In conjunction with the just announced discography tape reisue on Semi Collective Records, Calgary, Canada based emo screamo post hardcore punks THE CORTA VITA join us to give you their hand-picked playlist of 60 screamo songs by bands, who played a major influence on the existence of the band, and serve as a grand example of the eclecticism professed by both older and moder screamo bands out there.
THE CORTA VITA were an emotional hardcore / screamo band from Calgary that existed for a brief period of time in the 2000’s, and their sound perfectly encapsulates everything emo was all about during the earlier half of the decade they were around in.
Firmly rooted in the local DIY all ages punk rock scene The Corta Vita were a regular fixture in Calgary bars and all ages halls alike. They were fast, loud, sloppy, disorganized and passionate to a fault and all of that shines through on these recordings. They released two EPs, toured across Canada and then disbanded in late 2004 or early 2005.
This new discography compilation covers everything the band ever put out into the world over a 4 year period. 2 EP’s and a fistful of demos; over one hour of entrancing, energetic and emotional music for your listening pleasure. The new release comes out this Friday, November 1tth, on cassette via Semi Collective records and will shortly appear on all streaming platforms as well.
The new release goes up for sale this Friday, November 11th at 3 PM EST.
The band’s vocalist Tyson sat down with us to share his thoughts on each pick for this 60-song playlist, created by members of the band and the team at Semi Collective Records. The compilation was created to highlight artists who played a major influence on the existence of The Corta Vita both locally and internationally. The beginning six songs of the playlist feature a roster of bands with releases on Semi Collective Records.
“Among them are some currently active artists who are pushing the genre forward in new and exciting directions and we could not be more thrilled to be included among them in the Semi Collective Records catalog.” – comments Tyson.
Semi Collective is a 100% DIY label run by an international coalition of young fans who are deeply invested in the hardcore music scene.
“They not only release incredible limited run releases for their artists but also work tirelessly to archive and catalog emo/hardcore related releases and documents as a personal passion project.” – says Tyson.
Serling “Time Enough at Last” – Serling is a Twilight Zone themed mathcore band and this track is from their record ‘The James Bevis Chronicles’. It references the classic episode regarding a bookworm getting trapped in a bank vault during the apocalypse.
Birds Fear Death “Pretty Girl Snuff Film” – If Jeromes Dream or Usurp Synapse were into pop punk they might have sounded something like this. An incredibly fuzzed out bedroom solo project; personal punk rock with teeth.
The Civil War In France “Pluviôse” – Another phenomenal bedroom project. The Civil War in France create waves of texture that approach shoegaziness at times but their music always stays firmly rooted in the noise and tumult of chaotic hardcore punk – even as they readily employ acoustic instruments, drum machines & synths.
mis sueños son de tu adios “vos y yo y el cpu” – anti-sadboy screamo from Argentina and once again an incredible solo screamo project. “mis sueños son de tu adios” translates to “i dream of your goodbye” in english.
The Rise (and fall) of A Dilapidated Home “It’s a Monument. Something You Can’t Shake, Even When You’ve Shaken It” – listen to this song without howling along in an abandoned agony challenge (impossible). I can never get past this track on the playlist without hitting repeat at least once.
Laura Palmer “Long Walks to Frederick” – Twin Peaks themed emoviolence from New Jersey. Semi Collective recently issued a deluxe cassette version of their fantastic “Denouement” album with bonus live material. This band was active from 2001 – 2004 which is pretty much exactly the same time as TCV. I wish we would have known about them then.
The Fauves “Zeigeist” – The Fauves are a total mystery. A discovery in a used record store bin that was apparently released posthumously in 2001. They have almost no listeners at all but deserve attention and love for being way ahead of the curve fusing post hardcore with post rock.
Maximilian Colby “Coughin’” – Complex, aggressive, lo-fi – Max Colby was a lot of things we aspired to be as a band.
The Plan “Lit Up Like a Monument” – The Plan was a post hardcore band from Halifax that was active from 1999 – 2002 and was the side project of Michael Catano of the band North of America. A phenomenal band with two excellent full length albums. We never missed an opportunity to share a stage with The Plan when they came through town.
Hot Little Rocket “Transmogrifier” – Hot Little Rocket were a major inspiration and influence on us as young musicians in the Calgary all ages scene. They were a group of cooler, smarter older brothers who took us under their wing and were massively supportive. If they were playing a show you’d better believe we were all front row and ready to sing along to this song.
d.b.s. “Our Son, Arson” – It’s no exaggeration to say that without d.b.s. a lot of the bands we loved in the local scene – including ours – would never have existed. This band toured and released music relentlessly and were always evolving. Most of us discovered them early when they were still a novelty pop punk group wearing matching clothes and too young to attend the venues they were being invited to play in. Without fail whenever they would come back to town with a new record their sound had evolved to keep pace with the shifting musical landscape – from pop punk, to hardcore, to emo. Being a d.b.s. fan in those days meant watching your heroes evolve right alongside you.
The Buzzing Bees “Aren’t You a Little Old to be Christian?” – The Buzzing Bees were our tourmates and close friends. Chris, the main songwriter and vocalist of the band was also an essential member of The Corta Vita during the last years. He recorded our Posthumous EP in the basement practice space at 1409 house where a few of us lived at the time and played second guitar on the record. He is still a prolific songwriter with a wide variety of surprising projects – check out his DIY label Boat Dreams From The Hill (boatdreamsfromthehill.com)
North of America “Wet to Dance” – If North of America came through town – and they did so often – we were almost certain to be sharing the stage with them. Some of the loveliest and most talented musicians we ever had the pleasure to perform with. This is from their final album on Level Plane records but they have a deep and diverse discography that is worth diving into if you are not yet familiar with them.
La Luna “Always Already” – One of the best bands going in Calgary for a long time but we knew and loved them as Brain Fever. Before this record they changed their name to La Luna and moved out east, breaking a lot of hearts in the process. Sadly the fantastic album Always Already was their swan song.
Joule “Part II” – This band was essential to our existence. Calgary legends who were by far the first to bring this brand of post hardcore to our city but they also fused their music with progressive unexpected elements that other artists wouldn’t begin to adopt for decades afterwards. What’s more this band had true rock star style and swagger. Seeing them performing or hanging around at all ages shows at the time it was impossible not to feel inspired to start making this music yourself.
Tidal “We Are Out of Step” – Tidal was a German post hardcore/screamo band that was active between 1999 and 2005. Overlooked in the west and certainly unknown to us at the time but included here so more people might have a chance to hear them and give them the love they deserve.
Racebannon “Funny She Doesn’t Look French” – Racebannon really pushed the envelope with everything they did and all of their albums deserve attention. Personally I was never able to get over this track with the beatboxing and it still puts a smile on my face every time.
Fabric “Without” – Fabric was a lesser known emotional hardcore band from London, England who were active during the 1990s. Fantastic and powerful songwriting that needs more attention and appreciation.
The Party of Helicopters “Be Non Silent Three” – There has never before been nor will there likely again ever be a band quite like The Party of Helicopters. Their fusion of metal licks, tight riffs and the dreamy floating vocal delivery of singer Joe Dennis made them seem alien and entirely unique at the time and that still holds true today.
Piebald “The Sea and a Lifesaver” – We all miss hardcore Piebald – the Sometimes Friends Fight era will always be very special to us as well as a ton of bands from that time I haven’t listed here, many of which should be obvious to infer. The When Life Hands You Lemons & Venetian Blinds era was a really special one too. During this time Piebald sounded entirely unique and they made music that dripped sincere sweetness, sadness and joy.
Ten Grand “This Isn’t Heaven, This Sucks” – The story of Ten Grand is legendary. This group also has several excellent releases under the name the Vida Blue. They were approached by a member of Phish who wanted to use the name and paid them “an undisclosed amount” to change it. They used the money to create the incredible masterpiece of an album This Is The Way To Rule. Sadly the singer & guitarist Matt Davis passed away shortly after it was released while performing on tour in support of it.
Lord Snow “Dark Cloud” – These next few bands are all currently active and pushing this genre forward in new and unexpected ways. Lord Snow are from Chicago, IL and have been one of the best currently active post hardcore / screamo bands going for a good while now.
Roman Candle “Gaslighting Isn’t Real (You’re Just Crazy)” – Like their namesake Roman Candle exploded suddenly out of seemingly nowhere. Fantastic screamo from Las Vegas. Looking forward to the growth and evolution of this group.
Frail Hands “Crematoria” – Frail Hands are a band from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who released their first material in 2017. Melodic, passionate and furious – they are carrying the genre forward with each new release but have been quiet for a couple of years now.
Votive “Failing To Cast a Shadow” – A brand spankin’ new release from this fantastic band from Austin, Texas featuring members of Gas Up Yr Hearse, Respire, Portrayal Of Guilt & Lyed. Crushing emoviolence with haunting melodic elements in the same vein as pg. 99.
You & I “Achilles” – A monumental band who’s CD discography was always close at hand.
Native Nod “Bread” – It is so good to see this band getting picked up for reissue by the Numero Group alongside so many other important, influential and neglected artists from the era. Essential.
Sleepytime Trio “Lancing Organic” – It’s criminal this discography has never seen a proper vinyl reissue. A fantastic band with an incredible catalog of tunes.
Indian Summer “mm.” – The impact of this band simply cannot be understated. It is so good to see them getting the attention and admiration they deserve with the recent Numero reissue.
Hoover “Distant” – Hoover was a powerful influence on anyone making post hardcore at the time.
Portraits of Past “Kqed Equals Volvo” – Portraits of Past have simply always been ahead of the curve. They were the outcast misfits on Ebullition Records but these days they are likely the only band from that label most people can readily name. They even beat everyone at the post hardcore reunion tour getting back together a solid decade before the current wave of returning bands and releasing a phenomenal EP before settling back into obscurity.
Heroin “Head Cold” – Heroin and the entire lineup of Gravity Records bands were some of the coolest and most interesting projects going during this era and absolutely inspired us to become a band.
Anasarca “East Bunk Hill” – Anasarca came from Maryland and they are one of those legendary and elusive bands who only released a small handful of recorded material but left a massive impact on the genre. East Bunk Hill is still one of the heaviest and saddest songs ever put to tape.
Cave In “Programmed Behind” – To this day Cave In remains an essential and important band who have done more than most to push heavy music forward into new and unexpected realms. This band doesn’t receive nearly enough love and their first few albums had a massive impact on us.
The Sawtooth Grin “Give Me the Amulet You Bitch” – A legendary New York mathcore band that likely needs no introduction.
The Great Redneck Hope “It Sure Does Get Lonely Out Here In The Boondocks. Thank God For Cock.” – These mid 2000s absurdist mathcore geniuses from Colorado Springs have song titles that we only wish we had been clever or funny enough to think of ourselves.
Neil Perry “Sorry For Misunderstanding Mr. Watts… It Won’t Happen Again” – Neil Perry was the band we were most aware of at the time who were using full sentences as song titles and obviously we emulated that a bit when we chose names for most of our songs.
Jeromes Dream “It’s More Like a Message to You” – It is fantastic that this band is still around, still making music in whatever way they see fit and continuing to tour and blow minds.
Hassan I Sabbah “Watching The Eyes of Someone Lying” – Hassan I Sabbah only existed for a brief few years between 1999 – 2000 but in that time they built a notoriety and influence that still holds strong.
Reversal of Man “Enoch Ardon” – Reversal of Man cast a massive shadow and their discography CD available at the time was essential listening.
Angel Hair “Stigmata Martyr” – There is just nothing else quite like Angel Hair. They freaked me out the first time I heard them and they still freak me out in the best possible way today.
CombatWoundedVeteran “I Hope You Get Canceled” – As powerful and unexpected as a gut punch. We could never hope to be this good or this sonically efficient.
The Locust “Skin Graft at Seventy-Five Miles Per Hour” – The Locust absolutely blew our collective minds. Everything about the tiny CD they released this track on absolutely fascinated us and their image was the height of scenester cool at the time. RIP Gabriel Serbian.
Discordance Axis “Angel Present” – This absolute masterpiece of an album has never been topped and is solely responsible for my ongoing unhealthy obsession with the Evangelion series.
Usurp Synapse “Mexidudes” – Monumental screamo from Indiana, absolutely essential listening.
Portraits of Past “Fire Song” – A personal favourite from the aforementioned EP released during their brief reunion.
Funeral Diner “Never To Be” – An incredible band that likely needs no introduction.
I Hate Myself “Secret Lovers at the Heaven’s Gate Ranch” – I Hate Myself were a fantastic enigma of a band. When you listened to them you were never certain whether you should laugh or cry. No other project ever nailed that feeling the way they did.
Twelve Hour Turn “This Papermill is Getting to Me” -Twelve Hour Turn were an excellent and underrated band active in Jacksonville Florida from 1996 to 2002 and a big lyrical influence.
Pg. 99 “Virginia” – few other groups have ever managed to make this style of music sound more anthemic or menacing but they were also capable of startling moments of melodic beauty. Among the best to ever do it.
The Red Scare “Risking Your Life With a Cap ital R”– The heavyweight groove of this track burrowed a deep rut into my brain when I first heard it and has lived there ever since.
Lincoln “Stop Means Stop” – Massively influential emo/hc from the early 90s – essential listening.
Clikitat Ikatowi “Too Simple” – Another legendary and nearly unclassifiable Gravity Records band from San Diego that had a massive influence over post hardcore at the time.
1.6 Band “Pushing Shit Back Into My Ass” – a mostly forgotten project that was sonically and stylistically years ahead of everyone in the hardcore scene.
The Crownhate Ruin “Late Arriving Rock Dudes” – Criminally underrated and overlooked post hardcore.
Unwound “Murder Movies” – Unwound absolutely deserve the title of greatest band of all time.
Still Life “Empty Cage” – Still Life brought a beauty and poetry to hardcore music that left an indelible mark on all the music that would follow after them.
Christie Front Drive “Bowl” – It simply wasn’t possible to make a mixtape in the late 90s or early 2000s without including Christie Front Drive.
Car Vs Driver “This Is The Product” – Car Vs. Driver were an Atlanta, Georgia band that existed from 1993 to 1995 and they deserve more love.
The Van Pelt “The Speeding Train” – This song is my personal anthem and mission statement.