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Turn-of-the-Century Emo

by Dan Weiss

Turn-of-the-Century Emo

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Whether you loved it or hated it, for a few years there, emo (or screamo or pop punk) was alternative rock as far as the mainstream was concerned. Some bands hewed close to its post-hardcore origins, as seen on The Used's jagged "Box Full of Sharp Objects" and Taking Back Sunday's sour-candy "Cute Without the 'E' (Cut from the Team)," and some became major pop hitmakers (see Jimmy Eat World's affirmation anthem "The Middle"). Others, like The Starting Line ("Make Yourself at Home") and Dashboard Confessional ("Screaming Infidelities"), made lyrics into uncomfortable diaries, while bands like Midtown reminded people this stuff came from punk: "God I wish I could hate you for the rest of my life."

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