A few years ago emos went out of fashion, but if you still remember that boom of long bangs, black and white squares and the false popular belief of a suicidal generation, we will explain in great detail what that vogue consisted of and why has gone into decline.
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What are the emos
The emos have been popularly related to a certain aesthetic, but we will discover that it is (or was) much more than the fashion of wearing long bangs . In the first place, we can establish two very different currents: the emo movement based on aesthetics and the musical genre derived from hardcore and punk.
What clothes do they wear?
First, we analyze the purely aesthetic concept, the one that is related to a way of dressing and that had the most impact on popular culture. This fashion was also known as scene and was based on these characteristic features: 1. Long bangs
This is, perhaps, the most distinctive feature of the emo aesthetic. Who does not remember those impossible bangs several centimeters long?
Some were authentic works of engineering and required tons of hairspray to stay in place. Colored wicks were also accepted.
One of the first names associated with the emo aesthetic, albeit a long way from what I ended up being, was Justin Pearson ., the vocalist of groups like Retox or Dead Cross. 2. Squares
There was also a certain obsession with accessories and clothing with squares, usually in white, black and pink. 3. Vans
If there is a clothing brand, and especially sneakers, that has accompanied the emo aesthetic throughout its brief history, it has been Vans. Low -top sneakers with a double sole (and especially those with black and white squares) are already a classic. 4. Tight clothing
Let’s not forget that the emo aesthetic has a certain parallelism with punk cultureor hardcore punk music. Therefore, it incorporates aesthetic elements such as skinny or cigarette pants and tight t-shirts (usually band merchandising).
This cultural movement was also related to a certain self-destructive attitude and a pessimistic view of life. Suicide and depression was a recurring theme in certain areas or in some bands, although there are very few cases of self-harm or suicide. In this case, popular belief exceeded reality.
What music do they listen to?
At this point we must emphasize that the musical genre that we describe below does not have to be related to the aesthetic current, although there is an association in the opposite case.
Emo music is characterized by a strong emotional component . Originally, it takes advantage of the same formulas of hardcore punk, but mixes them with a slower and more melodic sound. To achieve greater emotionality in the songs, they use sudden changes of rhythm, high-pitched screams (in some cases) and instrumental crescendos. We can differentiate three phases of emo music. 1. First phase
In the mid-1980s a countercultural movement began to emerge in Washington DCknown as emo-core, an abbreviation for “emotive hardcore”. This movement tried to redirect all the rage and energy of punkhardcore music towards darker and more introverted themes. Although bands like Fugazi or Minor Threat are the precedent of the genre, they have not wanted to be labeled as such. 2. Second phase
Well into the 90’s, emo music began to differentiate itself from the rest. Under the “Do It Yourself” philosophy and the influence of hardcore punk, bands like Mineral or Sunny Day Real Estate emerged, more leisurely and melodic . At the end of the same decade, the movement ceased to be underground to become a worldwide phenomenon. 3. Third phase
Well into the turn of the century, it was no longer known for sure what the term emo corresponded to. Many attributed it to the aesthetics that we have described before, although musically many bands with the most diverse influences (punk, metal or even pop) were labeled emo. Some of the most important are American Football, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday or Into It. Over It. Decadence of emo
However, other more commercial groups such as My Chemical Romance were related to the musical genre. It should be noted that the meaning and label of emo have been diluted over time , and perhaps it is this lack of a common identity that has caused the decline of this urban tribe.
Nowadays, it is very rare to see people on the street who wear an emo aesthetic, and that is that fads come and go. What remains is the large number of bands that emerged from that time and, fortunately, are still active. Whatever emo is, something good came out of it.
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