By Maria Sherman
In the ’70s, punks reigned supreme when it came to tatted dreamboats. In the ‘80s, goths got the title. For ‘90s and ‘00s babies, it was all about emo -- and the Hot Topic pop-punkers that made us swoon.
Those of us of a certain age (we’ll avoid the term millennial here, but you get it) grew up with a crop of total alt hunks to chase after, both on Warped Tour and, later, in arenas, when TRL and others embraced the stuff. Here’s a list of 13 emo singin’ studmuffins we had the hots for in middle school, high school and possibly (probably) beyond.
When he wasn't swinging a microphone around his neck he was singing songs of unrequited love and self-deprecation through a tussle of perfectly brown locks... Taking Back Sunday frontman Adam Lazzara truly knew how to take our breath away. For a generation of girls and boys, his presence in the "Make Damn Sure" video was something of a sexual awakening.
For those of us willing to experiment with vampire makeup and fantasy as far as we could -- while still driving home the sentiment that we weren’t OK, we promised -- My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way was the end all be all. We could never find love, because this guy already owned our hearts. Good thing he never put a stake in it.
If Taking Back Sunday wasn't your cup of tea, and Lazzara's puppy dog eyes just couldn't do it for ya, Brand New's Jesse Lacey was there to fill your heart-void. He's the kind of guy who'd stay loyal to you even when you abandoned him for England, and, consequently, those beautiful British babes. Now that's commitment!
For those ladies fond of metalcore and an excellent English accent, Oli Sykes was there. The Bring Me the Horizon frontman kept his hair short and his screams tight, a certain level of angst-y professionalism that was oh so attractive to the girls that had a soft spot for neck tattoos and not Travis Barker.
Everyone knows Joel Madden was the cuter of the Madden brother twins (and if you couldn't/can't tell them apart, why are you even reading this?) He somehow seemed like more of a sweetheart and Benji more of the wild child. Either way this Good Charlotte babe was great because, well, there are TWO OF HIM. Ladies!
Fall Out Boy were a band of babes (still are, let’s be real!) but king of the heartthrobs was Pete Wentz. From his skinny American Apparel hoodies to his skinny Clandestine-brand (his own clothing brand) jeans to his skinny frame and skinny bangs, a mere smile from Wentz was enough to make a girl weak at the knees.
Something Corporate (and later, Jack’s Mannequin) mastermind Andrew McMahon always felt like the literary hunk of the emo bunch. He was sensitive -- they all were -- but he had a penchant for poetry and kissing drunk girls. Pretty relatable stuff, if we do say so ourselves.
Goth-ier girls found a home in vegan hottie Davey Havok. When he wasn’t parading around Warped Tour’s grounds with black umbrella in hand, he was scream-singing fictionalized tunes of love, loss and romance in AFI. Half the time the dude didn’t even seem real. He was, like, a less buff, more friendly version of Trent Reznor.
There will never be a time where girls aren’t taken aback by cute boys with bright eyes and dark hair. Circa Survive’s Anthony Green was the living, breathing example of his, his turquoise peepers, gently messy hair and friendly, sideways smile invoked the biggest of blushes.
Everyone who heard “First Day of My Life” envisioned a time a brooding babe would write something similar about them, a sweetly sad love song that truly feels like it was written from a place of careful desperation. Conor Oberst was the master of this. He couldn’t live without us. What’s more lust-inducing than that?
Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie was a weird crush because it felt like he was hiding his beauty behind velvet suits and cartoonish makeup half the time. When the stuff came off, his true beauty was revealed. Homeboy has a jawline that could cut through steal and a pearly white smile that could -- and did -- melt the hearts of young ladies everywhere.
Somewhere between the good guy inoffensiveness of Andrew McMahon and the rough-around-the-edges charm of Oli Sykes is Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath. The long-haired frontman of the screamo band was not only known for his alluring nature, but also his Christian identity: He might play tough on stage, but he’s really hollering about God and love and all that good stuff. He might not look OK to Mom, but she learned to love him, too.
Fact: No one has ever been on a first date as good as the one described in the Dashboard Confessional song “Hands Down,” and no one has ever been on a first date with someone as good as Chris Carrabba. The man behind Dashboard Confessional has a special talent for writing songs about women who make him swoon that, well, makes women swoon. May his face be forever immortalized on our Trapper Keepers. Amen.