26. Rainer Maria, 'Look Now Look Again' (1999)
An oft-overlooked staple of second-wave emo, Rainer Maria provide feminine perspective in a genre where it was always sorely lacking. Songs like "Feeling Neglected?" and "Breakfast of Champions" give voice to the faceless villainesses of emo songs past; bassist Caithlin De Marrais and guitarist Kaia Fischer harmonize their myriad grievances as drummer William Kuehn batters crafty, spiraling rhythms. Most shattering are De Marrais' admissions in "Broken Radio," her voice quivering with fury: "I'm certain if I drive into those trees/It'll make less of a mess/Than you've made of me." Perhaps the dearth of women in emo speaks to a disparity in how vulnerability is perceived; where "feelings" are historically subversive for men in punk, it's less remarkable, or just plain undesirable, in women. Look Now Look Again plays like an act of artistic justice. S.E.