herald

Sunday 18 November 2018

Fringe benefits

Emo is just a silly word to describe a silly genre of music, says Chris Wasser

Maybe it was just me, but I could have sworn that the air turned a little colder as soon as the words left his mouth. We were sitting in Whelan’s and a friend of a friend — whom we’d only just met, mind you — decided to comment on my brother’s quirky fashion sense.

His decision to use the word 'emo' was the reason why I suddenly felt a little chill run down my spine. Just because Frank was wearing white jeans, a black blazer, Converse, and has black hair, meant that, ya know, he was obviously an 'emo kid'. Please. I could tell that Frank was not a happy camper. I have also been in his position.

You may ask why we would be bothered by something like this. The answer is simple. Emo is just a silly word to describe an equally silly genre of music. But what the hell does it mean?

For those interested, emo is 'a genre of music that originated from hardcore punk'. Once it spread and broke into the mainstream, it began travelling down a friendlier pop-punk highway, ultimately transforming into the globally powerful monster that it is today. For those interested in the Wasser theory, emo is nothing more than a hokum fashion trend, accentuated by tight jeans, side fringes, ridiculous pouts, and the burning hair strengtheners used by kids who seem to take themselves way too seriously. Every now and then, the music actually plays a big part.

Like when My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy come to the RDS and showcase just how inexplicably popular the genre has become. The latter were supposed to release their new album next week to tie in with the US presidential election, but have decided to hold back, feeling that their decision to do so seemed a little gimmicky. It was. So was having Sarah Palin in your latest video, boys.

Don't get me wrong, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how a good song is a good song, regardless of its genre, and Fall Out Boy can sometimes impress with a killer chorus.

But when chancers like Paramore arrive barely out of school and attempt to take over the world by growing a few fringes of their own, it's just annoying and a simple case of style over substance.

And that, folks, essentially sums up what emo is in musical terms -- style over substance. So, next time you see a fringe hanging over my eyes, don't get any ideas. I just didn't have much time to gel my hair that morning. And I happen to like black jeans and Converse.

Fall Out Boy were to release Folie à Deux next week. It's now out in December. Chris is horribly, horribly disappointed

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