DISCLAIMER If you do not know what real, true screamo is, I highly recommend checking Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s very own Starter Kit on the subject before jumping into this article/”playlist”. It’ll help put things into perspective, helping to make your listening experience that much more enjoyable.
Ah Valentines Day. The one day of the year where those happy, loving couples can show just how much they care for each other on a large, extravagant, and often expensive scale, proving that love isn’t love without a yearly cleansing of the consumer’s pocket. A truly magical time of year indeed.
But what about the rest of us, those who don’t have a significant other to spend this holiday with, those who are stuck wallowing in our loneliness on this holiday that so forcefully shoves love down our throats? Those who have no one to mindlessly spoil with heart shaped candies and balloons, those who just have to spend the day alone, sadly scrolling through instagram, Facebook, and snapchat stories secretly hating our friends for having someone they can enjoy the time with? And what about that horrible, horrible day after where you are STILL alone?
Luckily for you, while you may still be alone, Heavy Blog Is Heavy is here to help you really harness that loneliness through delving into hardcore/post hardcore’s most depressing subgenre, screamo. Over the next 10 tracks you will hear melodrama like no other, filled with raw, piercing vocals and frenzied riffing that leads you to believe a group of angsty kids were shown Spazz then told to just really go for it. Enjoy your loneliness, and allow these next few tracks to show you that it only ever gets worse. (Side note: Stuff does get better, it’s just more fun to listen to screamo being sad.)
1.) Iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyouryearbook – Untitled 3
First of all, a history lesson about this band, one of the greatest screamo bands of all time and perhaps one of the greatest bands in general. While many in the screamo community know them, what many people don’t know is that members went on to play in such successful acts as Beau Navere, Punch, and even …Who Calls So Loud, so if that track record doesn’t make it known that their music is positively miserable enough, perhaps nothing will. Or, maybe lyrics like “I will commit suicide at the very peak of our desperate love. So it will never get the chance to weaken or fade,” will. This is miserable, dreary music for miserable, dreary people, which is what makes it so absolutely perfect to blast while you sit and try not to cry yourself to sleep tomorrow night.
2.) Raein – Tiger Suit
Truth be told, this song revolves more around feeling as if you’re a failure and can achieve any of your goals, but when the gears really start turning in your mind, and that loneliness as the people around you are happy really kicks in, inadequacy is a pretty accurate feeling. Not to mention that ending, defiant chorus of “THIS IS MY TIGER SUIT” feels absolutely incredible to scream along to and is a fantastic form of catharsis.
3.) Saetia – Venus and Bacchus
Well here’s one that’s a real bummer even on a list of real bummers. Saetia is perhaps one of the most well known names in screamo, and this one of the most well known songs, and all for good reason. The song details the deep and intensive pain of someone who recently left a relationship that they felt truly dependent on, perfect for any of those who may just being leaving a relationship right as the holiday to celebrate them comes along.
4.) Make Me – But It Felt So Real
For those of you with relatively little experience in the genre of screamo, but truly love the “Midwestern Emo Revival”, Make Me may just be the band for you as the band does not just scream out their pain, but twinkles through it with some incredible math rock riffs as well. Not to mention the lyrics are an all too painful way to draw on all of those “almost” relationships that seemed to slip neatly between your fingers right as they were about to reach their logical conclusions. Haunting and devastating, a band who truly knows how to play out their emotions be it through passionate wails or charming melodies.
5.) I Hate Myself – Caught in a Flood With the Captain of the Cheerleading Squad
As far as many are concerned, I Hate Myself is THE definitive screamo band (alongside acts like Orchid, Jerome’s Dream, etc.), and 10 Songs the definitive album. And, as with Saetia, again all for good lyrics. I Hate Myself had a distinct lyrical talent leagues above many bands of their time and leagues above most bands, even today. Add to that a keen ear for melodies that really pull at the heart strings and a passionate vocal delivery that shakes it way from your brain all the way down to the base of your skull and you have I Hate Myself. The band is a perfect representation of raw, unfiltered angst, and there is no better way to spend your single Valentines Day than to put on I Hate Myself and really let everything you feel insecure about really seep in.
6.) Age Sixteen – Dear Judas
When this song kicks in, it’s not even fair to say that it’s hit the 5 second mark. From that first scream of “Get off your high horse,” to the frantic guitar work and pounding drums that accompany it, Age Sixteen creates a frenzied air of true misery that keeps on tugging the listener down further and further into it. The real beauty in “Dear Judas”, however, is that it is simply one in a whole discography of instrumentally, lyrically top quality material that is a gift that keeps on giving. Age Sixteen’s discography as a whole comes strongly recommended, as it is one hell of an emotional trip to endure.
7.) Boy Problems – I Swallowed a Bug
What list of angsty, lonely screamo songs would truly be complete without at least one song about desperately trying to gauge how another person feels but having difficulty doing so because of your crippling anxiety? The answer is a shitty one, and so here we have Boy Problems, another band that utilizes the melodic tendencies of math rock and “twinkle” emo bands to add a bit more diversity to their screamo sound, not to mention Super Bad samples. Members were also in such notable bands as Snowing, Street Smart Cyclist, and even another on this list, Make Me.
8.) Calculator – Permanent State of Daylight
First and foremost, RIP CALCULATOR! While some may argue their validity as a full fledged screamo band, for all intents and purposes they are as far as this list is concerned. And even if they aren’t, who really cares, their music more than makes up for it as they are by far one of the best post-hardcore bands to have played in the past 10 years. Words really can’t describe Calculator, and why you may want to cry/wallow to them alone becomes abundantly clear fairly quickly, so instead here is “Permanent State of Daylight”, by and large (here’s an opinion) their best song and perhaps one of the most magnificent, powerful songs ever crafted. The phenomenal album that this track is off of, This Will Come To Pass, is also free on their bandcamp page, and comes highly recommended.
9.) Orchid – I Wanna Fight
No list involving screamo of any kind, no matter the circumstances, would be complete without a contribution from Orchid. And so, among many other great bands, comes Orchid’s classic cry against the shitty relationship, declaring “I don’t like the way you treated me, I wanna fight,” with all the sincerity and passion that could ever be mustered. It’s impact truly lies in the fact that despite it being a straight forward, screaming blast beat fest for the most part, the clean vocals that contain the now classic tag line sound utterly spineless and dejected, a perfect reminder of just how shitty someone else can make you feel.
10.) Suis La Lune – Quiet, Pull the Strings!
Many hold the opinion that when it comes to screamo, the Europeans largely, undeniably do it better than their American counterparts. And, for the most part, this is absolutely true, as Suis La Lune so aptly proves. The vocal delivery is pained, resembling a hurt animal fighting for it’s life, spurting out simple, beautiful lyrics about the pains of a fading relationship. The melody that kicks in about half way through is absolutely stunning as well, and makes the frantic beginning and ending sections that much more impactful. Let all those pains of being single this Valentines Day out, and let it all begin as Suis La Lune drives you to the brink of tears.