Emo and screamo are two genres that are incredibly misunderstood. The public media has done a job in reworking the terms to refer to any music that's dramatically depressive or contains screaming. These are not emo or scremo. Many people think that emo just refers to emotional. If it was just that, than almost any music could qualify as emo. So what's the truth behind the genres? Emo is really short hand for emotive hardcore. It first grew as a reaction to the overly political nature of hardcore punk. Emo bands decided that hardcore should be more personal, focused on people and emotions rather than just the outside world. Screamo developed as a much more aggressive offshoot of emo. Yes, it does include screaming, but screaming does not define screamo. Both genres are really in tune with more melodic and atmospheric sounds combined with the raw power of hardcore punk. Both genres were also pretty far underground and stayed there, working almost purely in DIY production and distribution. Only in the age of the internet has a lot of it surfaced to the point where it has a lot of cult popularity.
That's the skinny of it. If you want a nice and more in depth account, check out this site. They do a relatively good job at giving background to emo music.
This is an open thread for the discussion, worship or dumping of music that fits either genre. I'm going to go ahead with the latter of those three options now: