Reviews

Mama, I'm Swollen

Author: Justin Jacobs
09/10/2009 | Paste | www.pastemagazine.com | Feature
The thought of "emo" not being followed with words like "sucks," "is lame" or "is for sissies who shop at Hot Topic and have asymmetrical haircuts" is a thought that truly seems lost in the labrynth of music history. For most folks today, those three letters simply refer to the leering 13-year-olds who hang out in the mall, paint their fingernails black and wear tight-fitting, also-black t-shirts with neon lettering flaunting the name of their new favorite band (which features, natch, a singer and a screamer). To top it all off, said band's name is usually something like Oh, My Love, The Lord Has Left Us Alone In the Back of the Classroom, So Let's Makeout or Walking Slowly Down a Darkened Hallway or something else brooding and lengthy.

The precise moment where emo jumped the shark is hard to pin down, but Hot Topic's mid-2000's takeover of suburban American would be a good start. It's hard to keep a movement of deeply emotional punk rock earnest when it moves in next to Sears.

But emo wasn't always such a vacuous pit of pre-teen despair. Just in time to clear emo's good name, both The Get Up Kids and Sunny Day Real Estate are back on the road this fall to show the kids that music's about more than just haircuts. Indeed, the time is right to reminisce on the halcyon days of emo. And when you're finished with this list, you should head over to Carrie Brownstein's Monitor Mix blog on NPR's website for a personal recollection.

For now, though, sign out of your LiveJournal, toss aside your notebook of romantic/angsty poems and leave your girl-jeans at home. Here are 10 bands that prove emo wasn't always for the Hot Topic tween set:

10. Cursive - If classic emo is the shy loner scribbling love poems in his Trapper Keeper, Cursive is the guy whose poetry gets taken by the teacher and brought up at the parent-teacher conference. "Uh, we regret to inform you that we think your son may have some anger issues."
Most emo moment: Pick a song. Press play. There you go.
Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

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