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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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