With the news that My Chemical Romance had reunited after a long hiatus, alternative news media sites such as Ghost Killer Entertainment and Alternative Press have advocated for a new decade that reintroduces the emo brand by calling this rebirth as "The Rawring 20s."
To those who don't know, this title is a reference to a time when the radio still played true rock music. (It still does, but it's more mainstream and pop-focused.) The kids who teased their hair and dyed it bright colors during this time were known as scene kids and would occasionally text on their flip phones or message on MySpace "rawr."
While I wish I could've participated in that clique (my mom was heavily against me dying my hair unnatural colors as a teen), I held onto my belief that what made rock music – classic, hair metal, experimental, grunge, etc – so great was that it focused on the gritty, subversive qualities of life and told a story about the convictions of the soul.
Rock music saved me; it continues to as I listen to more females singing in their rich voices and hitting all the notes in the scale. Holding their highest emotive note. Men do the same, but I've slightly been obsessing over bands like Halestorm and Dorothy because of their metal/bluesy overtones.
Being an avid rock fanatic and a former vocalist, I find myself wanting to belt out in song more. But not in the way that Disney princesses tended to do when they meet their true love. It's more about using my voice as a space to declare who I am and what I believe in.
As a woman, loving rock music gave me power and strength when I typically had none. Whether it was Joan Jett, Paramore, or Sumo Cyco, I felt strongly connected to the story within the music. It gave me confidence; it gave me love.
So, yes, we need to celebrate rock music more often. And we need to make space, once again, for the storm of this genre to sweep up its listeners and convict us to think about our identities and histories more often.
I don't believe that rock music had ever died. It was only asleep and waiting for the right band to revitalize its passion and strength. And thanks to My Chemical Romance, I hope that more bands either will consider the rock genre more seriously; I hope that listeners will learn to appreciate this genre once more.
I refuse for rock music to be diminished. I refuse to let mainstream rock be the only representative of the genre. What makes rock so integral is it diversity, its inclusivity. And mainstream rock is great for those who want a candy, bopful flavor of the genre. But it does not show its true history.
So, in this new decade, let's focus more on power anthems, rock operas, and the lone rebel. Let's reconsider who we think as an outsider and start including them in the new rock agenda. By declaring this decade "The Rawring 20s," I say that we sing more loudly and off-key. I say that we remember our collective identities and embrace/challenge them more frequently.
So let the rawring begin.