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Who Are The Big 4 Of Emo Rock?

Who Are The Big 4 Of Emo Rock?

Emo music is generally seen as having started in the 1990s. The genre is stereotyped by dark clothing, crazy hair, and depressed lyrics. However, there is a lot more to it than that. This genre includes some of the greatest examples of criminally underrated artists in music history! Many groups broke out as emo and reached massive success worldwide. Today I wanted to look at the four big emo metal/hard rock bands that had massive success across the globe.

The rules for this list are simple. If the band had massive success under the genre, and consistently could fall under the label, they generally will be counted. They need to have some heaviness as well. If their biggest hits are more pop than punk or metal, then I can’t consider them emo. For example, many would include Panic! at the Disco. I can’t, as their biggest hit is “High Hopes”, a pop song. Even if you wanted to look at their other best-known song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”‘ it’s not really too heavy. They are more of a pop band, especially lately. For me, they didn’t have enough consistent rock or metal music, and many would say only their early work can be considered emo, notably their debut. Some bands that may see as emo but are more punk such as Green Day are also excluded.

My Chemical Romance

We had to include them. They had back-to-back massive albums, with critical acclaim. While they don’t identify as emo, their fan base and visual styles can fit the description. The lyrical content also makes it in. Their song “Welcome to the Black Parade” is even considered by many, even by some as a joke, as the emo national anthem. Their brilliant performances, catchy writing, and musicianship have caused many mainstream listeners to love them as well. This is without a doubt one of the best bands of the 2000s in general! They have albums certified in the United States, Japan, Great Britain, Australia, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. 

Paramore

There had to be a spot for them on this list. They are too successful, consistent, and well-known to not have been excluded. They have some of the most defining rock and punk hits. “Misery Business” is one of the best-selling singles of all time! The band repeatedly released multi-platinum hits, not only in the United States, but also in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Hayley Williams is seen by many as the queen of emo for a reason. She had one of the most well-known voices during the prime years of Paramore, which is still relevant to this day. 

Skillet

Kidding, but not really. Collide and Comatose EASILY fit under emo with the lyrics, themes, content, and appearance. While Awake was uplifting and mainstream rock (with a few emo songs), Rise can also be considered an emo release. The band has consistently had themes of depression, abuse, abandonment, and darker themes, which is unusual for a Christian band. They even LOOKED emo from Collide to Rise. This band, like the others, has also had a ridiculous amount of sales success, and while they have a lot more pop recently, every album still has some bangers to go along with them. 

The Used

Performing with My Chemical Romance helps. So does selling over 10 million units. At the very least they should be considered at least a gateway band even to their harshest critics. Their appearance changes drastically as well, but also can be seen, at least for a time as “blatantly emo”. While they are the least successful of these bands in sales, their influence can not be denied. They were also the first on the list to break out, thus helping to widen the market for the others.

Article Written By John Ward.

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