A Valentine’s Day Screamo Playlist For The Rest Of Us

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.

Track Review // American Football – “I’ve Been So Lost For So Long”

17 years ago in Chicago, American Football's released an album that would, for better or worse, dramatically change the face of emo. Instead of the shouting/screaming vocals they opted to gently sing theirs. There were no blast beats, no sudden crashes of chaotic feedback but instead gently arpeggiated guitar parts and a light dusting of trumpet. While their contemporaries - such as I Hate Myself - were sad, poetic kids who scared everybody, American Football were the kind of kids who had just enough charm to not seem douchey when whipping out their acoustic guitar at a party. Their music was gentle and had lyrics deeper than even Chicago's deepest dish, and all of this culminated into one particular stellar debut record. However, that was 17 years ago, and while American Football may have returned on a live stage to a large amount of fanfare by the critics who made them legends and fans who adore them, it is questionable how well they have stood the test of time.

Starter Kit: Real Emo™

What exactly is Real Emo™? To put it simply, Real Emo™ was a movement started by a select few hardcore bands located in or around DC in the early 80's and continued on through the late 80's/early 90's. Around this time is when bands on the West Coast adopted the more experimental, melodic approach to hardcore punk music and began to lay many of the foundations for what would eventually become screamo. The music is often stylistically similar to early hardcore acts such as Minor Threat or The Bad Brains in that it is fast and passionate, but differs in the sense that the lyrics tend to be a bit more introspective and the overall sound far more melodic. With bands like Nation Of Ulysses and Moss Icon further experimentation became increasingly popular as well, adding many "spacier" elements as well as incorporating a bit of spoken word. Nation Of Ulysses even had a saxophone occasionally, something that later bands like Native Nod couldn't help but pick up. And, interestingly enough, not a single had any "twinkly" guitar parts.

What’s In A Label? Middle-Man Records

When many people hear screamo nowadays, their minds tend to jump almost immediately to the Warped Tour sensation bands such as Black Veil Brides. It is a term often abused by metal fans to describe simply anything technically in the realm of "heavy" music that they deem unsuitable to be called metal or hardcore; a derogatory term that is an easy way to say "I don't like it." However, this broad, negative view of screamo could not possibly be more wrong, as it is a subgenre within extreme music that many could easily respect. It is the most abrasive, raw, emotional punk out there, yet still melodic at many points, drawing from the post-hardcore/emo sound pioneered just a few years earlier by such acts as Indian Summer, Heroin and Rites of Spring. Sadly, however, after a quick surge in popularity around the time of its inception, screamo took a slight fall from grace within the extreme music community, making it more and more difficult to find new bands that were still popping up in abundance.