When Emo Was Good: The Promise Ring
It was you know. Good that is. Once emo wasn't a dirty word, a disgusting, filthy, badly applied word used to describe bad pop-metal bands. Once it was a rather silly name for a very wide spanning and interesting scene that overlapped with the post-rock scene in America and throughout the world to embrace a number of bands who wanted to make a more cerebral and affecting version of punk rock than the more masculine exponents of the genre were so badly making.
Yes it was a bit silly, a bit self involved and sceneish, but some of the music produced was so stunningly wonderful that I couldn't help but love it. Even today certain records by Braid, Cap'n Jazz, Promise Ring, Spy Versus Spy, Jawbox, Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate are some of my favourite albums of all time, and it's a DAMN shame that the name has been stolen by such an irritating genre; and stolen is has, as there's very little musical or even lyrical connection between the new emo and the old. The new is dumbed down, usually rather sexist and macho in its anti-female stance, and is musically pedestrian. The old was the exact opposite of those things.
Here are a few early songs from The Promise Ring, a band who oroduced four stunning hook+emotion filled albums from 1996 to 2002, the best of which are probably 1997's Nothing Feels Good and Very Emergency. These songs come from the early singles compilation The Horse Latitudes. Enjoy.
The Promise Ring - Watertown Plank
The Promise Ring - A Picture Postcard
The Promise Ring - Saturday
After listening to those you might like to check out my friend Lyle's new blog, jécoutedelamusiquedemerde (if you can speak French of course). As it is, i'm just happy to look at the pretty pictures.
Oh! and finally there's a new episode the Contrast Podcast online, featuring little old me. This week the theme is Song Chain and my song is by The Weakerthans!