Saturday, January 27, 2018

"Make Emo Great Again": Your unofficial guide to 80s and 90s american emocore. Final part: Compilations


Source: Poetry Foundation (

Coucou, les! Happy New Year hahaha. I was supposed to publish this entry early this month but, you know, shit happens and I couldn't make it. But you already know how this works: even though I'm absent during long periods of time, I come back with quality content (or at least I try to haha). Anyways, we final-fuckin'-lly close this interesting chapter of american emo's history and evolution. Surprisingly, it was such a success. I never thought this could have reached a greater audience, so once again, thank you les! for doing this possible. So, regarding this entry, I'll post some of the most relevant 90s american emo compilations, containing almost all the previously featured bands throughout this special post. In fact, this entry could have been the only entry. This is something I'm going to do with the next special post about 80s swedish hardcore punk that will be published next week. Note that I'll also try to being as brief as possible but I'll give you the most relevant information about them. Lastly, I'm still ripping some of the colombian hardcore punk records featured in our best picks of 2017, so give me a little more time for doing so. There are also some 2017 forgotten surprises, so stay tuned. With all that written, let's begin.  

Ghost Dance (Slave Cut, 1994) 


Featured bands: Indian Summer, From Ashes Of..., Third Rail Rhyme, Embassy, Cap'n Jazz and Braid.

When I was getting more involved within the world of hardcore punk, I knew this compilation that also introduced to the "real emo" spectrum. Indeed, all my misconceptions about the subgenre were cleared with this kind of bands. So, most of the bands were related to straight emo style, except for Braid and Cap'n Jazz that were more indie rock-oriented. Finally, give it a try. The bands that weren't featured in this special post aren't well known and shouldn't be missed out either. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

A Food Not Bombs Benefit LP (*inchworm, 1994) 

Featured bands: Ten Boy Summer, Franklin, Swing Kids, Campaign, Indian Summer, Starkweather, Fingreprint (France), Braille, Half Man, Premonition, Railhed and Current. 

Unlike popular belief, emo-related bands were as political active as other hardcore punk bands of the time. Very active. So, as the name of the compilation suggests, all proceeds were given to Food Not Bombs, a program focused on fighting poverty and hunger (two capitalist diseases) with vegan (or vegetarian) meals for free to everyone. I'm not sure if it's still available around the world today, at least in some countries. Finally, get this record. Not only you'll find some exquisite 90s straight emo and metalcore bands but also you'll find interesting information about this movement and vegan activism in the inserts and layouts of the record that are still relevant today. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

All The President's Men LP (Old Glory, 1994)


Featured bands: Assfactor 4, Maximillian Colby, Julia, Policy Of Three, Hoover, Ordination Of Aaron, Hose Got Cable, Acme (Germany), Fingerprint (France) and Shotmaker (Canada). (This compilation was already featured here when we wrote in spanish. If you want to read the original entry, click here). 

A pretty outstanding compilation that basically reunites some of the best straight emo subset bands in the 90s. Note that both Acme and Hose Got Cable styles don't fit necessarily into the emo category since, as you may know, the first one plays metalcore à la Northcore (we already made a special post about this trend) and the second is more related to post punk. Also, their songs are untitled for this compilation but eventually got named in their discographies (Repress and Proof Without Mark, respectively). Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Inspirit - A Compilation Benefiting Victims Of Sexual Violence... (Ancestry/Static Records, 1995)


Featured bands: Coleman, Elements Of Need, Amber Inn and The Fisticuffs Bluff. 

Sexual violence is a problem within our society since long time ago. Many people have suffered it (especially womyn) and, despite different efforts throughout time, this kind of aggression is still systematically and culturally accepted. So, all the proceeds of this compilation were given to  some victims of sexual violence. I'm not sure if it was to a non-profit organization or a specific group of people. On the other hand, musically speaking, the featured bands are fantastic and related to straight emo style Even though their popularity was overshadowed by other more relevant acts, these ones shouldn't be missed out. They were meant to have an individual writing in the special post, but they couldn't make it. Finally, read the content of the inserts and layouts, it has information still relevant for today's standards. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Eucalyptus (Tree Records, 1995)!rw5CgLqI!-Y--c3ik_71LFMlhXtSVXWvWpK-GVEdiMY1Slk-mao4 


Featured bands: Indian Summer, Current, Allure, Shroomunion, Boilermaker, Julia and Embassy.

Along with Ghost Dance compilation, this one was also for me an introduction to real emo style. It was such an epiphany. Thankfully. I think I shouldn't write more about this record. Highly recommended. Enjoy!   

For Want Of... (X-Mist Records (Germany), 1995)


Featured bands: Christie Front Drive, In/Humanity, Baby Harp Seal (UK), Torches To Rome, Solar Bomb Kit and Kurt (Germany).

I know this compilation since long time ago and I must admit that it's one of the most interesting emo records ever released. It was also for me a proof that emocore wasn't an exclusive american thing (how ignorant and blind I was). Also, the record contains some exclusive tracks, such as Christie Front Drive's After The Parade, which hasn't yet been released in other discography compilations of the band. I find quite interesting the fact that X-Mist released this compilation, since they were more akin to release material from more extreme hardcore bands in the vein of metalcore or powerviolence. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Placebo (Concurrent Records, 1995)


Featured bands: Prevail, Order Of Importance, Reversal Of Man, Inkwell. 

A pretty not so well-known compilation featuring two screamo heavyweights Reversal Of Man and Inkwell (featured in the special post) and two cryptic 90s hardcore acts such as Prevail and Order Of Importance. Both bands please me with their own creative and touching style: Firstly, Prevail has metallic hardcore influences (with a slight emo feel), pretty similar to other hardcore bands of the time such as Struggle and Groundwork. If you can, get their Curtain Call CD (Hanged Hero Records, 1999), which contains their complete discography. And, last but not least, Order Of Importance was an emo band from Tampa, Florida, pretty similar to Don Martin Three and Moonraker styles. Highly recommended. Enjoy!    

We've Lost Beauty LP (File 13 Records, 1995)

Featured bands: Franklin, Cap'N Jazz, Assfactor 4, Shroomunion, Red Forty, Soophie Nun Squad, Thumbnail, Current, Plunger, Julia and Ordination Of Aaron. (This compilation was already featured here when we wrote in spanish. If you want to read the original entry, click here). 

Another impressive compilation dedicated to the memory of Christopher Horne (R.I.P.), a beloved friend and active guy within the american hardcore punk scene in the 90s. That's all I know. Within the artwork, inserts and layouts, you'll find some references to this guy and some good writings of the different featured bands. Also, you'll find mostly straight emo, indie emo and chaotic emo displays and some previously unreleased and exclusive tracks for this record such as Ordination Of Aaron's acoustic track as well as Red Forty and Soophie Nun Squad tracks. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

XXX: Some Ideas Are Poisonous (Ebullition Records, 1995)

Featured bands: Monster X, Via, Well Away, Frail, Trees Without Leaves, Policy Of Three, Prozac Memory, Pogrom, Groundwork, Portraits Of Past, Threadbare, Shatter The Myth (France), Endeavor and None Left Standing. (This compilation was already featured here when we wrote in spanish. If you want to read the original entry, click here). 

Oh yes, another great classic and one of my favorite hardcore punk compilations is here. It was also pretty influential for me. Along with Illiterate and Give Me Back (both of them already featured here in the blog), XXX... is one of the most important compilations released through Ebullition Records. So, this record contains different straight edge hardcore bands that thankfully didn't fell into the different edge clichés of their time such as self-righteous ecofascists or violent skinheads with mandalas. I must admit that these bands were really serious about the personal and political fight behind straight edge movement. Kudos for that. Finally, you'll find some straight emo, metalcore and even grindcore styles. Note that the inclusion of Monster X is uncommon since straight edge and grindcore aren't the best pals. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

In Memory Of Jason LP (Monopoly Records, 1996)


Featured bands: Angel Hair, Pottyface, Clikatat Ikatowi, Rice, GodHeadSilo, Reach Out, Honeywell, Still Life, Evergreen, Driftwood, Crash And Britany, Karp, The Saw and Jackbarber. 

Another compilation dedicated to Jason Jon Fleagane (R.I.P.), founder of Monopoly Records. So, this compilation not only reunites some of Jason's favorite bands but also some interesting emo bands (including both straight and chaotic) and even some cryptic pop punk and experimental rock bands. Finally, note that most of the tracks are exclusive to this record since they're not available elsewhere (at least concerning the non-emo related bands). Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Direction LP (Polyvinyl Record Company, 1996) 

Featured bands: Rainer Maria, Hubcap, Clairmel, Corm, Back Of Dave, Rail, Mary Me, Gainer, Gus, My Foolish Halo, Walker, Tomorrow, Ezra Pound, Braid, Gila Blend, Fracture, Mariner Nine, Prozac Memory, Boilermaker and Orwell.

During the mid-90s, the schism between hardcore emo and indie emo was getting more relevant and evident with the sudden emergence of different bands related to the latter. In fact, it was so popular that nearly overshadowed the more hardcore-driven bands. And, as you may guess, this couldn't have been possible without some record labels such as Polyvinyl, which demonstrates some cryptic indie emo bands of its catalog. There are well known names as well like Braid, Grainer, Boilermaker, Orwell, Prozac Memory and Rainer Maria (one of the most relevant female-fronted bands of this style) but the other ones are a complete mystery for me. If you dig this emo style, this compilation is for you. Highly recommended. Enjoy!     

(Don't Forget To) Breathe (Crank!, 1997)!O1oBTYDL!iJM8NTW8wd_A8UbVKw4snAFR-d9Bdt0gA5d-EKYcQNE   

Featured bands: Fireside, Silver Scooter, The Promise Ring, Grander, Christie Front Drive, Hot Water Music, Vitreous Humor, Prozac Memory, Knapsack, Roadside Monument, Mineral, Seven Storey Mountain, Drive Like Jehu, Uni-V, Boys Life and Ethel Meserve. (This compilation was already featured here when we wrote in spanish. If you want to read the original entry, click here). 

In this special post about american emo, we couldn't discard the loved/hated indie emo subset. We could argue that this compilation is the alpha and omega of that infamous emo style since many important bands (at least the most relevant) are featured in the record. Note that there are some alternate outtakes and previously unreleased tracks. Yes, some of them are already available in different discographies or compilations (for example, Mineral and Hot Water Music) but during many years these songs remained exclusive for this record. Also, some tracks haven't yet an official release, so we'll have to still waiting. Finally, if you're a hardcore kid you probably make love with these songs. Don't deny it. Ha Ha Ha. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Israfel (Ape Records, 1997) 


Featured bands: The Panoply Academy, Architects Of The New Christ Rebellion, Criswell, Harriet The Spy, Thenceforward, Inept, The Weak Link Breaks, Old Hearts Club, Twenty Seven Hours, Serotonin, Eurich, The Judas Iscariot and Reversal Of Man. 

An outsatnding compilation featuring some cryptic and not so well-known screamo and metalcore outfits. Both Eurich and Reversal Of Man had their own writing in the special post, so you'll know now what they're capable of. The other ones are almost a mystery for me (except, of course, the loved and hated The Locust), and I found them quite interesting. Indeed, they're more experimental and bolder compared with other hardcore bands of their time and that's a plus. Besides, it's one of those compilations whose content is unlikely to be reviewed here individually. Or yes...? Maybe? Time will tell. Highly recommended. Enjoy!   
Southeast Hardcore, Fuck Yeah! (Kurt&Jason, Belladonna, Goat Lord and Concurrent, 1997)


Featured bands: Eurich, Palatka, Cavity, Ansojuan, Asshole Parade, The End Of The Century Party and In/Humanity. (This compilation was already featured here when we wrote in spanish. If you want to read the original entry, click here).  

An interesting compilation making allusion to Georgia and Florida hardcore style in the mid-90s. Most of the bands are powerviolence-driven, however, as you may already know, Eurich, Palatka, The End Of The Century Party and In/Humanity are related to emoviolence subset. Indeed, in our special post we wrote about the origin of the term, its musical approach, and the controversy behind it, so there's no need to write more about it in here. You'll also find in the compilation an interesting cover to Agnostic Front's Victim In Pain made by In/Humanity, demonstrating that these bands aren't "lightweights". Pretty cool. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

The Emo Diaries (Chapter One: What's Mine is Yours (1997), Chapter Two: A Million Miles Away (1998) and Chapter Three: The Moment Of Truth (1999), Deep Elm Records). 


Featured bands: Jejune, Planes Mistaken For Stars, The Appleseed Cast, Penfold, Jimmy Eat World, Buford, Pop Unknown, The Jazz June, The Blacktop Cadence, Pohgoh and many others. 

When you're growing up, sometimes, you live some things that you need to forget because you realize they were either corny or irrelevant in your adult life. And, well, The Emo Diaries are finally here. If you thought (Don't Forget To) Breathe compilation was the alpha and omega of indie emo style, that's just an appetizer. The first three chapters of this infamous collection (which have 12 volumes!), IMHO of course, capture the essence of that loved/hated emo style. You'll also find some exclusive and rare tracks, one hit wonders (literally) and other surprises such as female-fronted indie emo bands like Jejune and Pohgoh (that weren't featured in the special post because I have something in mind for this kind of bands in the near future). Finally, download this record. There are some post-hardcore and more experimental bands as well. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Antipodes (Level Plane Records, 2000) 


Featured bands: The Assistant, Neil Perry, Hassan I Sabbah, Jeromes Dream and Usurp Synapse. 

We finally conclude this entry with this interesting record. If someone asks me which is the definitive late-90s/early 00s screamo compilation, I'll undoubtedly recommend this one. Its content is pure gold. Only with viewing the featured bands, you'll automatically know what will be about. It's chaotic and dissonant as screamo offshoot is. Well, the real one. I think I don't need to say more about it. Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!