Friday, November 24, 2017

"Make Emo Great Again": Your unofficial guide to 80s and 90s american emocore. Part 4: Screamo and Emoviolence

Note: Life hacks. 

Coucou, les! We're back. Originally, this entry wasn't meant to be featured in this special post, but since the last entry was an appetizer for more chaotic and dissonant subsets of emo, I decided to feature some of the foundational acts of both screamo and emoviolence. Note that most of these bands have more affinity to extreme hardcore punk variants such as grindcore and powerviolence (notably emoviolence bands) and that's why they shouldn't be labeled as screamo/emoviolence but you know how unfair and cruel is our sick sad world. Also, just like the previous entries, I had to discard some bands but they will eventually appear in future entries (even I've been also thinking about making some sort of Addenda, like some previous special posts, but I'm not quite sure yet. We'll just have to wait and see...) Lastly, the last entry of this special post will feature some indie emo bands and some compilations of all the featured emo subsets. With all that written, let's begin.  

Sleeping Body!q8xBzCZQ!f9OhuLF-AFVDWAFoa214IyRYSHRfSvB2FceIgZKACG0

If someone asks me which is the first american screamo band ever, I'd undoubtedly answer Sleeping Body. This texan band only had one official release: Awaken 7" (Vermin Scum, 1992). Regarding the sound, Sleeping Body played chaotic and dissonant hardcore punk in the same vein as Portraits of Past, Honeywell and Reach Out. Their musical style was filled with overwhelming basslines, complex guitars, slow yet powerful breakdowns (reminiscent of early metallic hardcore bands of the time), some emo elements (abstract lyrics, crescendos) and screamed vocals. It was something like a more frantic version of Moss Icon. Finally, click on the image for downloading this cryptic 90s hardcore jewel, which is one of the most powerful and fearsome of the time. The file also includes a demo and a live performance at WFMU. Highly recommended.  

Frail - Make Your Own Noise...(AKA 15 songs) CD compilation!K44hiZpD!8xBmR6BL4A4dC6rs5XLNA5F9NvulRKZrZEA9mpe55Ow

Frail was short-lived yet prolific straight edge emo/hardcore band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that released Idle Hands Nothing 7" (Kidney Room Records, 1994), self-titled 7" (Yuletide, 1994), New Harmony 7" (Bloodink Records, 1995) and split with Elements of Need (Static Records, 1995). Unlike many contemporaru straight edge hardcore bands, Frail opted for playing chaotic and dissonant emocore like other fellow "nailed to the x" comrades such as Portraits of Past and Policy of Three. In fact, these bands drifted apart of the self-righteous and violent crew mentality of many straight edge hardcore punk bands of the time. I've always thought that you can be straight edge but not an asshole. Period. Also, Frail marked one step closer to the definition of screamo offshoot with their superb musical execution and instrumentation. Finally, when Frail disbanded in 1995, some of their members went on Ink and Dagger, another foundational screamo outfit. This compilation CD contains everything that this band ever recorded, excluding some compilation tracks that eventually will be featured here in the last entry of the special post. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Inkwell - Complete works!i1owlYxK!lsH7RtgRwdnSNY065nMjxWevHzPLW6ixMpmJWozSM34

Inkwell was another short-lived emo/hardcore band from Atlanta, Georgia (I think they also were straight edge, or at least some members). During their short lifespan, they only released two 7"s: By Design (My Last Wish, 1995) and Shine So Bright (My Last Wish / Heliotrope, 1995), as well as one split with local homologues Hal Al Shedad (Lunchbox Records, 1995) and contributed one track to Placebo compilation (Concurrent, 1995). Regarding the sound, Inkwell played short, fast and loud hardcore punk with some slow and introspective interludes. I must admit that this band had a good instrumentation, clever lyrics and some of the best vocals I've ever heard in a screamo act. This band truly deserve one complete discography. Will we ever see it? I certainly hope so...Finally, click on the image for downloading all Inkwell-related material (including the full split with Hal Al Shedad, which is awesome). I was told that there's also some previously unreleased material but I don't quite know about its existence. If you could help me out, I'd be thankful. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Eurich - Discography (1994-1996)!LkBlnDLB!poOioH3Vw3p-ZC_yKrvkYUEA5siYBBJ7U1g9tJtt3QE

Eurich was a short-lived band from Charleston, South Carolina and active between 1994 and 1997. Despite their short existence, Eurich was one of the precurssors of the Southeast hardcore style that would eventually be coined as emoviolence. Also, unlike most of their contemporary homologues, this band featured one womyn as a band member and sometimes took the vocalist role. Regarding the sound, Eurich played short, fast and loud hardcore punk, reminiscent of powerviolence, but they also added slower interludes and more melodic chords, creating an uncommon mix of both fast and slow-paced music with unpredictable changes and instrumentation. Also, they had some "emo sensibilities", above all regarding the artwork, layouts and inserts of their records with deep, complex and abstract thoughts and lyrics. Finally, this CD (Coaxt, 2003) features their complete discography. Highly recommended. Enjoy!    

Reversal of Man - "Discography" plus extras!W0pCiCiD!BBlYFvCy7eXljEaN5rvlOrjHeNHB-s2toGUxe48nZqc

Reversal Of Man (from now on ROM) was a hardcore band from Tampa, Florida that existed between 1995 and 2005. Along with other national contemporaries such as Combat Wounded Veteran, Jerome's Dream and Orchid, among others, this band was one of the forefronts of the whole screamo scene during the late-90s and early-00s. Regarding the sound, ROM played short, fast and loud hardcore punk drawing influences from both grindcore and powerviolence. In fact, this band shouldn't be considered as an emo-related band but, well, many screamo and emoviolence bands emulated ROM's sound and you know how the unjust world of labeling music works...Also, their lyrics were mainly political and satirical of different society's aspects, including the hardcore scene of their time. Finally, in the file you'll find a "discography" disc (Schematics Records, 2001), compiling early demos, singles, compilation tracks and unreleased material, and two of their main works: Revolution Summer 10" (Independence Day, 1998), which is one of the most influential screamo records ever released and their best work (IMHO), and This Is Medicine LP (Ebullition Records, 1999) and their full split with Combat Wounded Veteran (Schematics Records, 2002) separately. Their self-titled 7" (Valrico Records, 1996) and other splits are missing but I'll upload them in other opportunity if I get them. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Combat Wounded Veteran - This Is Not An Erect, All Red Neon Body CD compilation plus I Know A Girl Who Develops Crime Scene Photos 12"!f0pTnBJA!9tHPrqaDh_FNPm3S_8wtdyz6XRACxh9HWjSU81TLj5M

Another impressive Tampa-based  hardcore punk band that was active between 1996-2003. Just like the previous band, Combat Wounded Veteran (from now on CWV) was unfairly misjudged as an emo-related band but it still was a huge influence for the whole screamo and emoviolence offshoots, though. Regarding the sound, CWV mixed the best elements of early american grindcore and powerviolence bands such as Assück and Charles Bronson, for example, with emerging math rock-influenced noisy post-hardcore punk that pleased everyone craving for nonsense violent music. Also, the lyrics were both political and satirically-charged and the tracks had abstract yet weird long titiles like many grindcore and powerviolence bands of their time. Finally, in the file you'll find This Is Not An Erect, All Red Neon Body CD compilation (No Idea, 2009), which compiles almost everything that this band ever recorded (including some unreleased material, comp tracks, their first two 7"s and tracks taken from splits with Orchid and Scrotum Grinder) and I Know A Girl Who Develops Crime Scene Photos 12" (No Idea, 1999) separately. Their last record Duck Down For The Torso 12" (No Idea, 2002) is missing because I don't have it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Orchid - Complete discography!q5BXBYgI!8WcDAJgoLV-ihLwRpZqUDWsLt2bSfnxTNZsOjkW75r8

Oh yeah! Another all-time favorite is finally here in the blog. Orchid was a hardcore punk band from Amherst, Massachussets that existed between 1997 and 2002. During their short yet influential lifespan, they released a bunch of records, including their masterpieces Chaos Is Me (Ebullition Records, 1999) and Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! (Ebullition Records, 2000), which are undoubtedly two of the most highly influential records for the whole screamo offshoot. Regarding the sound, Orchid had huge grindcore and powerviolence influences in their sound but they also added "emo sensibilities" too. I remember one interview where they stated that their biggest musical influence were actually german hardcore acts such as Systral and Carol, however (already featured here in the blog). Also, their lyrics were highly political with intellectual and academic influences. Indeed, they took inspiration from different thinkers such as Frankfurt school's Critical Theorists (such as Theodore Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, etc.), phenomenologists (such as Hannah Arendt), situationists (such as Guy Debord) and, of course, anarchists (such as Emma Goldman), which was a really uncommon aspect for a hardcore punk band of the time (even for today's standards). Finally, in the file you'll find We Hate You Demo (Clean Plate, 1997), Totality CD compilation (Clean Plate, 2005), which compiles all of Orchid's early material, comp tracks, covers and previously unreleased material, Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! + Chaos Is Me CD compilation (Ebullition Records, 2002), reuniting both full-length albums, and their last self-titled LP (Ebullition Records, 2001), which is also known simply as "Gatefold" and a solid work that shouldn't be missed out. All the klingon crusties and vulcan emos out there will love this one. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Jeromes Dream - Completed 1997-2001!StoCkLKJ!o6kLNimCPp_Aafse8UWuokxDe-uftPKEzZiBxChbPWM

Ah, another screamo heavyweight is finally here in the blog. Jeromes Dream (AKA Jerome's Dream) was another pivotal act for one of the more extreme subsets of the emo subgenre. During their lifespan, they released a bunch of records, including some memorable registers such as Seeing Means More Than Safety 10" (Old Glory, 2000) and various splits with different contemporary homologues such as Orchid (this is the infamous skull-shaped LP) and Usurp Synapse. Regarding the sound, just like ROM, CWV and Orchid, Jeromes Dream had grindcore and powerviolence influences playing most of the time short, fast and loud but they also added some instrumental and slower interludes in between their songs. On the other hand, their vocalist (who also played the bass) opted for not singing with the microphone while performing live, instead screaming unamplified at the top of his lungs. Also, they were known for having very short sets (no longer than 10 minutes) because the band considered that it was the right time they all needed. And, last but not least, their lyrics also had some intellectual and academic influences because some of their members were psychology students at the time and some songs feature real psychological diagnosis learned throughout their college years. Finally, this a CD compilation (Alone Records, 2005), containing everything that this impressive band ever recorded. Highly recommended. Enjoy!   

In/Humanity - Violent Resignation: The Great American Teenage Suicide Rebellion 1992-1998 CD compilation!6s530RpQ!a7hAPBMoY40xvCv76YIh_wRdPZSCmpXjzksUybdc-ww

This entry would be incomplete without the band that coined the term emoviolence back in the 90s. In fact, the term was a joke for pissing people off that was deeply worried about how powerviolence was meant to be played. In fact, this statement went too far because it untentionally created this interesting chaotic and dissonant emo subset. So, In/Humanity was a band from Columbia, South Carolina and active between 1991 and 1998. During their lifespan, they released a bunch of records, including all-time classics such as The Nutty Anti-Christ LP (Passive Fist, 1996) and The History Behind The Mystery / Music To Kill Yourself By 12" (Prank, 1998). Regarding the sound, In/Humanity played short, fast and loud hardcore punk just like many other grindcore and powerviolence acts of their time but also had that interesting touch of emerging screamo bands such as Honeywell and Reach Out. As you can imagine, the lyrics were very satirical, sarcastical and filled with dark humor. Not everyone was pleased with this aspect, though. Finally, this compilation reunites everything that this emotionally violent band ever recorded. Pretty good stuff. If you can, get their records separately because, for example, the original release of The Nutty...has a slightly different sound of the tracks here included. It's not so different as you may have guessed, but you could notice the difference between the two records. Plus, if you're big fans of the band, you must know this kind of curious facts haha. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Palatka - Unofficial discography!DlwGjbIJ!WUoiq6rgpGKco9sN0qQFucBrNlaxvCbOnwm1qq2A0SE
Palatka was a short-lived band from Gainesville, Florida and active between 1994 and 1998. Despite their short existence, the band was very active in their local scene and even managed to make an European Tour in 1997 along with emoviolent fellows In/Humanity. Regarding the sound, Palatka played short, fast and loud hardcore punk in the same vein as other emerging national powerviolence outfits of their time but also added a few "emo sensibilities" into their repertory, notably experimenting with chaotic, dissonant and melodic musical execution and instrumentation. Also, the band's lyrics were irreverent, subversive, ironical and sarcastical of every human aspect, including inside and outside of the hardcore scene. And, just like many contemporary powerviolence and emoviolence outfits, their live sets were short, frantic and full of energy. Finally, in the file you'll find most of Palatka's works including The End Of Irony (No Idea, 1999), their only LP, full splits with fellow powerviolence mates Asshole Parade and The End Of The Century Party and lots of comp tracks.  I think some songs are still missing but this is at least the most decent try to compile everything that this amazing band ever recorded. We desperately need an official discography release. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

The End Of The Century Party - Discography 1993 - 1999!ClRyFLQA!4JRDweLoib0PUidTT8sxTwqRszygi5Q91uVMRnWN7ac

Another impressive Tampa-based emoviolence outfit that was active between 1993 and 1999. Along with In/Humanity and Palatka, The End Of The Century Party (from now on T.E.O.T.C.P.) was one of the responsibles of spreading this interesting alternative form of powerviolence throughout the United States (notably the southeast). Regarding the sound, T.E.O.T.C.P. played short, chaotic and dissonant hardcore punk with lyrics filled with abstract and complex stances but they also added some slower interludes, spoken words in between songs like other emerging screamo and emoviolence acts of their time. So, you'll find here unorthodox changes between blast beats and mid-tempo tunes. Really outstanding. Finally, this CD compilation (Coaxt, 2004) contains their entire discography, including some unreleased tracks as bonus. Highly recommended. Enjoy!   

Usurp Synapse - Disinformation Fix (Discography CD)!eoJAVJJR!t-HwriYmnaPuGvUtm8UVWD3JcNqnETePVJI2jeKOm7U

We finally conclude this entry with the discography CD (Alone Records, 2004) of this superb emoviolence outfit. Usurp Synapse was a band from Lafayette, Indiana, active between 1999 and 2005, with a prolific and extensive discography, including splits with fellow screamo/emoviolence mates Neil Perry, Index For Potential Suicide, Hassan I Sabbah and Jerome's Dream. Regarding the sound, Usurp Synapse played chaotic and dissonant hardcore punk in the same vein as grindcore with frantic guitar, high speed drums, overwhelming bass tunes and raw screams. They also added weird samplers (for example, one conversation directly taken from Amelie film. Ugh!) and created noisy and complex interludes with synthetizers in between some songs. Also, the lyrics were very abstract and hard to understand with vague references to different social and cultural aspects such as monotony, violence, failed relationships, among others. Highly recommended. This was one of the best references for the style during the first half of the next decade. I hope you enjoyed this entry. We'll come back soon for finishing this special post. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!

No comments:

Post a Comment