In every corner of the punk niche media, you can find a new list about emo revival. After watching bands sarcastically posting lists from sites like Buzzfeed and Stereogum claiming they are “must hear” bands of a new emo emergence you might feel a bit lost. Not only are some of the bands on these lists not still together, but they experienced full careers and have virtually been forgotten. Even NPR did a piece about the resurgence.
I know, Fall Out Boy getting back together and putting out a punk album doesn't mean emo is dead or alive. In fact, the buzz surrounding emo revival might be louder than anything Patrick Stump's annoying vocals could generate. It's true there has been a new flocking toward 1990's era emo in the punk scene with the help of sites like Tumblr. However, there is a problem with the emo revival, the bands that are credited with starting it have all broken up.
10. Street Smart Cyclist
The forgotten founders of the emo revival are more notably associated with the members further groups. After splitting up, the band formed two different, but legendary bands. (Our #3 and #1) If there was a band to kick-off the emo revival It would be Street Smart Cyclist. Now completely out of print, the 7inch releases the band put out can go for around $50 on eBay. As one of the favorites in the genre, this band often gets lumped together and their songs confused with members later projects. However, they stand alone and credited for the Tumblr-based emo erection that the blogs won't stop talking about.
9. My Heart to Joy
My Heart to Joy not only pushed emo in the days before this Internet emo revival, but helped coin the term “Twinkle Daddies.” After their last show this band grew apart in different directions including one of the biggest bands associated with emo-revival, but not often cited in these Internet lists, The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. The atmospheric resonance from My Heart To Joy can be heard in a completely new form, but it's just not the same.
8. William Bonney
As one of latest victims of the emo revival's blinding glare, William Bonney went on a tour, reissued it's only release, and called it quits. One of the band's last shows included the Che Cafe, A DIY cafe on the UCSD campus that is known for it's screamo roots. Not only did William Bonney have members of bands to be shown later on this list, but are known for one of the saddest break-ups of today's emo revival.
7. Brave Little Abacus
Very much an experimental and stranger twinkle sound than what the average emo fan is used to, The Brave Little Abacus doesn't necessarily receive the praise it deserves, but they definitely need to be brought up in a conversation about emo bands that are broken up. One of the strongest emo EP releases with Okumay the band focused their messy sound to it's full potential in three songs.
6. Midwest Pen Pals / Merchant Ships
Midwest Pen Pals and Merchant Ships are lumped together on this list because they are basically the same band. One plays emo music with only occasional screaming, the other plays screamo music with some occasional talking, but they both are remembered as the band where Nick Stutsman and Jack Senff played together. Stutsman currently plays in Park Jefferson when he's not being an asshole online. Jack Senff went on to form and earlier band from our list William Bonney, but is now in a new emo band called North Folk. Although these bands didn't last long and there were some shady online merch dealings that helped cause the infamous Stutsman and Senff break-up, all further projects from these musicians have been exceptional.
Spraynard falls more onto pop-punk and even resides in the “posi” relm a bit, but when they ended in the most emo of ways. The band broke-up due to members no longer being able to stand one another. It wasn't commitments or life that got in the way, It was the emotions that killed Spraynard. Although they post jokes on Facebook taunting fans of a reunion, Spraynard is not getting back together.
4. Grown Ups
Topshelf Records has put a number of key emo records and has a roster currently of pretty much every important band that is associated with the emo revival. Grown Ups full length went out on Topshelf, and blew up just in time for the band to call it quits. Now the band has formed two separate non-emo projects Scoundrel and Lifted Bells.
3. Hightide Hotel
After releasing a Facebook break-up post, Hightide Hotel announced one last final album. Although this album has taken over a year and the band has only played 1 or 2 shows, they might be technically together till the album drops. Whether the album ever really comes out or not is a serious question. The last update was a one year anniversary post saying it's off to mastering. That was three months ago.
Algernon Cadwallader fell through the same pitfall of all bad band breakups. After being around for a few albums, some members had to leave the emo lifestyle and join the real world. Most notably Algernon Cadwallader blended basically completely irrelevant and incomprehensible lyrics to the most twinkly music imaginable. Even though most of their songs meant nothing, somehow they made you feel a little better.
September 11th holds a different tragic meaning for fans of this emo band. After the break-up of Street Smart Cyclist frontman John Galm picked up the bass guitar and recorded the ever popular Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit EP. Their short lived career ended suddenly and left fans buying up their vinyl at an unheard of rate in the DIY emo community. The sixth pressing of their only album I Could Do Whatever I Wanted, If I Wanted is now underway. John Galm has moved away from emo, and now fronts a garage rock band called Slow Warm Death.