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Screamo is the musical genre that refers to a louder and more aggressive offshoot of emo. Developed in San Diego in 1991, it is often characterized by shrieking vocals, disorganized tonal executions and brief songwriting structures. The "second wave" screamo, which began in the early 2000s, adopted a slower, more melodic style. Although it still had the screaming vocals, mainstream alternative rock instrumentation replaced the discordant guitar and bass riffs.
Screamo is a musical genre that evolved from emo, post-punk and hardcore-punk in the early 1990s. Its earliest application was observed in 1991 at Ché Café, a social center located in the San Diego campus of the University of California, by bands predominantly influenced by post-punk and post-hardcore genres like Portraits of Past, Swing Kids,Mohinder and Angel Hair. A screamo group usually consists of a bassist, two guitarists, a drummer as well as a couple of vocalists who have intermittent screaming parts. The genre is divided into two-subgenres: the noisier and more forceful first wave screamo, and the balladic yet thrashy second wave screamo.
What does screamo sound like?First wave screamo is characterized by frantic screaming or shouting in between sung verses, swift transitions from soft to heavy tones, angry and grief-stricken lyrics, and harmonized guitars with fast-paced riffs and melodic progressions. Although verse breaks in first wave screamo songs are often lengthier and more subtle than in other genres, there are still bands that incorporate screaming and stifled screeching during soft parts. First wave screamo is so fast and discordant that music journalist Joseph Heller described it as "grafting spastic intensity to willfully experimental dissonance and dynamics." Well-known first wave screamo artists include Antioch Arrow, Hot Cross, Orchid, Heroin and Saetia.
Apart from adopting a softer musical approach than its earlier counterpart, second wave screamo made use of calculated songwriting techniques which borrowed heavily from mainstream rock. While popular second wave screamo bands like Thursday, Silverstein and Underoath considered post-punk and post-hardcore as significant influences, they also regarded alternative rock icons like The Cure, U2 and Radiohead as constructive musical inspirations. Second wave screamo normally assimilates dual guitar instrumentation without any room for guitar solos. The vocals still have the signature screaming and shouting yet poetic lines take the place of angry and mournful lyrics.
Screamo Music Record LabelsRecord labels that are commonly associated with the screamo music genre consist of Gravity Records, whose hot items include works by Heroin, Mohinder and Antioch Arrow; Eyeball Records, which carry works by Thursday; Solid State Records, Ebullition Records and Equal Vision Records, which have released chart-toppers from Underoath, Orchid and Hot Cross respectively.
Popular Screamo Artists