Back in the late ’90s, everyone had horn-rimmed spectacles and sad faces, bands were obsessed with quiet/ loud dynamics and nobody had a successful relationship ever (probably because internet dating barely existed yet). The combination of these three things made for a glorious post-hardcore scene, however, full of unabashed misery and deep feelings. No scene can last forever, though, and as the century turned, bands broke up, never to be seen again… until 2013.
Indeed, this year has been magnificent fun for humans who loved emo when emo was really emo–and not a term flung at anything in black eyeliner and Hot Topic pants. Here then, are the greatest post-hardcore reunions of 2013.
This Sunday, November 17, Knapsack are closing out their five-date reunion tour with a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg–marking the 15th anniversary of their final tour. The joy of having these sensitive California souls back and performing for a minute is the fact that the band’s music has aged so well. The passion is still raw, the hooks are still compelling and the three albums the quartet produced between 1995 and 1998–Silver Sweepstakes, Day Three of My New Life and This Conversation is Ending Starting Right Now–never lapse into tired emo cliche.
The Dismemberment Plan
There’s not an emo girl on earth who was sad at the prospect of seeing Dismemberment Plan frontman Travis Morrison shake his groove thang again, but the D.C. quartet upped the stakes–and went against usual-post-hardcore-reunion-protocol–by actually releasing brand new material to coincide with their return. Uncanney Valley, released last month, picks up precisely where 2001 classic Change left us — bringing us more tracks that almost constantly feel like driving fast on a road that has too many bends to be safe. Magnificent.
Texas is the Reason
Technically, this reunion happened in October of 2012 when Texas is the Reason reunited for Revelation Records’ 25th Anniversary show series at Irving Plaza. We’re including it here though because the band’s first tour in 15 years didn’t actually commence until 2013 had rolled around. Either way, having this team of one-album-wonders reunite, scratched an itch for an entire generation of emo kids who never got to see these guys perform the first time around–you could practically hear Europe exhale with the relief of it all. It was also a beautiful reminder of just how influential Do You Know Who You Are? really was…
The Jazz June
The Jazz June had the same imperceptible lyrics, tendency towards wailing and jangling guitars that made the Promise Ring such a success–but the Philadelphia quintet also consistently packed more of a punch. The band stuck it out for longer than most of their peers, only splitting in 2004, but recently got back together with the promise of recording new material. If you missed them performing with Braid at Saint Vitus last month, you should probably give yourself a swift kick in the shins.
After a year of emo reunions this solid, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the trend continues in 2014. We’re looking at you, Jawbreaker, Mineral, and Rites of Spring. Don’t let us down…