No matter how cringeworthy it sounds, pop-screamo is an incredibly accurate description of many bands who burst forth during post-hardcore’s surge in the early-to-mid-2000s. Metal-influenced riffs and aggressive, high-end screams filled song’s verses, while soaring melodies carried choruses to new, previously unattained heights.
The scene eventually moved on in favor of metalcore and other, heavier tendencies, leaving behind a collection of incredible groups who, to this day, haven’t received near the amount of attention they deserved. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of bands we’re almost certain went undetected on your musical radar back in the day. So take a look and give them a listen—we think you’ll find something you like.
Here I Come Falling
Springfield, Missouri’s screamo greats Here I Come Falling formed in 2005. In 2007, they inked a deal with Rise Records and released their sole studio album, Oh Grave, Where Is Thy Victory, a year later. The LP boasts a sonically manic sensibility, with influences from Underoath and the Chariot dif. HICF went through an iintense cycle of lineup changes, ultimately leading to their breakup in August 2008 (they reunited for a one-off reunion show in 2011). Former members later went on to join bands such as Agraceful, Romance On A Rocketship (aka R.O.A.R.), Beneath The Empire and Iseah.
Current Like Moths To Flames frontman Chris Roetter has a colorful, yet fairly unknown, past of singing in a variety of bands. He began his career as the replacement frontman for Emarosa. (Marking their name-change from Corsets Are Cages to Emarosa. You can hear him on their debut EP, This Is Your Way Out.) Following his stint with them, he helped form Agraceful—a screamo quartet who were signed to Sumerian Records, and featured members of the aforementioned Here I Come Falling. They released just one full-length album, titled The Great I Am, as well as a self-produced demo EP. Kasey Smith (ex-Here I Come Falling), who played guitar for Agraceful from 2008 to 2009, went on to form the dance-pop project Romance On A Rocketship. Obviously, Chris later joined Like Moths To Flames, but he also briefly served as a fill-in frontman for Ohio metalcore band Corpus Christi in 2009.
While you may not be familiar with Yesterdays Rising, there’s a good chance you’ve heard their former vocalist, Brandon Bolmer, on Chiodos’ Illuminaudio LP. Balmer served as the band’s replacement when original frontman Craig Owens departed in 2009. Before his time in Chiodos, however, Bolmer provided vocals for all three of Yesterdays Rising’s officially released efforts, two of which were distributed through Fearless Records. Before Bolmer left for Chiodos, Yesterdays Rising recorded three tracks—“The Art Of Fear,” “Labyrinth” and “The Alarm”—that were supposed to be featured on the band’s fourth full-length album. It was in 2010 that drummer Ryan Magdaleno confirmed the band’s demise.
MSWHITE may not fit on this list due to their presiding metalcore sensibilities. On the other hand, the Italian quintet had the capability to execute unforgettable sing-scream harmonies whenever they saw fit (“Now I Can See Clear,” “Walnut (I Want To Come Back),” “Young, Brave, Analog”). MSWHITE called it a day in 2011 due to the inability to tour in the U.S., but judging by their Facebook page, a future reunion hasn’t been ruled out.
In 2005, Chasing Victory signed to Mono Vs. Stereo Records and released their widely undiscovered debut LP, I Call This Abandonment. The record found the perfect collective balance between melody and maelstrom, bouncing back and forth seamlessly between blistering riffs and soaring melodies—I Call This Abandonment is truly a screamo masterpiece. Afterwards, the band returned in 2007 for what would be their final studio effort, Fiends, which boasted a different sound entirely when compared to their debut. The group settled in a comfortable groove of post-grunge slathered in the grooves of southern rock, distant heaviness and even jazz influences. Members have since gone on to form the dance-pop band Astoria, who released their debut EP in 2010.
Beloved could be considered the forefathers of the pop-screamo era. After forming in 1999, the band sporadically released material until signing to Vindicated Records, which they ultimately followed by signing to Tooth & Nail’s Solid State subsidiary. The band’s stand-out release, Failure On, debuted in 2003. While harboring an undeniable emo influence, the quintet balanced their tendencies by coupling pop melodies with dastardly heavy moments, perfecting the traditional screamo formula. After calling it a day in 2005, members later went on to perform in Advent and the Almost.
Dead Poetic were one of the first bands to bring Solid State into the post-hardcore realm. Their first label-sanctioned release, Four Wall Blackmail, is a masterpiece in its own light, but it was the band’s sophomore LP, New Medicines, that showed their true potential. The record’s emo-tinged essence is counterbalanced by an array of aggressive-yet-tasteful moments. While lineup changes skewed the band’s direction towards radio rock on what would be their final LP, Vices, Dead Poetic should still remain a mainstay for any self-respecting post-hardcore fan.
Sacramento’s Mozart Season boasted an essence distantly reminiscent of Chiodos’ early years. Much like their genre counterparts, MS took thrash-induced moments and seamlessly intertwined them within pop-filled choruses. The band released their debut EP, Apotheosis, in 2006, which they followed by signing to Equal Vision Records. Their second effort, Nightmares, would prove to be their last: released in 2010, the six-track EP showcased a sense of maturity that lacked on their debut. Due to financial stress, however, Mozart Season were forced to call it quits in 2011.
Burden Of A Day
Burden Of A Day, another outfit out of Florida, may be one of the more popular groups on this list, but that doesn’t deter from the fact that they deserved far more attention in their heyday. Roughly two years after self-releasing a demo in 2003, the band signed to indie label Blood & Ink Records and subsequently released their debut full-length, Pilots & Paper Planes, in 2006. Due to an extensive touring ethic, BOAD caught the attention of Rise Records singing to the label in 2008. They released their screamo classic, Blessed Be Our Ever After, later that year. After a few lineup changes, they released a sophomore LP, titled OneOneThousand, in ’09. Despite oozing with potential to be our scene’s next-big-thing, the band called it a day in 2010. Multiple members went on to form the band Colours, who have only three songs.
Sever Your Ties
Sever Your Ties were one of the best bands that even your hipster friend from high school didn’t even know about. After self-releasing a demo in 2006, the band signed to Solid State Records and debuted their only studio album, Safety In The Sea, in 2008. Being the hybrid screamo group they were, Sever Your Ties seamlessly combined everything you secretly loved about Sick Puppies, and placed that into an electro-post-hardcore blender. Despite offering a genuine, heartfelt sound, the band went their separate ways in 2010.