Punk rock subgenres
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A number of overlapping punk rock subgenres have developed since the emergence of punk rock (often shortened to punk) in the mid-1970s. Even though punk genres at times are difficult to segregate, they usually show differing characteristics in overall structures, instrumental and vocal styles, and tempo. However, sometimes a particular trait is common in several genres, and thus punk genres are normally grouped by a combination of traits.
- 1 Punk rock subgenres
- 2 Punk rock fusion subgenres
- 3 References
Punk rock subgenres
Anarcho-punk is punk rock that promotes anarchism. The term anarcho-punk is sometimes applied exclusively to bands that were part of the 1970s/1980s anarcho-punk movement in the United Kingdom. Some, however, use the term to refer to any punk music with anarchist lyrical content. Examples of anarcho-punk bands include Crass, Conflict, and Icons of Filth.
Christian punk (or Christ punk, as it is called in reference to crust punk) is punk rock with some degree of Christian lyrical content. Given the edginess of punk and some of its subgenres, such as hardcore punk, many bands have been rejected by the Christian music industry. Due to the message and nature of Christian punk, many traditional punks ridicule it. Examples of Christian punk bands include The Crucified, The O.C. Supertones and Relient K.
Crust punk (sometimes simply called crust) is one of the evolutions of anarcho-punk and hardcore punk, mixed with extreme metal guitar riffs and bass-heavy instrumentation. The style, which developed in the mid-1980s in the United Kingdom, often had songs with dark, pessimistic lyrics, lingering on political and social issues. Both the musical and lyrical elements were heavily influenced by the band Discharge. Examples of crust punk bands include Amebix, Antisect and Doom.
Garage punk is punk rock heavily influenced by garage rock. Other influences include soul music, beat music, surf rock, power pop and psychedelic rock. Often it uses lo-fi aesthetics over catchy melodies. Examples of garage punk bands include New Bomb Turks, Mudhoney, Foxboro Hot Tubs, and The Hives
Glam punk (also called glitter punk) fuses elements of punk rock and glam rock, commonly reflected in image. Iggy Pop is a good example of this genre, as were The New York Dolls. Mötley Crüe's first album, Too Fast for Love, had many elements of glam punk in it. Also, Guns N' Roses' album The Spaghetti Incident consited mainly of covers of glam punk songs. Glam punk heavily influenced Hair Metal.
Hardcore punk (or hardcore) is a subgenre of punk rock that was formed in the late 1970s. Its sound is generally heavier, faster, and thicker than the sound of the earlier punk bands. It has spawned in a diverse collection of subgenres and has often been combined with subgenres of heavy metal. Examples of early hardcore punk bands include Black Flag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat. Examples of later hardcore bands include Gallows and Cancer Bats. Among modern punks, there is frequent questioning of the legitimacy of some of these hardcore bands (which often lean more towards metalcore), such as Every Time I Die and A Day to Remember.
Horror punk mixes Gothic and punk rock sounds with morbid or 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 horror punk music is typically more aggressive and melodic than deathrock. Some horror punk bands dress up in black clothes, skeleton costumes, and skull face paint. Examples of horror punk bands include Misfits, Balzac and Wednesday 13.
Nazi punk is punk rock that promotes neo-Nazism. The term Nazi punk can also refer to a neo-Nazi who is part of the punk subculture. Rock Against Communism is a related genre. Examples of Nazi punk bands include The Dentists, The Ventz, Tragic Minds and White Boss.
Noise rock was popular in Japan and the United Kingdom in the early 1980s. Noise rock uses the traditional instrumentation and iconography of rock music, but incorporates atonality and dissonance, and frequently discards usual songwriting conventions. Examples of noise punk bands include Big Black, Killdozer and Sonic Youth.
Oi! is a working class street-level subgenre of punk rock that originated in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. It had a goal of uniting punks, skinheads, and other working class youths. Notable early Oi! bands include: Cockney Rejects, Angelic Upstarts, The 4-Skins and The Business.
Riot Grrrl is a feminist punk/indie rock genre and subculture, whose popularity peaked in the 1990s. The subculture features elements such as female-centric bands, concerts and festivals; collectives, support groups, workshops, self-defense courses, activism and fanzines. Examples of Riot Grrrl bands include Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and Bratmobile.
Skate punk, also known as skatepunk, skate-punk, skate-thrash, surf punk, or skate-core, is a subgenre of punk that derived from hardcore punk. Skate punk most often describes the sound of melodic hardcore bands from the 1990s with an aggressive sound, and similar sounding modern bands. Skate videos have traditionally featured this aggressive style of punk rock. Bands include The Offspring, NOFX, Suicidal Tendencies, Pulley, Pennywise, Ten Foot Pole, Strung Out, Title Fight and Blink-182 .
Street punk is a working class subgenre of punk rock which emerged in the early 1980s, partly as a rebellion against the perceived artistic pretensions of the first wave of British punk. Street punk developed from the Oi! genre, and then continued to go beyond the confines of the original Oi! style.
Taqwacore is a punk rock subgenre dealing with Islam and its culture, originally conceived in Michael Muhammad Knight's 2003 novel The Taqwacores. The name is a portmanteau of hardcore and the Arabic word Taqwa, which is usually translated as "piety" or the quality of being "God-fearing". Although Muslim punk rock dates back to at least the 1979 founding of the British band Alien Kulture. Knight's novel was instrumental in encouraging the growth of a contemporary North American Muslim punk movement. Taqwacore bands often challenge Islam as it exists, promoting a very liberal-progressive agenda.
Trallpunk is a subgenre of punk known for fast drumming, a melodic sound and often politically oriented lyrics. It emerged from the late-1980s Swedish hardcore punk scene. Examples of trallpunk bands include Asta Kask, De Lyckliga Kompisarna and Krymplings.
Punk rock fusion subgenres
2 Tone (or Two Tone) was a music genre created in England in the late 1970s by fusing elements of ska, punk rock, rocksteady, reggae and New Wave. The 2 Tone sound was developed by young musicians in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The genre is the precursor of the third wave ska scene of the 1980s and 1990s. Examples of 2 Tone bands include The Specials, The Selecter and Madness.
Celtic punk is punk rock fused with influences from Celtic music. Often, the bands add Celtic instruments such as bagpipes, fiddle, tin whistle, accordion, mandolin or banjo. Celtic punk bands often play covers of traditional Irish or Scottish folk songs, as well as original compositions. Examples of Celtic punk bands include The Pogues, The Real McKenzies and, Dropkick Murphys.
Chicano punk is music by punk bands of Mexican American ethnicity. The subgenre originated in Chicago's Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods during the mid-1990s and later spread to the Los Angeles punk scene. Examples of Chicano punk bands include Los Crudos, Los Illegals and Cruzados.
Cowpunk or country punk combines punk rock with country music in sound, subject matter, attitude, and style. The term has also been applied to several bands that play a fast form of Southern rock. Examples of cow punk bands include The Gun Club, Jason & The Scorchers and Nine Pound Hammer.
Dance-punk (also known as disco punk, funk punk or indie-dance) mixes punk rock with disco, funk and electro music. Eerging in the late 1970s, it is influenced by the post-punk and No Wave movements and, more recently, the post-punk revival and art punk movements. Examples of dance-punk bands include: The Rapture, Liars and The Prodigy.
Folk punk combines elements of folk music and punk rock. Its subgenres include Celtic punk and Gypsy punk. Most folk punk musicians perform their own compositions, in the style of punk rock, but using additional folk instruments, such as mandolins, accordions, banjos or violins. Examples of folk punk bands include The Pogues, Andrew Jackson Jihad, folk the system
Gypsy punk mixes traditional Romani music, Klezmer or Eastern European music with punk rock. It typically features violin, acoustic guitar, accordion, and tenor saxophone, along with electric guitar, bass, and drums. Examples of Gypsy punk bands include Gogol Bordello, Motherhead Bug and Zydepunks.
Pop punk (also known as punk pop and other names) is a fusion genre that combines elements of punk rock with pop music, to varying degrees. It is not clear when the term pop punk was first used, but pop-influenced punk rock had been around since the mid- to late-1970s. Examples of commercially successful pop punk bands include Green Day, The Offspring, Blink-182, and Sum 41.
Psychobilly mixes elements of punk rock, rockabilly, and other genres. It is often characterized by lyrical references to horror and exploitation films, violence, lurid sexuality and other topics generally considered taboo; although often presented in a comedic or tongue-in-cheek fashion. It is often played with an upright double bass instead of the electric bass more common in modern rock music. Examples of psychobilly bands include Demented Are Go, Guana Batz and The Meteors
Punk blues is a fusion of punk rock, blues rock and blues music. It also can be influenced by garage rock. The White Stripes, Flat Duo Jets, and Cage The Elephant are notable examples of punk blues bands.
Punk jazz describes the amalgamation of elements of the jazz tradition (usually free jazz and jazz fusion of the 1960s and 1970s) with the instrumentation or conceptual heritage of punk rock and hardcore punk. John Zorn, James Chance and the Contortions, Lounge Lizards, Universal Congress Of, Laughing Clowns and Zymosis are notable examples of punk jazz artists.
Punk metal fuses elements of heavy metal music with punk rock. The fusion often involves extreme metal genres and hardcore punk. Styles of punk metal include crossover thrash, grindcore, crust punk, grunge, alternative metal, industrial metal, thrash metal, sludge metal, digital hardcore, and subsequent fusions between those styles. Examples of punk metal bands include Suicidal Tendencies, Snot, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.) and Corrosion of Conformity.
Ska punk is a fusion music genre that combines ska and punk rock, often playing down the former's R&B roots. Ska-core is a subgenre of ska punk, blending ska with hardcore punk. The more punk-influenced style often features faster tempos, guitar distortion, onbeat punk-style interludes (usually the chorus), and nasal, gruff, or shouted vocals. The more ska-influenced style features a more developed instrumentation and a cleaner vocal and musical sound. Examples of ska punk bands include Less Than Jake, Operation Ivy and Catch 22. Examples of ska-core bands include The Suicide Machines and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Voodoo Glow Skulls.
Synthpunk (also known as electropunk) is a music genre combining elements of electronic music and punk rock. A number of bands use electronics and punk music together although the methods and resulting sounds can differ greatly. This has even led to the creation of more genres such as Digital Hardcore. Examples include Mindless Self Indulgence, The Prodigy, Atari Teenage Riot and Left Spine Down.
- Reynolds, Simon, Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 (Penguin (Non-Classics), 2006), p. 65
- Sabin, Roger, Punk Rock: So What?: The Cultural Legacy of Punk. (Routledge, 1999), pp. 207-208.
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- Sweers, B., Electric Folk: The Changing Face of English Traditional Music (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 197-8.
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