|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, San Diego, California, U.S.|
Screamo (also referred to as skramz)is an aggressive subgenre of emo that emerged in the early 1990s and emphasizes "willfully experimental dissonance and dynamics". San Diego-based bands Heroin and Antioch Arrow pioneered the genre in the early 1990s, and it was developed in the late 1990s mainly by bands from the East Coast of the United States such as Pg. 99, Orchid, Saetia, and I Hate Myself. Screamo is strongly influenced by hardcore punk and characterized by the use of screamed vocals. Lyrical themes usually include emotional pain, death, romance, and human rights. The term "screamo" has frequently been mistaken as referring to any music with screaming.
While the genre was developing in the early 1990s, it was not initially called "screamo."Chris Taylor, lead vocalist for the band Pg. 99, said "we never liked that whole screamo thing. Even during our existence, we tried to venture away from the fashion and tell people, 'Hey, this is punk.'" Jonathan Dee of The New York Times wrote that the term "tends to bring a scornful laugh from the bands themselves." Lars Gotrich of NPR Music made the following comment on the matter in 2011:
The screamo scene [has] change[d] a lot in the last 10 years. There used to be more creative bands like Circle Takes the Square and City of Caterpillar. And then it took this route where screamo got really streamlined and unrecognizable to the point where someone hilariously invented the term skramz to distinguish the first wave of screamo bands.
In the 2000s, the term "screamo" began being used loosely to describe any use of human vocal instrument growled-word vocals (commonly termed screamed vocals) in music.It has been applied to a wide variety of genres unrelated to the original screamo scene. Juan Gabe, vocalist for the band Comadre, alleged that the term "has been kind of tainted in a way, especially in the States." Derek Miller, guitarist for the band Poison the Well, noted the term's constant differing usages and jokingly stated that it "describes a thousand different genres." Bert McCracken, lead singer of The Used, stated that screamo is merely a term "for record companies to sell records and for record stores to categorize them."
Screamo arose as a distinct music genre in 1991 at the Ché Café in San Diego,developed by bands such as Heroin and Antioch Arrow. Gravity Records and Ebullition Records released this more chaotic and expressive descendant of emo. Other bands that helped develop early screamo on these labels came from Northern California, such as Portraits of Past from the San Francisco Bay Area and Mohinder from Cupertino. The scene is noted for its distinctive fashion sense inspired by the mod subculture. As with emo, the term screamo carries some controversy among participants.
Many groups from the East Coast were influential in the continual development and reinvention of the style during the late 90s and early 2000s, including Orchid,Pg. 99, Saetia, City of Caterpillar, Majority Rule, Jeromes Dream, Circle Takes the Square, Hot Cross, and Ampere.
By 1995, the term "screamo" drifted into the music press, especially in the journalism of Jim DeRogatis and Andy Greenwald,and by the mid-2000s, the term was being applied to many newer bands. Screamo bands such as The Used, Thrice, Finch, Thursday, and Silverstein developed a newer period of screamo in the 21st century. Thursday cited the post-punk band Joy Division, and the post-hardcore band Fugazi as important influences, but also took cues from the alternative rock styles of Radiohead, U2, and The Cure. Many of these bands took influence from bands like Refused and At the Drive-In. In contrast to the do-it-yourself screamo bands of the 1990s, screamo bands such as Thursday and The Used have signed multi-album contracts with labels such as Island Def Jam and Reprise Records. However, this style's connection to the genre has been disputed, with some referring to it as " MTV screamo" or "pop-screamo", and many bands more commonly being categorized as post-hardcore or metalcore. Alternative Press describes pop screamo as "metal-influenced riffs and aggressive, high-end screams filled song's verses, while soaring melodies carried choruses to new, previously unattained heights."
The term "post-screamo" has been used loosely to describe a wide variety of music in the 2000s and later that was influenced by traditional screamo.In a review of City of Caterpillar's influence on the genre, reporter Jason Heller of Vice writes "Call it post-screamo, if you must. Okay, maybe don't do that. But .... the early 00s weren't the end of an era or anything so corny. It was just a transition."
In the mid-2000s, the style of early screamo regained vitality, with American bands like Comadre,Off Minor, and Hot Cross releasing records on independent labels. The contemporary screamo scene has remained particularly active in Europe, with bands such as Amanda Woodward, Louise Cyphre, Le Pré Où Je Suis Mort, La Quiete, Daïtro, and Raein all being prime examples of their scene. Fluff Fest, held in Czechia since 2000, was in 2017 described by Bandcamp Daily as a "summer ritual" for many fans of screamo in Europe.
In the early 2010s the term "screamo" began to be largely reclaimed by a new crop of do-it-yourself bands, with many screamo acts, like Loma Prieta, Pianos Become the Teeth, La Dispute, and Touché Amoré releasing records on fairly large independent labels such as Deathwish Inc.In 2011 Alternative Press noted that La Dispute is "at the forefront of a traditional-screamo revival" for their critically acclaimed release Wildlife. They are a part of a group of stylistically similar screamo-revival bands self-defined as "The Wave," made up of Touché Amoré, La Dispute, Defeater, Pianos Become the Teeth, and Make Do and Mend. As well as, California's Deafheaven, who formed in 2010, having been described as screamo, in a style similar to that of Envy. Alternative Press has cited a "pop screamo revival" along with this, with bands like Before Their Eyes, The Ongoing Concept, Too Close to Touch and I Am Terrified.
In August 2018, Noisey writer Dan Ozzi declared that it was the "Summer of Screamo" in a month-long series documenting screamo acts pushing the genre forward following the decline in popularity of "The Wave," as well as the reunions of seminal bands such as Pg. 99, Majority Rule, City of Caterpillar,and Jeromes Dream. Groups highlighted in this coverage, including Respire, Ostraca, Portrayal of Guilt, Soul Glo, I Hate Sex, and Infant Island, had generally received positive press from large publications, but were not as widely successful as their predecessors. Noisey also documented that, despite its loss of mainstream popularity and continued hold in North American scenes, particularly Richmond, Virginia, screamo had become a more international movement; notably spreading to Japan, France, and Sweden with groups including Heaven in Her Arms, Birds in Row, and Suffocate for Fuck Sake, respectively. Also in 2018, Vein released their debut album Errorzone to critical acclaim and commercial success, bringing together elements of screamo, hardcore, and nu metal. This underground cohort of acts was primarily released by independent labels like Middle-Man Records in the United States, Zegema Beach Records in Canada, and Miss The Stars Records in Berlin.
Screamo is a style of hardcore punk-influenced emo with screaming.Alex Henderson of AllMusic considers screamo a bridge between hardcore punk and emo. The term screamo is a portmanteau of the words "scream" and "emo." Screamo uses typical rock instrumentation, but is notable for its brief compositions, chaotic sounds, harmonized guitars, and screaming vocals. Screamo is characterized "by frequent shifts in tempo and dynamics and by tension-and-release catharses." Many screamo bands also incorporate ballads. According to AllMusic, screamo is "generally based in the aggressive side of the overarching punk-revival scene." Screamed vocals are used "not consistently, but as a kind of crescendo element, a sonic weapon to be trotted out when the music and lyrics reach a particular emotional pitch." Emotional singing and harsh screaming are common vocals in screamo.
Screamo lyrics often feature topics such as emotional pain, breakups, romantic interest, politics, and human rights.These lyrics are usually introspective, similar to that of softer emo bands. The New York Times noted that "part of the music's appeal is its un-self-conscious acceptance of differences, respect for otherness." Some screamo bands openly demonstrate acceptance of religious, nonreligious, and straight edge lifestyles
Many screamo bands in the 1990s saw themselves as implicitly political, and as a reaction against the turn to the right embodied by California politicians, such as Roger Hedgecock.Some groups were also unusually theoretical in inspiration: Angel Hair cited surrealist writers Antonin Artaud and Georges Bataille, and Orchid lyrically name-checked French new wave icon Anna Karina, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, French philosopher Michel Foucault, and critical theory originators the Frankfurt School.
Some screamo bands borrow the extreme dissonance, speed, and chaos of powerviolence. As a result, the term emoviolence was half-jokingly coined by the band In/Humanity to describe the fusion of the two styles which applied to themselves, as well as other bands including Pg. 99,Orchid, Reversal of Man, Usurp Synapse, and RentAmerica. Additionally, bands such as Orchid, Reversal of Man, and Circle Takes the Square tend to be much closer in style to grindcore than their forebears. In contemporary times, the genre is no longer as prevalent or widespread as it had been in the past, yet it still remains as a notable and prevalent force in underground screamo. A revival of the genre has occurred internationally with regional scenes in Southeast Asia and South America taking prominence.
Bands including City of Caterpillar, Circle Takes the Square, Envy, Funeral Diner, Pianos Become the Teeth,Respire, and Le Pré Où Je Suis Mort have incorporated post-rock elements into their music. This fusion is characterized by abrupt changes in pace, atmospheric and harmonic instrumentation, and distorted vocals. Similarly, bands such as Heaven in Her Arms and the aforementioned group Envy, use elements of shoegazing.
Sass (also known as sassy screamo, sasscore, white belt hardcore,white belt, sassgrind or dancey screamo) is a style that emerged from the late-1990s and early-2000s screamo scene. The genre incorporates elements of post-punk, new wave, disco, electronic, dance-punk, grindcore, noise rock, metalcore, mathcore and beatdown hardcore. The genre is characterized by often incorporating overtly flamboyant mannerisms, erotic lyrical content, synthesizers, dance beats and a lisping vocal style. Sass bands include the Blood Brothers, An Albatross, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, early Daughters, later-Orchid and SeeYouSpaceCowboy.
"Pop screamo" and " MTV screamo" are terms used to describe screamo influenced bands who use metallic instrumentation and pop song structure to form a more commercially viable sound than traditional screamo. The style developed and gained mainstream success in the early-2000s.The scene was led by bands such as Thursday, Hawthorne Heights, Taking Back Sunday, The Used, Senses Fail, Silverstein, Chiodos, From First to Last, Saosin, Thrice and Finch and now-defunct less-known bands such as Before Their Eyes, Here I Come Falling, Agraceful, Yesterdays Rising, Chasing Victory, Beloved, Dead Poetic, Burden of a Day and Sever Your Ties. The genre had a revival in the 2010s, including such outfits as Before Their Eyes, The Ongoing Concept, Too Close to Touch, I Am Terrified. Alternative Press describes pop screamo as "metal-influenced riffs and aggressive, high-end screams filled song's verses, while soaring melodies carried choruses to new, previously unattained heights." as well as "Poppy emo music with screaming in it that captured mainstream attention in the mid-2000s". Furthermore, many of these groups are more commonly categorized as, and influenced by, post-hardcore or metalcore.
Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by Washington D.C. and New York punk rock and early proto-punk. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."
Emo is a rock music genre characterized by emotional, often confessional lyrics. It emerged as a style of hardcore punk and post-hardcore from the mid-1980s Washington, D.C. hardcore scene, where it was known as emotional hardcore or emocore. The bands Rites of Spring and Embrace, among others, pioneered the genre. In the early and mid 1990s, emo was adopted and reinvented by alternative rock, indie rock, punk rock, and pop-punk bands, including Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Cap'n Jazz, and Jimmy Eat World. By the mid-1990s, Braid, the Promise Ring, and the Get Up Kids emerged from Midwest emo, and several independent record labels began to specialize in the genre. Meanwhile, screamo, a more aggressive style of emo using screamed vocals, also emerged, pioneered by the San Diego bands Heroin and Antioch Arrow. Screamo achieved mainstream success in the 2000s with bands like Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, Story of the Year, Thursday, the Used, and Underoath.
Alternative rock is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1990s. "Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream or commercial rock or pop music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to musicians influenced by the musical style or independent, DIY ethos of late-1970s punk rock.
Pop-punk is a rock music fusion genre that combines elements of punk rock with power pop or pop. It is defined by its fast-paced, energetic tempos, and emphasis on classic pop songcraft, as well as adolescent and anti-suburbia themes. It is distinguished from other punk-variant genres by drawing more heavily from 1960s bands such as the Beatles, the Kinks, and the Beach Boys. The genre has evolved throughout its history, absorbing elements from new wave, college rock, ska, rap, emo, boy band pop and even hardcore punk. It is sometimes considered interchangeable with power pop and skate punk.
The U.S. state of Washington has been home to many popular musicians and several major hotbeds of musical innovation throughout its history. The largest city in the state, Seattle, is known for being the birthplace of grunge as well as a major contributor to the evolution of punk rock, indie music, folk, and hip hop. Nearby Tacoma and Olympia have also been centers of influence on popular music.
A number of heavy metal genres have developed since the emergence of heavy metal during the late 1960s and early 1970s. At times, heavy metal genres may overlap or are difficult to distinguish, but they can be identified by a number of traits. They may differ in terms of instrumentation, tempo, song structure, vocal style, lyrics, guitar playing style, drumming style, and so on.
Crust punk is a form of music influenced by English punk rock and extreme metal. The style, which evolved in the early 1980s in England, often has songs with dark and pessimistic lyrics that linger on political and social ills. The term "crust" was coined by Hellbastard on their 1986 Ripper Crust demo.
Post-hardcore is a punk rock music genre that maintains the aggression and intensity of hardcore punk but emphasizes a greater degree of creative expression. It was initially inspired by post-punk and noise rock. Like the term "post-punk", the term "post-hardcore" has been applied to a broad constellation of groups. Post-hardcore began in the 1980s with bands like Hüsker Dü and Minutemen. The genre expanded in the 1980s and 1990s with releases by bands from cities that had established hardcore scenes, such as Fugazi from Washington, D.C. as well as groups such as Big Black, Jawbox, Quicksand, and Shellac that stuck closer to post-hardcore's noise rock roots. Dischord Records became a major nexus of post-hardcore during this period. The genre also began to incorporate more dense, complex, and atmospheric instrumentals with bands like Slint and Unwound, and also experienced some crossover from indie rock with bands like The Dismemberment Plan. In the early- and mid-2000s, post-hardcore achieved mainstream success with the popularity of bands like At the Drive-In, My Chemical Romance, Dance Gavin Dance, AFI, Underoath, Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, The Used, Saosin, Alexisonfire, and Senses Fail. In the 2010s, bands like Sleeping with Sirens and Pierce the Veil achieved mainstream success under the post-hardcore label. Meanwhile, bands like Title Fight and La Dispute experienced underground popularity playing music that bore a closer resemblance to the post-hardcore bands of the 1980s and 1990s.
As the Roots Undo is the debut studio album by screamo band Circle Takes the Square in 2004. It was released on CD and vinyl by the Robotic Empire and HyperRealist labels respectively. The album would later see a repress on the LP format in 2014 through GatePost Recordings
Antioch Arrow was an American punk rock band from San Diego, California, that formed in 1992. Most of their discography was released through the San Diego independent label Gravity Records. The label was responsible raising San Diego's profile in the underground music scene of the mid-1990s. The band, breaking up in 1994 and releasing one final studio album posthumously in 1995, are now considered to be one of the most influential bands of the early 1990s that shaped emo and post-hardcore music of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Melodic hardcore is a broadly defined subgenre of hardcore punk with a strong emphasis on melody in its guitar work. It generally incorporates fast rhythms, melodic and often distorted guitar riffs, and vocal styles tending towards shouting and screaming. Nevertheless, the genre has been very diverse, with different bands showcasing very different styles. Many pioneering melodic hardcore bands, have proven influential across the spectrum of punk rock, as well as rock music more generally. The term melodic punk is often used to describe both melodic hardcore and skate punk bands.
Emo pop is a fusion genre combining emo with pop-punk, pop music, or both. Emo pop features a musical style with more concise composition and hook-filled choruses. Emo pop has its origins in the 1990s with bands like Jimmy Eat World, the Get Up Kids, Weezer and the Promise Ring. The genre entered the mainstream in the early 2000s with Jimmy Eat World's breakthrough album Bleed American, which included its song "The Middle". Other emo pop bands that achieved mainstream success throughout the decade included Fall Out Boy, the All-American Rejects, My Chemical Romance, Panic! at the Disco and Paramore. The popularity of emo pop declined in the 2010s, with some prominent artists in the genre either disbanding or abandoning the emo pop style.
Powerviolence is an extremely dissonant and fast subgenre of hardcore punk which is closely related to thrashcore and grindcore. In contrast with grindcore, which is a "crossover" idiom containing musical aspects of heavy metal, powerviolence is just an augmentation of the most challenging qualities of hardcore punk. Like its predecessors, it is usually socio-politically charged and iconoclastic.
Heroin was an American hardcore punk band formed in San Diego in 1989 within the underground Californian punk scene. They released 18 songs before breaking up in 1993, pioneering the screamo genre.
The scene subculture is a youth subculture that emerged during the early 2000s in the United States from the pre-existing emo subculture. The subculture became popular with adolescents from the mid 2000s to early 2010s. Members of the scene subculture are referred to as scene kids, trendies, or scenesters. Scene fashion consists of skinny jeans, bright colored clothing, a signature hairstyle consisting of straight, flat hair with long fringes covering their forehead, and bright colored hair dye. Music genres associated with the scene subculture include metalcore, crunkcore, deathcore, electronic music, and pop punk.
Crunkcore is a musical fusion genre characterized by the combination of musical elements from crunk, post-hardcore, heavy metal, pop, electronic and dance music. The genre often features screamed vocals, hip hop beats, and sexually provocative lyrics. The genre developed from members of the scene subculture during the mid 2000s.
The emo revival was an underground emo movement which came about in the late 2000s to early 2010s. Groups of the emo revival largely abandon the style of the mainstream emo acts of the mid 2000s in favor of a style influenced by 1990s emo acts. The revival had largely dissolved by the mid 2010s.
Emo rap is a fusion genre of hip hop and emo music. Originating in the SoundCloud rap scene in the mid-2010s, the genre fuses characteristics of hip hop music, such as beats and rapping, with the lyrical themes, instrumentals, and vocals commonly found in emo music. Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, and Juice Wrld are some of the most notable musicians in the genre.
Orchid always was, and always will be the quintessential screamo band of the late 90s, as they encompassed everything people like me love about the genre, and throw their own unique spin on it
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...CIRCLE TAKES THE SQUARE have retained their integrity and stayed true to the grind influenced experimental, progressive hardcore soundscapes that defined the screamo albums of the early part of the millennium.