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Written by Oscar Henson
04 Monday 04th September 2017

Much like new rave, the mid-noughties 'emo' explosion was a scene that many people my age were complicit in but few yet feel brave enough to own up to.

Even at the time, it was a scene that almost everybody involved in tried adamantly to disown - and likewise, all of the most definitively emo bands of my generation made it urgently clear at every turn that they wanted absolutely nothing to do with the term. Ultimately, when your sense of self hinges on feelings of alienation and ardent individualism, you’re unlikely to acknowledge your involvement in an international scene of kids who happen to feel – and look and act and dress – exactly the same way you do.

As a result, it’s tricky to pin down exactly who or what ‘emo’ refers to.

The term first appeared in the late 80’s as an abbreviation of ‘emotional hardcore’, referring to the melodic, angsty post-hardcore coming out of Washington DC through bands like Rites Of Spring and Embrace. 



But by the time it reached me and my mates in our early teens - some time around 2005 – things looked very different. The genre’s ‘hardcore’ roots had been well and truly rinsed out in favour of a poppy sound more closely resembling the bubblegum punk of bands like Green Day and Blink 182. Swap out pop-punks skatewear and fart jokes for skinny jeans, eyeliner and bad teenage poetry, and what you’re left with is the basic genetic make up of emo 2.0.  

No institution sums up this second age of emo better than Fuelled By Ramen – the record label single-handedly responsible for bringing us Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, Cute Is What We Aim For and so many other teen angst powerhouses.

As a result, what started life as a list of 10 definitive emo anthems very quickly became a list of hits from the FBR back catalogue.

So here it is: the emo 2.0 starter pack - aka 10 emotional belters from the Fueled By Ramen back catalogue. Apologies for the P!ATD double inclusion but that album really was the bees knees at the time. 


In Ten Tracks: Fuelled By Ramen (aka the best of emo 2.0)


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