The niche (and often misunderstood) genre has found itself in a new era of emo music, 5th Wave Emo, whose creation can be credited to Lou Diamond of JANK. Diamond’s new style of playing captivated emo fans. Their chords and song structures were considered progressive compared to the sound of Midwest emo, which was starting to get stale.
JANK’s first album, Awkward Pop Songs, is perfect. This album is an essential listen for any emo fans. The album has a crisp sound and the guitar tones are expressive. The overdriven math rock-esque riffs and quick feeling songs influenced other groups such as Origami Angel, Gwuak!, and Guitar Fight From Fooly Cooly. Awkward Pop Songs by JANK is the most important modern emo album and is the sole reason emo music was able to progress and evolve into what it is today.
I can’t recommend this album enough but I also can’t recommend it without giving you a disclaimer. The guitarist and vocalist, Lou Diamond, was outed as a sexual abuser and JANK broke up shortly afterward. The controversy surrounding JANK has prompted many discussions about separating art from the artist JANK is gone and Lou Diamond has been kicked out of the scene for years so I feel like it’s the time when it is okay to listen to JANK. They don’t make money off their music and Diamond donates all profits to charity. So give it a listen, it’s a modern emo masterpiece. — Dyllun Grundon