• My Dad’s Stunts

For the past few years I’ve been pretty keen on the multitude of punk groups reinventing the 90s emo sound. This movement, if you can call it that, was incubated by the DIY scene over the past five years or so, but these days it’s hardly confined to the underground: Michigan screamo band La Dispute headlined Metro in the spring, Chicago emo troubadour Evan Thomas Weiss (aka Into It. Over It.) spent a chunk of the summer on the Vans Warped Tour, and Pennsylvania four-piece Title Fight (who play Reggie’s on Sunday) landed on the Billboard 200 with the new Floral Green.

A couple years ago I started noticing a term jokingly applied to a swathe of bands in the scene: “twinklecore.” More often I’d hear “twinkly,” which aptly describes a kind of fast, precise, relatively clean guitar work that’s central to many new emo bands and doubles as a scene in-joke. The concept of twinklecore spread online via a variety of punk forums and blogs—one of my favorites is a Tumblr called Twinkly Shit, run by the front man of New Jersey emo two-piece Dads. The music media outside the punk circuit recently picked up on the “twinklecore” tag, which helped it morph into a meme—and you can hardly blame people, since frankly it does sound pretty stupid.

Last week I mentioned “twinklecore-gate” in a concert preview on local band My Dad, who use plenty of twinkly guitars. My Dad’s label, Swerp Records, didn’t take kindly to the association.