I understand how certain people could find the occasionally histrionic falsetto n’ chug of bands like Braid as a bit too far down the “emo” road, past Rites of Spring and Fugazi’s corrective reintegration of personhood into hardcore and unacceptably close to emotianalism or even sentimentalism.
But Braid and the Get-Up Kids don’t tell the whole story on the mid-90s, midwestern emo. There’s also VERY HIGH, almost Louisville-level high points like Boys’ Life and Giant’s Chair and the best Joan of Arc. But I’m sure you’ve already plumbed that terrain…so let’s go deeper, no?
You can fill in some necessary, math-y blanks at disturbingly great rates ($2!!) over at the Polyvinyl Garage Sale. Seriously, they’ve got really cheap vinyl by a whole, wide swath of serious, canonical shite like Kerosene 454 and Radio Flier….that you simply can’t not own if you like Slint or Unwound or Fugazi a lot. I don’t know about you, but that’s still my favorite stuff, all this Jackson Browne and Jayhawks lifestyling notwithstanding. There’s also unrelated but still luscious and plump stuff like Ida, who I never thought I’d come to like, because they have always evoked a kind of ‘indie rock 10,000 Maniacs’ thing with me, be it fairly or unfairly.