alternative rock

alternative rock - page 7

mid 1980s > grunge

grunge (seattle sound):

stylistic origins: alternative rock / hardcore punk / heavy metal / punk rock / hard rock / garage rock / noise rock / sludge metal
cultural origins: mid-1980s, Seattle, Washington, U.S.

Grunge (Seattle sound) is a subgenre of alternative rock and a subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s in the Pacific Northwest U.S. state of Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby towns.

By the early 1990s, its popularity had spread, with grunge bands appearing in California, then emerging in other parts of the United States and in Australia.

Grunge was commercially successful in the early–mid 1990s, due to releases such as Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, Alice in Chains’ Dirt and Stone Temple Pilots’ Core.

Grunge was commercially successful in the early–mid 1990s, due to releases such as Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, Alice in Chains’ Dirt and Stone Temple Pilots’ Core.

Nirvana – Come As You Are; Soundgarden – Slaves and Bulldozers; Alice In Chains – Them Bones:

The success of these bands boosted the popularity of alternative rock and made grunge the most popular form of rock music at the time. Although most grunge bands had disbanded or faded from view by the late 1990s, they influenced modern rock music, as their lyrics brought socially conscious issues into pop culture and added introspection and an exploration of what it means to be true to oneself. Grunge was also an influence on later genres such as post-grunge (such as Creed and Nickelback) and nu-metal (such as Korn and Limp Bizkit).

Creed – My Sacrifice; Nickelback – Home; Limp Bizkit – My Way:

grunge derivative forms: post-grunge / nu metal / sludge metal

indie rock > mid 1980s > sadcore


stylistic origins: indie rock / shoegazing / alternative country / baroque pop / chamber pop
cultural origins: mid-1980s, United Kingdom, US

Sadcore is a subgenre occasionally identified by music journalists to describe examples of alternative rock characterized by bleak lyrics, downbeat melodies, and slower tempos. The term is an example of use of the suffix “-core”. It is a loose definition and does not describe a specific movement or scene.

It is categorized by Allmusic’s reference guide as music “by and for the depressed”. Themes of heartbreak, loss, and misery dominate the lyrics, and the music itself is resolutely downbeat — the acoustic guitars that once defined ’70s-era singer/songwriters certainly resurface here, but much of the music is far more dissonant and intense, conjuring much darker atmospheres and textures.

Red House Painters – Katy Song; Cat Power – Fool; Codeine – D:

The term is still current in pop culture. Lana Del Rey’s musical style has been described as “Hollywood sadcore”.

mid 1980s > alternative dance

alternative dance:

stylistic origins: post-disco / alternative rock / indie rock / post-punk / synthpop / acid house / trip hop / new wave
cultural origins: mid-1980s, United Kingdom

Allmusic states that alternative dance mixes the “melodic song structure of alternative and indie rock with electronic beats, synths and/or samples, and club orientation of post-disco dance music”.

The Sacramento Bee calls it “postmodern–Eurosynth–technopop–New Wave in a blender”

Bands in the alternative dance era of pop music can be divided into two camps; the acts who could be described as baggy (usually the Madchester acts and a few others such as Flowered Up from London), and those who can be described as alternative dance (i.e. Jesus Jones and The Shamen, who were more techno inspired). The Shamen would begin as a psychedelic indie rock band, sharing some of the characteristics of early shoegaze bands, but their style would morph between a psychedelic indie rock and acid house, before absorbing more elements of techno.

The 1983 New Order´s single “Confusion” firmly established the group as a dance music force, inspiring many musicians in subsequent years.

New Order – Confusion; Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus; Big Audio Dynamite – The Globe:

alternative dance subgenres: electroclash, new rave

alternative dance fusion genres: nu-disco

experimental rock > late 1980s >  post-rock


stylistic origins: experimental rock / post-punk / krautrock / ambient / electronica / free jazz / IDM / contemporary classical / psychedelia / space rock / progressive rock / math rock / minimal / drone / dub avant-garde jazz / cool jazz / tape / indie rock
cultural origins: late 1980s and early 1990s, United Kingdom, Canada and United States

derivative forms: blackgaze, post-metal

Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by use of rock instruments primarily to explore textures and timbre rather than traditional song structure, chords or riffs.

Post-rock artists typically unify rock instrumentation with electronics, and are often instrumental.

Although firmly rooted in the indie or underground scene of the 1980s and early 1990s, post-rock’s style often bears little resemblance musically to that of contemporary indie rock, departing from rock conventions.

Elements may be borrowed from genres such as ambient music, krautrock, IDM, jazz, minimalist classical, and dub reggae.

Prominent post-rock groups include Sigur Rós, Explosions in the Sky, Mono, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Stereolab, Maybeshewill, Mogwai, Disco Inferno, and Tortoise, with individual styles between groups differing widely despite being centered on guitars and drums. As such, the term has been the subject of controversy from listeners and artists alike.

Sigur Rós – Brennisteinn; Mogwai – Take Me Somewhere Nice; This Will Destroy You – A Three Legged Workhorse:

derivative forms: blackgaze, post-metal

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