the most important records in the development of emo were largely released on on vinyl, in small numbers, and with limited distribution. These were however very influential, so nowadays you have the situation that a lot of kids listen to third- and fourth-generation emo styles without even knowing it. I hope to expose such people to a wealth of great preceding music that's getting easier to find all the time...

After Minor Threat broke up in late 1983, the vibrant DC hardcore-punk scene that exploded in 1981 seems to start to run out of steam and fresh ideas within the established DC hardcore sound. The wistful, posthumous Minor Threat 7" "Salad Days" comes out in 1984 and drives the final nail into the coffin of DC hardcore punk. Bands all over the country begin casting about for new things to do : DRI and Bad Brains start going cheeze-metal, New York bands start doing tough-guy mosh, 7Seconds goes jangly U2 alternative, etc. The prevailing change in D.C. is toward melodic rock with punk sensibilities.

1984 marks the release of Zen Arcade by Minneapolis band Hüsker Dü, documenting their new mature sound combining furious, intense vocal delivery and driving guitars with slowed-down rockish tempos and more-complex, melodic songwriting.

In spring 1984, a new band called Rites Of Spring forms from members of The Untouchables/Faith and Deadline. This band retains a punk speed and frenzy, but brings a totally new vocal approach to the mix. Singer Guy Picciotto keeps an out-of-breath punk style most of the time, at times delving into intensely personal lyrics dripping with emotion and sweat. His voice breaks down at climactic moments into a throaty, gravelly, passionate moan.

The summer of 1985 becomes known as "Revolution Summer" when a new wave of rock-tempo, melody based, sung-vocal bands forms out of the DC punk musician pool with diverse rock sounds - Three, Gray Matter, Soulside, Ignition, Marginal Man, Fire Party, Rain, Shudder to Think, etc. Few bands retain the fast hardcore punk-based sound with the new vocal approach, Dag Nasty being the notable exception.

Minor Threat's singer, Ian MacKaye's, sings for a band called Embrace (compare the band name to earlier DC bands Minor Threat, Void, and State Of Alert) whose lyrics are emotional and deeply self-questioning, but still clear and unambiguous. Musically, the group (formed mostly of ex-Faith members) writes midtempo, somewhat jangly music with a lot of pop guitar hooks. MacKaye's vocals retain his trademark bold enunciation, with only occasional sparks of emotive delivery.

These bands' sound eventually becomes known as the classic "D.C. sound." Some of it is derisively labeled "emo," as shorthand for "emotional." One account has this term first appearing in a Flipside interview with Ian MacKaye. Shortly thereafter DC bands aquire the tag "emo-core."

Slightly later (1986), some bands begin to focus on the "emo" element itself. The Hated in Annapolis (near D.C.) seem to be the first post-Rites of Spring to do this. Shortly thereafter, Moss Icon appears in in the same town. Moss Icon strips the "emo" element down to the core, and adds a great deal of intricate, arpeggiated guitar melody (by Tonie Joy, later of Born Against, Lava, Universal Order of Armageddon, etc.) with a strong focus on loud/soft dynamics. The vocals, too, break new ground by building up to actual top-of-the-lungs screaming at songs' climaxes.

Moss Icon, as a relatively well-known band that toured some, introduces the punk scene to music that has core emphasis on emotion instead of punk energy. As such, I consider them the starting point for the emo movement, not Rites of Spring as is more commonly asserted. Later emo bands draw heavily from the Moss Icon dynamics, guitar style, and vocal delivery.
emo bands: rites of spring, portraits of the past, mineral,
american football ect.

not emo bands: My chemical romance, bullet for my valentine, the used. ect.

by thirteen April 27, 2006
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emobands are quite difficult to define as lots of different genres are considered 'emo'and different 'emos' listen to different things and not one single band on this planet agrees when they are labelled emo by abunch of stupid journalists who would not know what emo was if it shoved a burning frok up thier asses
personally bands like
thursday (indie/alternative)
escape the fate
from first to last
are kind of emo but every 'emo'is different
and yes an individual as much as you would all like to disagree

"OMFG dashboard confessional is one of the hottest emo bands around"says silly 'emo'(if one likes dashborad dont admit it ,you may get bashed by 'emos'who spend all thier time calling everyone else posers
by *lily* November 23, 2006
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A group of emos who write and sing about love, not your pop 'love', but real love, break ups, depression. All the stuff everyone encounters in their life at one point.
A few people i know are in emo bands. They love the music and keeping the lyrics real. They sing about their experiences so others can relate. Also to rock out to!
by nina-lily July 30, 2005
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A group of people who perform 'emo' music.

see: emo
bands that are emo:

Taking Back Sunday
My Chemical Romance

bands that are NOT emo:

Simple Plan
Good Charlotte

SP and GC are pop-punk.
by meatwad's ghost May 24, 2005
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Emo Bands.
There are alot of bands different people would call Emo.

Some people say Blink 182 is Emo, while others say Thursday is.

My definition of an Emo band, is a band that describes their emotions in lyrics, Morbid, random, romantic.

Bands like McFly, Busted, Dashboard confessional arent emo!!!!!!!!
Emo bands are:
From first to Last
Funeral for a Friend
by FVT August 19, 2006
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a band that play emotive hard core music with rawkus vocals and fairly complex melodies. Slower tempos than most hard core music, its considered 'softer' but trust me, its not really. Generally in thes tyle of bands like CTTS or city of catterpiller.

There are also newer emo bands, such as Hawthorne Heights, who play accoustic peices with soft 'whiny' vocals. This is Emotional Core Bands. and the newest stage of 'emo'
Most people think that Dashboard Confessional is an emo band, and it is, but not in the original sense of the word. Bands like 'Dear Diary I seem to be dead' and 'I Would set myself on fire for you' or possibly even 'funeral' diner' are aslo 'emo' but in the old sense of the word. MCR are a band that is much closer to the original sense of 'emo' except they have made it so more people like it.....

Ookay, Ill stop now
by Frank the Bunni August 05, 2006
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Emo bands are bands that express emotions or feelings through their music, they are not people who sit around crying and slitting wrists like a lot of narrow minded people think. Emo music is often mistaken for pop-rock bands and sometimes even Kerrang get it wrong, although these bands are really amazing too they are
bands that definately ARENT emo:
the all-american rejects - pop-rock
fall out boy - pop-rock
panic at the disco - dance-rock
taking back sunday - pop rock

bands that ARE emo are:
hawthorne heights
funeral for a friend
my chemical romance
from autumn to ashes
dashboard confessional
"have you seen any good emo bands recently"
"have you downloaded any emo music yet?"
by ...the.emologist... August 29, 2006
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