Lone Star State Emo: A History of Texas Emo Music
My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Pierce the Veil, Fall Out Boy... all these names became staples in the emo scene in the 2000s. But the sound of emo ranges back to the 90s with groups like Jawbreaker & Sunny Day Real Estate. And during that time, Texas has given us some bands & albums that emo fans still blast out today.
The first, but not last, Texas band to be featured on Rolling Stone's 40 Greatest Emo Albums of all time is Mineral. Originally from Houston, then moving to Austin, the band broke out in the 90s, way before emo music became popular. Even though they only put out 2 albums & maybe didn't reach the level of success as others, Mineral was looked at one of first of their kind & they're still widely appreciated today.
At The Drive-In
Yes arguably the band that put the El Paso music scene on the map (and the other Texas band on Rolling Stone's 40 greatest emo albums list), the early days of At the Drive-In can be described as emo. While most people know their 3rd album Relationship of Command, their first two records were amongst the first emo albums of history.
Another band from the 90s was Houston's Fenix TX. While most would consider them a pop punk band, others would throw them in during the emo revival days of the early 2000s, becoming an emo-pop band (something we'll see more on this list). Even today, fans still look back on when they would tour with bands like Good Charlotte & New Found Glory and they still have their fans.
Another band that has nearly been lost to time was Ivoryline from Tyler, Texas. While they were a Christian rock group, fans would classify them as emo-pop as they would go on tour with bands such as The Maine, Silverstein & Dance Gavin Dance. They haven't released anything since 2010 but they're still occasionally brought up when talking about emo bands.
Forever the Sickest Kids
From Dallas, we have Forever the Sickest Kids. If you've seen Vans Warped Tour, this was one of the bands you'd see between 2009-2013. Their last album came out over a decade ago but they've occasionally been on tour with other emo pop punk bands like We the Kings, All Time Low & Anabor.
After the days of At The Drive-In, bassist Jim Ward from El Paso would form a new band called Sparta. The band was fairly successful, even being considered post hardcore/emo legends from the 2000s. And me personally, I definitely agree with that sentiment.
While not DIRECTLY emo, Denton's Flyleaf HAS been loved & accepted by emo fans (according to Reddit). Of all the bands mentioned, Flyleaf is the one that IS still currently active; even reuniting with former lead singer Lacey Sturm in November of 2022. Their self-titled album is still blasted out during emo nights and you can't blame them with songs like "All Around Me" or "I'm So Sick".
Honorable mentions include Texas is the Reason (the band's from New York but that was certainly nice of them to include Texas in their name wasn't it?), & Texas is Forever by Pierce the Veil. And of course many people have mentioned other Texas emo bands on Reddit like Two Knights, Football, Etc.,
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