Emo – A Real Genre?

II’m not one for criticizing other people’s musical tastes/genres, but I seriously don’t think there’s a genre of music called “emo”. For the past few years now, there’s been this uproar evolution of punk music, known only as “emo”, which is stupid when you think about it. Personally, I’ve always thought that the bands don’t make themselves this label of “emo”. I’ve always thought that it’s the fans of those bands that give them that persona.

I read on Ultimate-Guitar.com once that Gerard Way refuses to allow his band to be known as an emo group, which is fair enough. It’s not his fault, after all. I read another article in Kerrang! ages ago about a girl who claimed that “MCR Saved My Life“. That’s a prime example of what I’m talking on about. How can a band save your life? It’s not like they ran into a burning building to save her… Anyway, I’m losing track of my point.

A band is never really emo, are they? Sure, they can be depressed/depressing, but so was Kurt Cobbain, he wasn’t classed as emo and never will be classed as emo. He will always be classed by many (but not by me personally) as a rock god who dressed and acted like an everyday American citizen.

Now you may say “What about the music?“. If you listen to “emo” bands and compare them to a punk band, the structure and musicianship are essentially the same. Power chord rock, fast agressive guitar solos, hard-hitting 4/4 drum beats… Where’s the difference? What they’re singing about? Maybe. An “emo” band sings about hating themselves and the people around them, punks bang on about hating the establishment and wanting to destroy various things (I’m sterotyping, I know, but these are just examples). Essentially, both are about hating things, both are negative… There’s a pattern forming here.

Tokio Hotel, often called an Emo band

Anyway, onto another thing; Dress. I like some of the dress sense that comes with “Emo” (I wear black a hell of a lot and swear by Converse – I’ll never proudly wear guy-liner though), but how can your dress sense be set into a class of fashion that ultimatly decides your taste in music? Is it because your favourite band dresses like that or because you want to make a statement? Probaby both…

With punk, most people dressed the way that they did because they wanted to rebel and make a statement with it. Others just did it because they thought Johnny Rotten (or whoever) was a God, and thought that following his beliefs was the way forward. With emo, they dress like they do mostly because they want to copy the band they love so much (these bands have no real stature or oppinions that the fans follow – they just want to be copied – big difference) but when they do it, they emphasise one little thing called ’emotions’, most of which include them crying in a corner somewhere, usually over the most trivial things. This really reflects onto the band (or bands) that they’re following. They may love the band, but they’re killing their reputation without even knowing it.

So, I will ask again, do you still think there’s a viable reason for creating a new style of music for something that is just Punk but… dressed up? Sure, you may think that MCR or whoever you happen to worship deserve a whole catagory to themselves just because they’re gods in your eyes, but they already have a catagory, and it’s called pop-punk.

That’s all the emo is. Dressed up punk, or (as I said) pop-punk for short. I know that an article like this one isn’t going to really effect the minds of the masses a great deal, but I just want people to take heade of the fact that emo isn’t (and should never be) a style of music. It will only ever be the dress sense that a group of fans have adopted – nothing more.