Phase three: "hardcore emo." Heroin, Antioch Arrow, Mohinder, Honeywell, Reach Out, early Portaits of Past, Assfactor 4, Second Story Window, End of the Line, Angel Hair, Swing Kids, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, John Henry West, Guyver-1, Palatka, Coleman, Iconoclast, some Merel, some Clikatat Ikatowi, etc.
-Hinted at in New Jersey in 1990 (Merel, Iconoclast). Starts for real in San Diego in 1991 with Heroin, comes to SF Bay in 1992 (Reach Out, Mohinder, Honeywell, Portraits of Past, John Henry West), hits Philly, Florida, New York, and the rest of the East Coast a little bit.
-Similar to punk vs. hardcore punk - faster, louder, harder, much more intense and single-minded. Most of these bands play extremely fast, and introduce the "chaos" concept to hardcore. This is extremely abrasive music, with vocals screamed at the physical limit of the vocal chords. The guitars are distorted to the point that notes and chords are hard to recognize - although often the guitarists don't even play notes, instead making piercing, staccato bursts of noise, squeals of deafening feedback, or a wash of strummed dissonance. The bass often has quite a bit of distortion as well, unlike straight emo. This is everything emo done more so - sometimes so totally over the top that the band 's songs are not even recognizable when performing live. Antioch Arrow, for instance, thrashed about so much on stage that they sounded less like a band than a giant amplified blender. After each song, they had to retune every string, and usually had knocked over a good fraction of their equipment. These shows tended also to be quite short for reasons of the band's physical endurance.
-All the other notes about emo records, shows, economics, etc. apply to hardcore emo too. It's very much simply a subset of emo. In my eyes, this was the ultimate expression of the form. There was a frantic, primal quality to a band like Heroin that could just reach through your ribcage and squeeze your heart like in the Temple of Doom. I never found that in any of the other types.