Mixtape: Which Version Of Emo Are We Listening To Today?

Mid-90s emo! Yay!

Oh, mid-90s emo, with your warbly cracked-voice boy singers and your over-earnest lyrics, I still can’t quit you.

If you are of a Certain Age and were sort of a sad panda mid-90s kid, these were your bands. I was actually a sad panda mid-80s kid and didn’t see one of the seminal emo bands, The Get Up Kids, until I was probably 30, at which point I felt utterly aged out of that kind of overwrought sadness, but no matter. The posthardcore/postpunk/mathrock/othermadeupname was still a joy to listen to, to dive into, if only as a distant cultural observer.

This run of emo (as distinct from first-wave emo which was…oh, either you already know or you don’t care) managed to last until something else called emo took over, and those guys wore more eyeliner and these emo guys hate them.

While acts like Fall Out Boy pay tribute to Get Up Kids, the feeling isn’t mutual. “If a band gets huge and they say we inspired them – great,” Suptic said. “The problem is most of them aren’t very good. What does that say about us? I don’t know. Maybe we sucked.”

Aren’t music nerd fights adorbs?

For serious, though, these are 20 songs that I still love, and still listen to with no shame whatsoever. You probably should too.

[Sorry, Rdio listeners. Rdio doesn’t have Jawbreaker’s “Boxcar” so you only get 19 songs. Some people would argue Jawbreaker doesn’t belong on this list anyway, so maybe you’re better off for it.]

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