Indie Rock vs. Emo Core

Fans and even the bands themselves are divided over what this underground type of innovative rock music should be labeled. The terms indie rock and emo core have both been used almost interchangeably to identify this style of music. The term indie rock, however, is commonly used to describe the broad category of non-mainstream rock music, which encompasses many different styles. The word indie is actually short for independent, and is used because the bands are typically not on major record labels. Rather, they are on independent ones or not signed at all.

Emo, or emo core, stems from hardcore punk, according to numerous sources such as the All Music Guide,, numerous band interviews and fans in general. The word emo is actually just short for emotion.

Characteristics of this style include dynamic shifts in tempo and velocity, atypical song structures, intricate guitar playing, and deeply emotional lyrics. Unlike punk, which is typically raw and somewhat angry sounding, emo tends to have melodic vocals and poppy guitar riffs. Emo still maintains elements of punk in the drum beats, the energetic tempo and somewhat in the guitar riffs, but mainly in the anti-commercial attitudes. Some emo bands sound almost exactly like punk with the exception of the vocals--while punk lyrics are about social and political themes, emo lyrics are about personal introspection and emotional release.

So, this genre of music is supposed to be emotional hardcore . Problem in saying that, as pointed out by Nathaniel Kingsley of, is that it sounds as if emo is the only kind of music that expresses emotion. It's safe to say that all music is driven by emotion. Kingsley points out that "...although emo slightly distinguishes itself, all of these sub genres are phony and only connote the fan's insecurity about liking music that other people like and be considered popular. By creating these sub-genres like indie rock, emo, independent music, screamo, and the like, they are creating a niche for themselves." What makes it more difficult is the question of when an indie band becomes a national recording artist, are they still "indie"?

The name emo seems to annoy some bands that receive the label. The Promise Ring, a prominent band in the emo/indie realm of poppy rock, resents the label emo because it's used for many bands that don't sound alike. Jason Gnewikow, The Promise Ring guitarist, raised the point in an interview with that The Get Up Kids and Fugazi are both labeled emo, even though they sound nothing alike.
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