Thursday, December 21, 2017

"Make Emo Great Again": Your unofficial guide to 80s and 90s american emocore. Part 5: Indie Emo

Note: Such a relic this dude/tte

Coucou, les! We're final-fuckin'-lly back after long time. Did you already miss me? 'Cause I certainly did so haha. As always, I apologize for my long absence but "real world" affaires still impede my activities here in the blog. So, the year is coming to its end (fuck!) and I changed the schedule: Firstly, there will be another entry in our 80s and 90s american emo special post with some compilations reuniting all the featured emo subsets. Fortunately, it will be the last entry and will close this chapter since I want to give green light to other ideas for the website. And, I also think you'll hate me because the infamous indie emo subset isn't as frantic nor chaotic as the previous ones but we need sweetness sometimes, right? Secondly, unfortunately, the planned 80s swedish hardcore punk compilations special post will be published next year in January because I decided to feature our best picks of 2017 list before December ends. Lastly, at the end of this month, we'll be celebrating our third anniversary Yaaayyyy!!! (I never thought I'd go this far. Thank you), so I'll make a mini special post with some previously announced content. Do you already know which one? I certainly hope so...Last but not least, links to Knapsack and Texas Is The Reason works were provided by Sophie's Floorboard blog, and links to Sense Field's works were provided by Iceburn, Disconnect Self, and Creation Of Minerals blogs, so all credits go to them (Thank you so much, pals!). With all that written, let's begin!   

Evergreen - Complete Works!yhRXRCLZ!amuqs2kZwip7fZz9Kf9SmvemvRi2zmpCZSy7EAuuLzs

Evergreen was a short-lived yet influential emocore band from San Diego, California. They only released split with Still Life (Anomaly, 1993), self-titled 7" (Wrenched Records, 1994), self-titled (AKA Seven Songs) LP (Anomaly / Whaleboy, 1994) and These Last Days 7" (Gravity, 1997), as well as contributing tracks to different hardcore punk compilations. Regarding the sound, Evergreen was one of the first emo bands that started incorporating less aggressive elements into their repertory. In fact, we could say that this band was in a gap between straight emo and indie emo subsets. Something a little bit different of other local hardcore counterparts that either played metallic hardcore or even chaotic emo. Nonetheless, the band managed a somewhat fast-paced and precise musical execution with very touching emotive and abstract lyrics. Finally, click on the image for downloading all the official material this heartbreaking emo band ever released. Enjoy!

Cap'n Jazz - Analphabetapolothology!voR1WbqI!4nT5jTAArFZCy--Aug_rUdxecyN_qyM3DCBrPRvP_fY

Cap'n Jazz is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end of the indie emo subset, so we won't further talk about it. I hope you enjoyed this entry...No, I'm joking. We haven't yet finished. But, if someone asks me which band started all this madness, I would not hesitate citing this amazing musical outfit from Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Despite their short existence, Cap'n Jazz released 2 EPs, one split with Friction and one full-length album. So, you'll may be wondering. Where are the names? Well, this band had the trend of naming their records with some of the weirdest and longest titles I've ever seen. Even this complete discography compilation (Jade Tree, 1998) has an unorthodox name. Cool. Regarding the sound, unlike other more hardcore-oriented emo bands, Cap'n Jazz opted for creating less aggressive yet emotional music, even adding math rock and jazz elements into their repertory, as well as using uncommon instruments such as saxophones, trumpets and harmonicas. And, there's even a cover to A-Ha's Take On Me. Yup. Finally, just like Evergreen, you'll also find in here that heartbreaking emo anthems for dealing with your existence. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary + self-titled LPs!j5hUHbiJ!WopLLLTN3QdmKod4nRe-u0OvjQLtPFGnGOSRDOmEgdQ

Sunny Day Real Estate (from now on SDRE) is an american post-hardcore band from Seattle, Washington, and considered by many people as the foundational band of the "midwestern emo" style (AKA indie emo). Both their first two LPs: Diary (Sub Pop, 1994) and self-titled AKA the "pink record" (Sub Pop, 1995) are the best examples of this loved/hated emo subset. Indeed, their music is melodic yet forceful, less chaotic yet deeply intense, filled with deep and abstract lyrics, a clean voice with "emotive" traits and a pretty good instrumentation. Even their original bassist also played for other popular alternative rock outfits of the time such as Foo Fighters. Also, along with Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional, SDRE's fame was spreading around the country and the emo term was reaching the mainstream. And, like many of their indie emo homologues, SDRE's later recordings were more akin to alternative rock. Finally, in the file you'll find their first two LPs that are more suitable for this special post's purposes. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Braid - Movie Music Vols. One + Two plus Three LPs!j4w2xSTT!rMRXFTd63qZpVIqQFpXsbmNoW-ImAucL9khoy216G8E

Braid was a post-hardcore band from Champaign, Illinois that existed between 1993 and 1999, with eventual and brief reunions in 2004 and 2013. I'm not sure if they're still together. During their lifetime, they released many records, notably Frankie Welfare Boy Age 5 2xLP (Divot, 1995), I Am Afraid Of Everything 7" EP (Polyvinyl Record Company, 1996), The Age Of Octeen LP (Mud Records, 1996), Frame And Canvas LP (IMHO, their best work) (Polyvinyl Record Company, 1998), among others. Regarding the sound, Braid played an interesting mix of both post-hardcore and the emerging indie emo (AKA Midwest Emo style) sounds for creating an unique and personal "not so slow yet not so fast" musical style. I know it could sound weird but indie emo bands weren't as lightweights as many people do think. And, with this band, the schism between hardcore emo and indie emo in the 90s was a real thing. The file contains all their material released in the 90s: this compilation (Polyvinyl Record Company, 2000) containing all Braid's 7", splits, compilations and unreleased tracks (even some cool covers to two The Smiths' songs), as well as their three LPs separately. There's also Braid 6 Cassettes Box Set (Polyvinyl Record Company, 2015), containing everything that is included in our file but in glorious tape format. So, you can say this is the unofficial release haha. But, don't worry, when I get it, I'll upload it for you. Their post-00s material is still good but not as relevant as the released one in the previous decade. Highly recommended. Enjoy!           

Texas Is The Reason - Do You Know Who You Are? The Complete Collection

Ahhh, one of my favorite indie emo bands ever is finally here. I featured Texas Is The Reason (from now on TITR) in our ancient blog at a time when I was entirely happy. Yes, entirely. Right now, I'm older, fatter and crankier than ever but TITR's music undoubtedly soothes my inner beast. So, TITR was formed in 1994 and took their name from Misfits' song Bullet, making reference to conspiracy theories about JFK's assassination (and also some songs of the band had this topic. Weird). The band featured members of foundational hardcore punk bands of the time such as Ressurection, 108 and Shelter (the latter two affiliated to krsnacore movement). Unlike their previous projects, the band opted for less aggressive and more melodic tunes, completely ignoring their spiritual message as well. However, their music was still somewhat fast-paced, forceful and very touching. Despite their automatic acceptance within the hardcore scene (they were already part of it, though), not many people was happy with Revelation Records' (TITR's record label) decision of publishing emo and melodic hardcore bands such as Sense Field, Elliott and Farside, among others, and the hate towards these kind of bands dramatically increased during the decade. You know, the 90s were tough haha. Finally, just before beginning their european tour, TITR disbanded in 1997 due to an offer made by Capitol Records for recording and releasing material with them and the band members had mixed views about either keeping alive their DIY roots or selling out. They took the right choice for them and their last concert was in Biefeld, Germany, also the last stop in their tour. Some of their members tell that when they played Antique (my favorite song ha ha) felt the energy of their audience, looked at each other and all agreed that it was over. TITR eventually reunited some years later in 2006 during Revelation Records' 25th Anniversary and also made a brief american and european tour between 2012 and 2013. And also celebrated the 20th anniversary of their only LP Do You Know Who You Are? (Revelation Records, 1996) on March 15, 2016 and also participated to Jon Bunch's (R.I.P.), ex-vocalist of Sense Field, memorial a few days later. Lastly, click on the image for downloading this beautiful anthology (Revelation Records, 2013) that compiles almost everything of this band with remastered sound: their self-titled EP (Revelation Records, 1995), their LP, splits tracks with The Promise Ring and Samuel, two previously unreleased tracks and two rare B-Sides as bonus tracks. The live tracks from the split with Samiam are missing but you can download the record here. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Mineral - 1994-1998: The Complete Collection

This entry would be incomplete without this awesome Houston-based indie emo/post-hardcore band. We already featured it almost three years ago when I saw them performing live in Paris, France. You can read the original review here (although it's in Spanish). Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Sense Field - self-titled, Killed For Less LP and Building LP

Sense Field was an american post-hardcore band from California, born from the ashes of Reason To Believe, a late-80s early-90s melodic hardcore outfit. The band existed between 1991 and 2004 (with some eventual reunion shows in 2012 and 2013) and released an extensive and prolific discography. This was also one of the few indie emo bands having a relative commercial success (for example, they had some records released through Warner Bros. Records and were also featured in the Roswell's OST (an infamous TV series from early-00's)). Nonetheless, despite their "fifteen minutes of fame", they remained very active within the DIY underground scene. Regarding the sound, Sense Field played melodic yet forceful post-hardcore with some of the traits of the emerging indie emo sound of the time (full octaves, less aggressive music, much cleaner vocals, etc.) and, eventually, their music would be more alternative rock-oriented in later recordings. Finally, Jon Bunch (R.I.P.), their ex-main vocalist, passed away last year after struggling against cancer. The remaining band members reunited twice in 2016 (March 20 and June 25) with benefit shows for Bunch's family. These shows also featured some members of different hardcore punk bands (such as Into Another, Underdog, Farside, Gameface, Inside Out, Texas Is The Reason, etc.) taking Bunch's vocalist role. And, Revelation Records released one benefit compilation LP named Jon Bunch Benefit Collection (2016), exclusively made for the first benefit concert, which compiles all Sense Field's full-length albums released through the record label: self-titled (1995), Killed For Less LP (1994) and Building LP (1995). Also, Spartan Records re-released that year, with remastered sound, Sense Field's Living Outside LP (originally released in 2003), which is, in my humble opinion, their best alternative rock-oriented work. Lastly, download each one of Sense Field's LPs, released through Revelation Records, here, here and here, which are their best material ever released and more accurate for this special post's purposes. Highly recommended. Enjoy!      

Ethel Meserve - Spelling The Names CD compilation + The Milton Abandonment LP!a8RSha7Y!yFRyNCyENs2KA3LfOE6nsRjdBorBpRBV1ttxCjDkdyQ

Ethel Meserve was a short-lived post-hardcore band from Pennsylvania that existed between 1995 and 1997. They only released one demo cassette (self-released, 1995), a couple of 7"s (Pierman/Paladin Taim (Tree Records, 1996) and Tamsen/Onward Foster (Caulfield Records, 1997), one split with Giants Chair, which is the third volume of the Post Marked Stamps split series (Tree Records, 1997), and The Milton Abandonment LP (Tree Records, 1997), as well as contributing some tracks to different emo and hardcore compilations. Regarding the sound, Ethel Meserve joined the emerging "softer" side of emo completely ignoring their more chaotic and frantic contemporary counterparts. Nonetheless, the music was still powerful enough to please the ears of their exigent hardcore punk audience. In fact, I know many hardcore kids that publicly hate these kind of bands but secretly weep for listening to them at home ha ha. And, of course, this is one of the most important yet surprisingly underrated indie emo bands. Only trve emo connoisseur freaks like us would include them in these kind of posts. Finally, the file contains Spelling The Names CD compilation (Tree Records, 2000), which contains Ethel Meserve's early recordings and compilation tracks, and their only LP separately. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Knapsack - Silver Sweepstakes, Day Three Of My New Life, and This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now LPs

Knapsack is an american emo/post-hardcore band that during the mid-90s released 3 LPs: Silver Sweepstakes (Alias, 1995), Day Three Of My New Life (Alias, 1997), and This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now (Alias, 1998), some 7"s (Trainwrecker and True To Form (Alias, 1994), splits with The Edsel Auctioneer (Alias, 1995) and Stuntman (Alias, 1996), as well as contributing tracks to different compilations. Along with Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate, Knapsack started to popularize the indie emo subset across America. Regarding the sound, Knapsack played exactly the same as their aforementioned homologues with a particular vocal style filled with lots of emotion and passion, even though it wasn't as frantic as more chaotic emo outfits of their time. Also, their musical execution was somewhat fast-paced and precise with some alternative rock add-ons, which gave an unique and personal forceful style. Since 2015, the band is together with a slight different formation (some members of Samiam and Thrice are playing with them) and have participated to different music festivals in both America and Europe, including Jon Bunch's memorial in 2016. It's unlikely that this band would ever release a new record but we can still dream on, right? Finally, click on the image and you'll be redirected to Sophie's Floorboard blog where you can download all Knapsack's LPs separately. This is one of those bands that strictly need a complete discography compilation because there are some rare comp tracks that have never been re-released. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Christie Front Drive - Anthology CD + "Stereo" LP!n4QDDaKJ!OKsn9U2SL6kW5JWQmyJOnVqOnAufgJz48HMOCkjPYb0

Ah, they're finally here. Do you remember when we used to talk about indie emo before this special post and stated that 90s hardcore kids listened to Christie Front Drive (from now on CFD) for making love? Well, this bold yet surprisingly accurate sentence was formuled by HeartattaCk zine (I don't quite well remember the issue) when they reviewed for the first time this impressive emo/post-hardcore band from Denver, Colorado. CFD was born in 1993 and disbanded in 1996. During their lifetime, they released self-titled 7" (Freewill Records, 1994), self-titled LP (Freewill Records, 1995), split with Sineater (Hellkite, 1995), Jimmy Eat World (Wooden Blue, 1995) and Boys Life (Crank!, 1996) and one last self-titled LP, AKA Stereo, (Caulfield Records, 1996), which was released when CFD was already disbanded. Regarding the sound, CFD's music was heavily inspired by early 90s post-hardcore bands such as Jawbox and Drive Like Jehu, but unlike these noisy and experimental outfits, the band opted for creating slower yet forceful tunes. Indeed, just like most of indie emo bands, CFD will steal your heart with their interesting music and lyrics. You'll find sometimes some corny and irritating statements but it's undoubtedly that you'll be mesmerized by their honest and sincere passion. Finally, the file contains Anthology CD (Caulfield Records, 1995), which compiles everything before Stereo, and, of course, this latter separately. You can also get the remastered editions of all CFD's self-titled (7" and LPs) through Magic Bullet Records. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Boys Life - self-titled LP, Departures And Landfalls LP and split with Christie Front Drive!j9gQSSCD!SZd7gMZKY00p2YJWDh-Cx-OUo2GzsESVHVQR25zeavA

Boys Life was a short-lived band from Kansas City, Missouri that existed between 1993 and 1996 and released Lister/Without Doubt 7" (Synergy, 1993), splits with Vitreous Humor, Secular Theme, Giants Chair and Christie Front Drive and two LPs: self-titled (Crank!, 1995) and Departures And Landfalls (Headhunter, 1996). Regarding the sound, they played straightforward post-hardcore in a gap between the first wave of emo and the emerging indie emo sound of their time. In later recordings, they would also eventually add more sophisticated elements of math rock to their repertory but the band still managed to retain an outstanding musical execution. Among all indie emo-related bands, Boys Life is probably one of the most underrated due to the musical success of some of their contemporary homologues such as Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate but they also did their own name in history of emo's evolution with their musical style that has nothing to envy to the aformentioned acts. Finally, in the file you'll find their only two LPs, as well as the full split with Christie Front Drive, which is one of the best emo splits ever released, and, thus you'll complete their discography too. Sadly, I don't have more works of Boys Life, so I'll upload them if I get them. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Elliott - U.S. Songs!X5ZmVShC!RrJ1FtxM3fftScAqu6GQLeedhqR2nVC_69JDW2YACPo

Elliott was also a short-lived band from Louisville, Kentucky that existed between 1996 and 2000.  Their discography material ranged between indie emo and alternative rock but in general terms they kept an outstanding mix of melodic hardcore, post-hardcore and emo with an excellent instrumentation and musical execution. In fact, when I was younger and I started to knowing the world of hardcore punk and its subgenres, variants, etc., I listened to U.S. Songs (Revelation Records, 1996) by mistake (I was looking for some more traditional hardcore acts of their record label) and I couldn't believe the energy and passion displayed by this band. For me, it was like the first time I listened to...Fugazi, I guess? Obviously, their fame was overshadowed by fellow mates Texas Is The Reason and Sense Field, but Elliott deserved to get more attention. And, their later recordings are pretty good too, despite being more akin to alternative rock, for example, False Cathedrals (Revelation Records, 2000) is a must. Finally, click on the image for getting this superb emo jewel, you'd appreciate more the subgenre after hearing this. Trust me, it happened to me. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

The Promise Ring - 30° Everywhere LP and The Horse Latitudes CD compilation!2wpTRQCa!bD6L-RpJSAlUJ8ymrXuNz4v-1QIGCyhK4s7q6KGNIl4

This Milwaukee-based band, probably with the corniest name ever within the hardcore/punk spectrum, is undoubtedly a huge influence for the whole essence of the midwestern emo style. Following the demise of Cap'n Jazz and other cryptic hardcore emo projects such as None Left Standing, The Promise Ring (from now on TPR) was born in 1995. Unlike other more post-hardcore-oriented indie emo bands of their time, TPR started to add more pop influences into their repertory. So, you'll find a more sweeter musical approach with catchy tunes, deep lyrics and a superb clean/desperate vocal style. However, the strange yet involving sound of mid-90s emo was somewhat untouched. If you want to experience the 90s nerd-looking emo kid sterotype (gas station t-shirt, thick rimmed glasses and Chuck Taylor's), this is one of the best examples. But, don't get me wrong, TPR has enough force for pleasing your ears and let your deepest emotions arise (what the fuck did I just write? ha ha). Finally, in the file you'll find their first LP (Jade Tree, 1996) and The Horse Latitudes CD (Jade Tree, 1997), which is a compilation of TPR's early recordings, including their track for the split with Texas Is The Reason, and some comp tracks. Ignore everything else. These are the definitive emo works from this amazing band. Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!

No comments:

Post a Comment