There was a day when "emo" meant something pretty different. Instead of poppy heartfelt crooning like the
The Promise Ring and the driving power pop of Jimmy Eat World, it was about an aesthetic of pleading throat-sharding screaming with jagged guitars intricately mapping out songs of dire intensity, which was rooted in the basements of America. Even those aforementioned superstars of the emo world have their roots in this much harder edged approach. Our dearly departed At The Drive-In used such energy, intricacy, and volume in their sound, and Lookout Records is toeing the line with young bands like Pretty Girls Make Graves and The Cost, who fill the void of intensity and originality left by ATDI. The Cost's 2002 album on Lookout tips its cap to classic San Diego bands like Drive Like Jehu and DC bands like Ignition and Fugazi with a new style and flair. Lookout has used the term "modern punk" and that's a simple yet dead-on name for the originality, aggression, and melody conjured by Oakland, CA's The Cost.