EMO-tional hardcore as pioneered by ex Minor Threat group Embrace hence link to D.C. scene. But back then it hadn't been progressively watered down.
Think they tend to wear ant jackets and eye liner. So definitely look like a mutation of goth.
I think the music itself is very different from goth (although no better) but I agree that by and large it appeals to ther same demographic that would have been goths in the mid-late 80s. Teenagers who are too smart and sensitive to be chavs (or casuals as we would have called tham back in my day), basically. I don't have a problem with folk strarting out by liking emo if it eventually leads them on to more adventurous stuff by association, though.