Ten Best Screamo Bands From Florida

Punk always has an identity crisis looming around every corner.

Allegedly, skinheads, anarchist vegans, and street-punk LARPers are all cut from the same cloth, despite the garish differences.

But no matter how confounding you find a genre like Hare Krshna hardcore (and wonder what Sid Vicious would have to say about it), screamo -- more than any other hardcore subset -- will always be fighting for people to take it seriously.

That's because it is hyperbolic, exaggerative, and dramatic to a point of ridiculous.

But hey, we were raised on the stuff. And the adjectives listed above? Well, that's why we like screamo in the first place! Lucky for us, the Sunshine State has produced a comfortably listable amount of truly great screamo bands.

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10. Jesse Washington (Melbourne)
The name -- inspired by an African-American teenager infamously lynched in Waco, Texas, in 1916 -- would suggest a similarity to the highly politicized shrieks of emo-anarchists like early-aughts, Food Not Bombs playlist staple 1905. But Jesse Washington had more to do with the flamboyant Jagger Swagger and Technicolor almost-grind spazz attacks of An Albatross.

At the time, you called it "dancey screamo" if you approved. And if you didn't, you sneeringly referred to the stuff as "sassy screamo." Whatever it is, Jesse Washington lived it, complete with hot-pink typewriter-font logo and hair-metal makeup. In retrospect, they were an obvious antecedent -- more in style and dress than sonically -- to the highly primped devotees of spinoffs like crabcore.

9. Kite Flying Society (Orlando)
While sass definitely had a heyday, we ultimately categorize the phenomenon as a niche variation sub-subgenre. If you really want to hear the textbook, scrEaMO (capital "emo") sound, you've gotta listen to O-Town's Kite Flying Society. This band was thorough in its screamo-nicity: It pushed crazy-chaos hardcore right up against twinkly melodic breakdowns. Its lyrics read like a wallflower's diary and/or miserable poetry. It had minor-chord breakdowns with quickly spoken vocal interludes. And its songs were often arranged around giving the audience a moment of building tension with which they could clap along.

P.S. The band name is a reference to some sappy shmoopy love shit in a Wes Anderson movie. Does it get more screamo than that?

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