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Posted on Jun 19, 2015

35 Bands All Old School Emo Kids Love

Do you know who you are?

1. Sunny Day Real Estate

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From: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1992–1995, 1997–2001, 2009–2013

Essential Listening: Diary (1994)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo about the roots of emo.

2. The Promise Ring

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From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Years Active: 1995–2002, 2005, 2011–2012

Essential Listening: Nothing Feels Good (1997)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo, but not super bummed out about it. In fact, you're so stoked you're feeling so emo that you have a little spring in your step. You're kind of annoying when you're like that.

3. The Get Up Kids

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From: Kansas City, Missouri

Years Active: 1995–2005, 2008–present

Essential Listening: Something To Write Home About (1999)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling super emo about a really embarrassing moment at summer camp.

4. Braid

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From: Champaign, Illinois

Years Active: 1993–1999, 2004, 2011–present

Essential Listening: Frame and Canvas (1998)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo about mainstream pop's simple lyrics and basic-ass time signatures. Braid offers so much more than that.

5. Texas Is The Reason

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From: New York, NY

Years Active: 1994–1997, 2006, 2012–2013

Essential Listening: Do You Know Who You Are? (1996)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling especially emo about being sad about a breakup but really supportive of your ex. It's all so confusing.

6. Boys Life

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From: Kansas City, Missouri

Years Active: 1993–1997

Essential Listening: Departures and Landfalls (1996)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling sick of your friends and just want to get really emo in a barn somewhere in Missouri.

7. American Football

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From: Urbana, Illinois

Years Active: 1997–2000, 2014–present

Essential Listening: American Football (1999)

Emo Mood: When you play trumpet in marching band but dream of playing in an emo band. Here, here is an emo band with a trumpet in it.

8. Cap'n Jazz

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From: Chicago, IL

Years Active: 1989–1995, 2010

Essential Listening: Analphabetapolothology (1994/1998)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo after listening to The Promise Ring, Owls, Joan of Arc and American Football and want to get super emo about the first band all those guys were in.

9. Mineral

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From: Austin, Texas

Years Active: 1994–1997, 2014–present

Essential Listening: EndSerenading

Emo Mood: When you're driving home after hanging out with your crush, and you're feeling emo about not asking your crush out. So you look to the stars and wonder if anyone could ever feel as emo as you do in that moment.

10. Jawbreaker

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From: New York, NY

Years Active: 1986–1996

Essential Listening: 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (1994)

Emo Mood: When you're considering getting a Black Flag tattoo so you don't look so emo all the time. The song "Fireman" specifically is perfect for you if reading Fahrenheit 451 makes you feel emo for some reason.

11. At The Drive-In

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From: El Paso, Texas

Years Active: 1993–2001, 2011–2012 (If you're wondering, a lot of these bands that broke up over a decade ago had a recently active stint where they reformed for profitable reunion tours. Your nostalgia makes them lots of money, just like your tears used to.)

Essential Listening: Relationship of Command (2000)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo about one of your favorite bands breaking up right when they hit their peak, and it makes you want to punch your friend in the face.

12. Owls

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From: Chicago, Illinois

Years Active: 2001–2002, 2012–present

Essential Listening: Owls (2001)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo that Cap'n Jazz broke up, but then remembered that Owls is basically all the same dudes in another sweet band.

13. The Appleseed Cast

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From: Lawrence, Kansas

Years Active: 1997–present

Essential Listening: Two Conversations (2003)

Emo Mood: Man, you don't even want to know how emo you have to be feeling to listen to The Appleseed Cast. They're just so damn emo.

14. Desaparecidos

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From: Omaha, Nebraska

Years Active: 2001–2002, 2010, 2012–present

Essential Listening: Read Music/Speak Spanish (2005)

Emo Mood: When all this corporate greed just makes you feel so emo that you want to write an angry letter to your local state representative about it.

Also, you reach peak emo when the singer from Bright Eyes yells in a rock band.

15. Saves The Day

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From: Princeton, New Jersey

Years Active: 1994–present

Essential Listening: Through Being Cool (1999) AND Stay What You Are (2001)

Emo Mood: For Through Being Cool, it's when you're feeling emo about your latest breakup, but you remember you have great friends so it's all good.

For Stay What You Are, it's feeling emo about the fact that pop-punk just doesn't do it for you like it used to.

16. The Anniversary

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From: Lawrence, Kansas

Years Active: 1997 – 2004

Essential Listening: Designing a Nervous Breakdown (2000)

Emo Mood: When you're so emo that you're willing to chase your bae all around the Midwest so you can work things out.

17. Reggie And The Full Effect

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From: Kansas City, Missouri

Years Active: 1998–2008, 2010, 2013–present

Essential Listening: Songs Not to Get Married To (2005)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo about the current state of electronic music, because you just can't relate.

18. Jets To Brazil

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From:Brooklyn, New York

Years Active: 1997–2003

Essential Listening: Orange Rhyming Dictionary (1998)

Emo Mood: When you just went through the WORST breakup, and you just need an emo song to listen to while you lie on your bed and sob.

19. Christie Front Drive

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From: Denver, Colorado

Years Active: 1993–1997, 2007, 2014

Essential Listening: Christie Front Drive aka Stereo (1996)

Emo Mood: When you're so emo that you can only express yourself through mumbling incoherently.

20. Coheed And Cambria

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From: Nyack, New York

Years Active: 1995–present

Essential Listening: The Second Stage Turbine Blade (2002)

Emo Mood: When your friend starts playing newer Coheed and you're feeling emo enough to mention that they used to be an emo band before they started starring in their own extremely long, live-action game of Dungeons & Dragons

21. Death Cab For Cutie

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From: Bellingham, Washington

Years Active: 1997–present

Essential Listening: We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes (2000)

Emo Mood: When you're halfway through watching 500 Days of Summer and you get that really emo feeling.

22. Rainer Maria

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From: Madison, WI

Years Active: 1995–2006, 2014-present

Essential Listening: Past Worn Searching (1997)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo about the fact that you went to state college (because it was affordable) instead of art school (so you could really follow your passion).

23. Piebald

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From: Andover, Massachusetts

Years Active: 1994–2008, 2010

Essential Listening: We Are the Only Friends We Have (2002)

Emo Mood: When you imagine how sweet it would be to be the frontman of an emo band but then remember you're not. This realization makes you very emo.

24. The Rocking Horse Winner

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From: Lake Worth, Florida

Years Active: 2001–2004

Essential Listening: State of Feeling Concentration (2000)

Emo Mood: When you wish you were in charge of the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack, because its glaring omissions make you feel pretty emo.

25. Weezer (Pinkerton Only)

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From: Los Angeles, California

Years Active: 1992–1996 (For our purposes, anyway.)

Essential Listening: Pinkerton (1996)

Emo Mood: When you're in college and you have a crush on one of your classmates, and it makes you feel emo. Because that's your default emotion at this point.

26. Cursive

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From: Omaha, Nebraska,

Years Active: 1995–1998, 1999–present

Essential Listening: Domestica (2000)

Emo Mood: When you're so emo that you start scaring people.

27. Rites of Spring

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From: Washington, D.C.

Years Active: Washington, D.C.

Essential Listening: Rites of Spring (1985)

Emo Mood: When someone mentions that Dashboard Confessional was the first emo band, but you know it was actually Rites of Spring. You would correct them, but you're too emo, so you look at the floor and sulk.

28. Jimmy Eat World

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From: Mesa, Arizona

Years Active: 1993–present

Essential Listening: Bleed American (2001)

Emo Mood: When you're singing karaoke and you want to sing an emo song, but you also want the audience to sing along. There's like only one emo band that regular people know about, so you request one Jimmy Eat World, please.

29. The Juliana Theory

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From: Greensburg and Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Years Active: 1997–2006, 2010

Essential Listening: Emotion Is Dead (2000)

Emo Mood: When the captain of the football team, who is way better looking than you by the way, starts an emo band that is way better than yours.

30. The Dismemberment Plan

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From: Washington D.C

Years Active: 1993–2003, 2007, 2010-present

Essential Listening: Emergency & I (1999)

Emo Mood: When you're feeling emo, but also kind of weird.

31. Maritime

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From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Years Active: 2003–present

Essential Listening: We, the Vehicles (2006)

Emo Mood: When you're emo about The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan breaking up, but then remembering that they formed Maritime a few years later. This doesn't actually make you feel emo, so it's very confusing on an emotional level.

32. Hot Rod Circuit

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From: Auburn, Alabama

Years Active: 1997–2007, 2011, 2014-present

Essential Listening: Sorry About Tomorrow (2002)

Emo Mood: When high school's really got you feeling especially emo. Like, what's with all of these lunchroom politics, am I right?

33. Hey Mercedes

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From: Milwaukee/Chicago

Years Active: 1999–2005

Essential Listening: Everynight Fire Works (2001)

Emo Mood: When you realize you're getting older, and not even $20 from grandma for your birthday can take you out of your emo funk. At least the guys from Braid went on to start Hey Mercedes, so not all is lost.

34. Brand New

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From: Levittown, Long Island

Years Active: 2000–present

Essential Listening: Déjà Entendu (2003)

Emo Mood: When you're emo about kids these days not knowing what ~real~ emo is, but you have to admit that you actually really like one of their bands. Like a lot.

35. Dashboard Confessional

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From: Boca Raton, Florida

Years Active: 1999-2010, 2015 - Present

Essential Listening: The Swiss Army Romance 2000

Emo Mood: When you're pissed that Chris Carrabba and his whiny little voice and acoustic guitar signaled an end to the era of emo you loved. DASHBOARD RUINED EVERYTHING. UGH, this makes you so emo. You know what you're going to do? You're going to lock yourself in your room, listen to "Screaming Infidelities" on full blast, and cry. Cry for days.

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