punk rock subgenres - page 2

history punk rock subgenres with accompanying videos…

late 1970s > deathrock

stylistic origins: punk rock / post-punk / psychedelic rock / glam rock / acid rock / horror film score
cultural origins: late 1970s, Los Angeles

Deathrock is the American counterpart to the British Batcave scene. It emerged as a horror influenced offshoot of the West Coast hardcore scene in the late 70’s/early 80’s, and as a result is louder, faster and punkier than the post-punk inspired Batcave scene.

Deathrock songs use simple chords, echoing guitars and prominent bass.
Lyrics can vary but are typically introspective and surreal, and deal with the dark themes of isolation, gloom, disillusionment, loss, life, death, etc.

deathrock bands:

Christian Death – Deathwish; 45 Grave – EvilAlien Sex Fiend – My Brain Is In The Cupboard:

late 1970s > psychobilly

stylistic origins: country music / garage rock / country rock / punk rock / 1950s rockabilly / 1970s-80s rockabilly revival / rock and roll
cultural origins: late 1970s, New York City, USA

Psychobilly is a genre of rock music that mixes elements of punk rock, rockabilly, and other genres. Psychobilly is often characterized by lyrical references to science fiction, horror and exploitation films, violence, lurid sexuality, and other topics generally considered taboo, though often presented in a comedic or tongue-in-cheek fashion. It is often played with an upright double bass, instead of the electric bass which is more common in modern rock music, and the hollow-body electric guitar, rather than the solid-bodied electric guitars that predominate in rock. Many psychobilly bands are trios of electric guitar, upright bass, and drums, with one of the instrumentalists doubling as a vocalist.

psychobilly bands:

Nekromantix – Gargoyles Over Copenhagen; Sir Psyko and his Monsters – The Crazies; The Hellfreaks – Rope:



The definitive difference between Punkabilly and Psychobilly is merely lyrical subject matter, psychobilly is also characterized by lyrical references to horror films, violence, exploitation films, lurid sexuality, and other topics generally considered taboo, sometimes presented in a comedic, tongue-in-cheek fashion and punkabilly bands not.

late 1970s > gothabilly

gothabilly (sometimes hellbilly):
stylistic origins: rockabilly / psychobilly / gothic rock / punk rock / surf rock / deathrock / country rock
cultural origins: late 1970s, United States

Gothabilly is a music genre that came up from mixing the gothic subculture with Rockabilly music. The earliest known use of the word gothabilly was by The Cramps in the late 1970s, to describe their blend of somber, rockabilly-influenced punk rock. Occasionally, The Cramps have been associated with gothic rock primarily because of their use of fetish clothing and outlandish makeup, including heavy, dark eyeliner on both male and female members of the band, which is also popular in the gothic subculture.

While many bands of the Gothabilly genre include darker themes ranging from the occult and vampires or vampirism to horror and themes revolving around depression and violent behavior, they are not limited to such things. A lot of Gothabilly music contains more love oriented songs, and the vocal expressions of the lyrical content can be heavily compared to the average rockabilly music. Many bands influenced the Gothabilly genre, such as The Damned, Samhain, 45 Grave, The Lords of the New Church, The Misfits …

gothabilly bands:

Ghoultown – Under the Phantom MoonZombie Ghost Train – R.I.P.; Demented Are Go – Bodies In The Basement:

white power music

white power music:

Music that promotes white nationalism and expresses racism against non-whites. It encompasses various music styles, including pop, rock, country, experimental music, amateur rap and folk.

Specific white power music genres include Nazi punk, Rock Against Communism, and National Socialist black metal.

According to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission “racist music is principally derived from the far-right skinhead movement and, through the Internet, this music has become perhaps the most important tool of the international neo-Nazi movement to gain revenue and new recruits.

white power music subgenre: nazi punk, hatecore, national socialist black metal


white power music > late 1970s > nazi punk

nazi punk:
stylistic origins: hardcore punk / punk rock / Oi! / white power music
cultural origins: late 1970s, United Kingdom

Nazi punk is punk rock that promotes neo-Nazism.

Music is stylistically similar to most forms of punk rock, it differs by having lyrics that express hatred of Jews, homosexuals, communists, anarchists, anti-racists and people who are not considered white. In 1978 in Britain, the white nationalist National Front (NF) had a punk-oriented youth organization called the Punk Front. Although the Punk Front only lasted one year, it recruited several English punks, as well as forming a number of white power punk bands. The Nazi punk subculture appeared in the United States by the early 1980s in the hardcore punk scene.

subgenres nazi punk: rock against communism (RAC)


nazi punk > late 1970s > rock against communism (RAC)

rock against communism (RAC):
stylistic origins: punk rock / Oi!
cultural origins: late 1970s, United Kingdom

Rock Against Communism (RAC) started out as series of political rock concerts in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s, and is also a name for the subsequent music genre. Rock Against Communism lyrics typically feature anti-communist themes but can include white nationalist, white supremacist, and neo-fascist politics as well.


late 1970s > cowpunk

cowpunk (country punk):
stylistic origins: punk rock / new wave / southern rock / roots rock / country / country rock
cultural origins: late 1970s, United Kingdom, and early 1980s Los Angeles

Cowpunk is a subgenre of punk rock that began in the UK and California in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines punk rock or new wave with country music, folk music, and blues in sound, subject matter, attitude, and style. Many of the musicians in this scene have now become associated with alternative country or roots rock.

cowpunk bands:

Jr Gone Wild – Heather on a Bad DayThe Beat Farmers – Baby’s Liquored UpMojo Nixon – Burn Down the Malls:


derivative forms: alternative country

fusion genres: psychobilly, gothabilly, southern metal


late 1970s > 2 tone

2 tone (or two tone):
stylistic origins: ska / punk rock / ]rocksteady / new wave / reggae
cultural origins: late 1970s, Coventry, West Midlands, England

The 2 Tone genre, which began in the late 1970s in the Coventry, England area, was a fusion of Jamaican ska rhythms and melodies with punk rock’s more aggressive guitar chords and lyrics. Compared to 1960s ska, 2 Tone music had faster tempos, fuller instrumentation and a harder edge. The genre was named after 2 Tone Records, a record label founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials. Most of the 2 Tone bands had multiracial lineups, such as The Beat (known as The English Beat in North America and the British Beat in Australia), The Specials, and The Selecter. Madness was one of the most effective bands at bringing the 2 Tone genre into the mainstream. Although 2 Tone’s mainstream commercial appeal was largely limited to the UK, it influenced the North American ska punk movement (also known as third wave ska) in the 1980s and 1990s.

2 tone bands:

The Special AKA – GangstersThe Specials – Ghost TownThe Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom:



late 1970s > horror punk 

horror punk ( horror rock):
stylistic origins: punk rock / gothic rock
cultural origins: late 1970s, United States

Horror punk (horror rock) is a music genre that mixes proto-gothic and punk rock sounds with morbid and violent imagery and lyrics, which are often influenced by horror films or science fiction B-movies. The genre is similar to and sometimes overlaps with deathrock, although deathrock leans more towards an atmospheric gothic rock sound while horror punk leans towards a 1950s-influenced doo-wop and rockabilly sound.

The Misfits are recognized as the progenitors of horror punk, releasing a series of singles and EPs beginning in 1977 before releasing their first full-length album Walk Among Us in 1982.

horror punk bands:

Misfits – Dig Up Her BonesShadow Windhawk’s 1428The Other – Lover’s Lane:

see more: horror punk subgenre

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