It's safe to say emo music today is barely a shadow of what it once was. Nobody today thinks about the DIY hardcore punk element that the genre was founded on. Now when you hear emo you think Hot Topic, you think whiny pre-teens, and you think terrible sellout radio tunes. Most people either hate or love the genre of emo based on the era they grew up in. Lovers of the first wave generally hate the 1990's second wave, listeners from the 90's generally hate the 2000's era, and people who grew up through the 3rd wave now realize what crappy music they were listening too. Whether you love it or hate it, you might as well laugh at it. Here is our list of the top 10 Worst Emo Bands of All time.
10. La Dispute
I know, I know… Wildlife was good, but have you ever seen Jordan Dreyer perform “Such Small Hands” live? I didn't think anybody that emotional could move around that much for any reason. This is by the most over dramatic and theatrical band I've ever seen. I like my emo told from a first person perspective, not novels with extremely overwrought imagery that gets nauseating by the third song.
9. Fall Out Boy
Once upon a time in middle school, I thoroughly enjoyed what Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump were writing. Back in the days where the single “Sugar We're Going Down” was the best song played on MTV, every track off Take This To Your Grave was great, and being on Warped Tour wasn't such a death blow to an underground emo band's credibility. It's debatable if those days ever existed, but at the age of 12 it sure felt like it. Basically it kills me to put this band up here, but let's face it, Fall Out Boy are a textbook example of an emo sellout.
8. Saves the Day
The only '90s emo band on the list, Saves The Day have definitely overstayed their welcome. Through Being Cool was a great album, and taking the name from emo legend Jawbreaker was a good move, but going through around 20 different members while only keeping Chris Conley as a standing member of the band is a bit much. Why put out eight albums when the first three said everything that could be said. There is a reason the best emo bands of the '90s broke up in their prime.
7. My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance was able to cross their early dark aesthetic over to a more conceptual pop career, for that I salute them. However, they recently broke up and most likely their future projects will stay in the shadow of what My Chemical Romance was. Frontman Gerard Way was once quoted calling emo bullshit and that the band was far from it. But then again, there is nothing really more emo than hating the term used to describe it.
6. A Thorn For Every Heart
Chino Hills has never really marked its name in music, or anything else really, and A Thorn For Every Heart never really helped. The name of the band really speaks to what this band is, terrible melodramatic wussy boy music sold to pre-teen girls.
5. Simple Plan
Definitely the cheesiest band on the list, Simple Plan was written for not even high school listeners, but middle school listeners. The gems that this band released on their terribly titled album No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls were actually popular at the time. Even with a song about an alien, this tasteless album–basically a rip-off of Blink-182's Take Off Your Pants And Jacket–that album went double platinum.
4. From First to Last
Skrillex's first introduction to the music industry wasn't through electronic music, but not surprisingly it was through another terrible outlet. Aside from you're sister who's a sucker for acoustic music, even the band's biggest fans can't name even one other song From First to Last ever put out.
Probably the closest emo has to The Misfits, Aiden is a theatrical, over-the-top, horror influenced band that never really found an audience bigger than living in the shadows of My Chemical Romance or Avenged Sevenfold fans. Named after the movie The Ring the band follows the same trajectory, starting with a terrible concept and following through more like the Scary Movie 3 version, a complete joke.
2. Panic! At the Disco
After making two really crappy albums that somehow made their way to pop music stations, the band just about fell apart. Probably the most radio-friendly emo band in the history of the genre, there really couldn't be anything further from where emo started. Panic At the Disco was never very emotional to begin with, they just mooched off the Fall Out Boy fame trail only with better marketing and worse music.
1. Hawthorne Heights
Who could forget the most memorable line of this bands career: "Cut my wrists and black my eyes” this is the epitome of what's wrong with emo. Self harm for the sake of being sad, but flaunting it in a way that boasts about a serious issue. What were they thinking? Recently the band has been back to playing Warped Tour and never extending passed the success they've reached in 2004.
Top 10 Emo Bands of the '90s