DISCLAIMER Take any and all of this with a grain of salt. A lot of it was meant to be humorous at the expense of myself/other screamo fans. However I should not really be joking about anybody else’s screamo tendencies as 1.) I almost cried when I found a Combatwoundedveteran record on vinyl and 2.) I’m not that funny. Either way enjoy the incredible bands listed below.
Ah here we are again, another year, another Valentines Day spent alone. You sit and watch your friends’ Instagrams and Facebooks fill up with romantic posts about their significant other while you remain alone. You try to take your mind off of it, sewing some more Jeromes Dream patches onto your pants and cleaning your collection of studded belts. In the back of your mind you tell yourself that the holiday is simply a capitalist ploy, a way to wring money out of true love. Yes, that’s what it is, and you’re simply not participating because you are a true anarcho-communist, a real Yaphet Kotto fan, and are simply adhering to your Real Emo™ life style. But the fact remains you are just as alone as you’ve ever been, and no amount of money spent on a vinyl copy of the Jeromes Dream and Orchid split can ever save you from that.
Well, we here at Heavy Blog are right there with you and to help ease your pain we offer you this playlist of screamo smash hits to help you really wallow in the loneliness. So put on some headphones, buy yourself some vegan chocolates from your favorite local spot, and settle into the soul crushing loneliness of it all. God knows the rest of us will be, so enjoy it while you can.
1.) Pg.99 – “The Hallowed Out Chest of a Dead Horse”
When it comes to screamo there are few names as well known as Richmond, VA’s PG.99. This is rightfully so however, as the band helped to define what would become the key elements of screamo during their short tenure. Harsh, shrill screaming would overlay a grindcore like intensity before settling into beautiful, melodic sections, offering a moment of reprise. It was music played with a heightened sense of emotion, something that makes it especially effective on this particular Valentines playlist.
If you wanna get sad (and since you’re here I assume you’re here to get sad) then this is the track for you! It features the painstaking emotions generated upon the end of the relationship. PG.99 no longer sees their former lover as an enticing person, the true light of their life, but instead as a rotting image of what once was. The dual vocalists trade off screeching lines such as “Oh, your beauty, let it rot, let your beauty fucking rot.” It’s angsty to the max, and therefore just what all of us sad sacks of shit need while we sit in front of our computers on Valentines Day.
2.) Beau Navire – “Dead End, Start Over”
The bay area is no stranger to phenomenal music, and especially no stranger to fantastic screamo and hardcore. Beau Navire is no exception to this rule, and perhaps even transcends it, being a personal favorite of mine for as long as I’ve listened to screamo. And, while their music more than speaks for itself as far as emotions are concerned, what really shines through and makes them contenders for this playlist is their lyricism.
“Every time you cry, I’ll try to make things right,” they shriek. The song demands to know where this modern notion of romance has come from, and whether or not it actually means anything, equating it to being trapped. The philosophy is a bummer, but is it really the worst one to be exploring while you silently browse the internet for cute dog videos to cheer you up?
3.) You and I – “Saturday’s Cab Ride Home”
Exploring heartbreak and the end of relationships is no alien concept to screamo, but You and I does it with such melodramatic intensity (and that is saying A LOT in screamo) that it’s hard not to admire their heartbreak. This is shown nowhere better than the title track for their sole full length LP, Saturday’s Cab Ride Home. It is a potent testament to the bleeding heart where the band demands to forget the memories of their past loves, labelling them as a “disease” that will simply kill them in nine years. An oddly specific time frame, sure, but nevertheless just the right amount of poetic melodrama any good screamo playlist should have.
4.) Love Lost But Not Forgotten – “Headless, Sleeping Soundly”
Just look at this band’s name and tell me this isn’t a little bit of what we all need on Valentines Day. However this band is not just for the screamo fans out there, but the grindcore ones as well, as, perhaps more so than most other screamo bands, Love Lost But Not Forgotten truly embraced the elements of one of screamo’s parent genres. Their music is a discordant whirl of blistering fast blast beats and guitar riffs. That isn’t enough, however, as shrieking equivalent to that of dying animals compliments this disgusting disarray of music. It is pained music at its finest, subverting the melodrama of its lyrics with pain and heartache so real that it’s almost shocking this band even functioned while playing. For all you bleeding hearts out there reading this article, take a break from that next episode of Black Mirror and give this track a listen. God knows this level of intensity is at least a little bit cathartic.
5.) I Hate Sex – “You + Me = Slipknot”
For this one I feel as if any of my stupid quips would invalidate the intense passion and pain associated with this project, so I’ll choose to forego them and instead say this. In all the years I’ve been listening to music, connecting with it and using it as a release for my own mental illness, I don’t think I’ve found another band yet while bandcamp hunting so potent as I Hate Sex (save maybe Weak Wrists or The Heads Are Zeros). Anything else I say about this band will fail to capture the anguish and raw emotion that makes them so appealing so instead listen to this track, then do yourself a favor and check out the rest of the album, and then the rest of their discography. You won’t regret it, trust me.
6.) I Don’t Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – “One”
Personally, I’d love for everybody to know this band. Mostly because they remind me of another one of my favorite screamo acts ever who also have a long and dramatic name, Iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyouryearbook. However, that is not meant as a way to discredit them or claim unoriginality but instead praise them for taking such a raw formula and carefully toying with it to make their own, unique sound. A sound that, alone, already provides enough of a sense of forlorn longing to belong on this playlist, but even more so when the lyrics are added in. And boy do those lyrics ever fit the tone. If lines like “I miss your skin and your arms/I miss feeling completely safe/Like nothing, can hurt me,” aren’t enough for you as you wallow in your single-ness on Valentines day then I truly don’t know what is.
7.) Lord Snow – “Selfish Sleep”
“Unfastening my head from your nowhere rattling, I refuse to acknowledge my cravings for relations” screams vocalist Niko as the track roars in with shocking immediacy. “Selfish Sleep” has a grand total run time of 1 minute, 17 seconds, and it wastes none of it. Lord Snow has a mission, and that’s to let you know that you don’t need relationships, you can be miserable all by yourself. They communicate this message with surprising clarity through out the course of this album as well. Plus, like, holy shit. This band is literally one of the greatest fucking screamo acts ever and boy does their drummer ever shred the shit out of those skins. (I also appreciate everything on their bandcamp being priced at $4.20.)
8.) I Would Set Myself On Fire For You – “This Is Not Mine”
This band definitely gets credit as being one of the most bizarre and experimental screamo acts alongside peers such as City of Caterpillar and Circle Takes the Square. However we aren’t here to discuss how dense, perplexing, and overall beautiful their music is, but rather just how god damn sad this track is. This one focuses in on the knowledge of a deteriorating relationship, desperately attempting to hold onto it despite the knowledge that ultimately it is a futile effort. “To pick up the pieces of something lost long ago,” screams vocalist Lindsey while one of her male counterparts, Justin, screams back “I am no longer sure of what i wanted to be, what i wanted you to be.” To cap it all off the third vocalist, Stephen, contributes his own closing line, stating “Small jestures to show what you are made of. I try to live poetically. Two-hand-touching with the safety turned on.” So yeah, it’s a pretty huge fucking bummer.
9.) Heart On My Sleeve – “This Is Not On Me”
Sometimes thing really suck. Like super bad. And sometimes the person you try desperately to love just isn’t putting in that same amount of effort you’re giving (that is one of those instances that sucks really bad). Heart On My Sleeve understands those moments and toys with them through “This Is Not On Me”. “You couldn’t let go and I couldn´t let you in,” is repeated often, highlighting the pain felt as you try to love someone who just can’t let go of the past. It is a feeling that hurts a whole hell of a lot more than other things, and Heart On My Sleeve does an excellent job conveying that particular pang of heartache.
10.) The Saddest Landscape “A Statue Of A Girl (May 15th)”
No screamo playlist of sad songs for singles would be complete without the painstaking longing of The Saddest Landscape. This is a band who has practically built their career on exploring the difficulties of love, be it remembering past loves or through trying to find new love. Either method of just really wanting to find some love is fine for The Saddest Landscape and I’m sure for many of us it works out fine as well, especially given the current day.