Best Proof That Fourth-Wave Emo Is About More Than Nostalgia

Bad Waves Tapes

Critics' Picks

For a year or so now, fourth-wave emo bands such as Modern Baseball and the World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die have been landing on the Billboard charts with a new spin on the second-wave sound that grew out of the 90s midwest scene—rugged bass, interlocking guitars, and inept but endearingly sincere vocals. For fans who grew up seeing the Promise Ring and Braid, shows by these fourth-wave groups can be a way to relive bygone nights sweating it out at VFW halls, but it's not necessarily about nostalgia for the people putting out the records. Colin Feely, who runs Bad Waves Tapes, was born after Cap'n Jazz broke up—he discovered emo a few years ago after falling down an Internet rabbit hole, then launched Bad Waves in 2013. Feely's cassette releases document some of the newest acts on the national scene, including some of the best youngsters around here—Ben Klawans, who made last year's astounding experimental album 97% Old under the name Mormon Toasterhead, isn't even old enough to remember the 90s.