Wednesday, 12 November 2014

I'll See You When We're Both Not So Emotional - The Classics: Part 1.

The Classics
  • American Football
  • Braid
  • Cap'n Jazz
  • The Get Up Kids
  • Jimmy Eat World 

Recommended Albums
Luckily for us, this section is chock-a-block with top albums that have stood the test of time. By this stage of emo's development, the genre had begun to mature and diversify, developing a closer relationship to the cult fan base it had acquired during the early part of the 1990's.

American Football - American Football (1999)

Formed in 1997, split-up in 2000. American Football's career may have been short-lived but their impact was lasting and their influence undeniable. Alongside bands like Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate, a lot of modern emo acts have gone on to take a lot of influence from this monolithic album. I especially love this album for its youthfulness and Steve Lamos' incredibly melancholic use of the trumpet on tracks like "Summer Ends". Mike Kinsella (formerly of Cap'n Jazz), the bands lead vocalist and guitarist, has since gone on to establish himself as a solo artist with his band Owen.

Braid - Frame & Canvas (1998)

This album was released to critical acclaim and is considered a staple of the late 90's emo movement and rightly so. Although this album may lack the youthful energy of their previous album, this one more than makes up for it in its technical melodies which linger in the mind long after the record has run its course. Unfortunately, stresses over money and differences in opinion over which direction the band should take eventually led to their first break-up in 1999, only one year after the success of this album. I'd recommend listening to The Age of Octeen too.

Cap'n Jazz - Burritos, Inspiration Point, Fork Balloon Sports, Cards In The Spokes, Automatic Biographies, Kites, Kung Fu, Trophies, Banana Peels We've Slipped On and Egg Shells We've Tippy Toed Over (1994)

 Cap'n Jazz were such a talented band. Their energy is unrivaled and they have this charming youthfulness about their music which is, at times, abrasive - as shown on the very first song with its chaotic structure and agonised screamed vocals. If you hated school and the people around you when you were growing up, then this is probably the perfect record for you. It harks back to the days of gym class, secretly smoking and not giving a shit. This album is so full of emotion, it's difficult not to get wrapped up in it. Within the space of a 3-minute song, you'll feel every bit of frustration they're feeling, every ounce of discontent but, most of all, you'll be intoxicated by the exuberance and passion of the album.

The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About (1999)

Their debut, entitled Four Minute Mile, is actually my preferred choice of the two albums but this is their most well known effort and that's why I have chosen it. The first album had a DIY punk feel to it and is probably the less experimental album of the two. This album features keyboards, for example, and whilst that alienated a section of their fan base, it opened up the door to new fans. The essential features of their style are the same on both albums but the keyboards add an extra dimension to the shape of their music and the production is much more refined. Personally, I enjoy the gritty production of the debut but this makes they catchy pop punk hooks far more accessible.

Jimmy Eat World - Clarity (1999)

Jimmy Eat World begins and ends here, folks. The rest of their discography unfortunately fails to live up to the foundations that this album laid down. This album, with its dynamic instrumentation, is what drew critical and cult success for the band. It's also the album which would go on to have such a massive impact and influence within the emo genre for years to come. The strongest feature of this album is definitely Jim Adkins heartfelt approach as he provides by vocals and guitars. This album has a real mix of things to keep the listener happy. From ballads to orchestras, from fantastic hooks to the excellent drum work. A staple for any emo fans diet. 

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