40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time

C'mon get sad: the best of punk rock's moody younger sibling

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Algernon Cadwallader, 'Some Kind of Cadwallader' (2008)
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32. Algernon Cadwallader, 'Some Kind of Cadwallader' (2008)

In 2008, emo's third wave was collapsing while the genre's status as a pejorative hit a high point – in March of that year a mob descended upon black-clad teenaged emo fans in Mexico City. Algernon Cadwallader ignored emo's present to embrace its roots: Bassist-vocalist Peter Helmis jokingly introduced his band in a 2008 interview by saying, "We sound like Cap'n Jazz." The band had mixed feelings about the cursory comparison, but the Philadelphia trio could've picked a worse reference. Algernon's act of rebelliousness set a foundation for emo's insurgent, largely independent fourth wave to seep onto Billboard and win over critics, and it wouldn't have happened if the group merely repurposed Cap'n Jazz's fidgety euphoria. Some Kind of Cadwallader radiates thanks to Algernon's playful rhythm section, Helmis's yearning yelp, and the triple-Lutz guitars provided by Philly punk engineer (and future Hop Along member) Joe Reinhart. L.G.

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