Emo vs. Punk
Music lovers alike often hear of the terms emo and punk, yet only a few really know about the true meaning of each musical genre. Although both terms are considered to be subgenres of the more broad rock music, many have attached additional meanings to the two terms that make them even more confusing. Some connote emo to general moods, while others identify both with a certain type of fashion sense.
However, as a music genre, emo is the shortcut for ’emotional’. It’s not that all songs that are sad and gloomy are emo, it’s more about songs that are discussing pressing personal problems and relationship issues. Emo is emotionally charged punk music. With this genre, you’ll see individuals who are depressed and upset due to some personal problems other than those social in nature. You can also see emo songs depicting people who are not content with life.
Punk, on the contrary, is leaning more about social issues, and even political themes. No wonder you often hear the concepts of peace or unity being tackled in punk music. Bands playing punk are seen as anarchists who believe that no religion is above any other. They also like to impart the concept of equality to the point of almost always disagreeing with what the government has to say.
Some popular bands that are playing emo songs are the following: Fall Out Boy, Brand New, The Used, and many others. For punk, the bands include: The Sex Pistols, Discharge, The Offspring, and Minor Threat, among others.
In terms of musical quality, emo sounds more expressive and melodic. Its roots can be traced back as far as the middle portion of the 1980’s, wherein it started from hardcore punk and later blended with indie rock and pop punk. Some of the most common instruments used by emo bands are the guitar, drum set, and bass guitar.
Lastly, punk rock history is more profound. It sprouted earlier, in 1974. Its stylistic origins include protopunk and garage rock, among others. This music genre is faster in pace, and is harder, or edgy in nature. With its recent blending with some other related musical genres, like hardcore, punk sounds more aggressive.
Overall, even if emo and punk have been applied to fashion and characterization of human behavior, the differences between the two as separate music subgenres are the following:
1. Emo is more emotional in nature, and dwells more on personal and relationship matters; whereas punk concentrates more on social and political issues.
2. Punk was developed earlier compared to emo.
3. Emo is more melodic and expressive compared to the faster and more aggressive nature of punk rock music.