|Cultural origins||1960s, United States|
Garage punk is a modern rock subgenre that combines core influences of 1960s garage rock and early 1970s proto-punk with subsequent punk rock and other genres. The term was originally used to describe 1960s garage rock bands, and is still used as a designation for 1960s garage by many of that genre's commentators and enthusiasts, and is sometimes used for garage rock revival bands who attempt to faithfully replicate the 1960s garage style.
However, the term is most often associated with modern bands who, despite generally viewing themselves as continuing in the tradition of 1960s garage, do not necessarily attempt to emulate the exact sound and look of that era, the way "retro" revival bands do, and thus incorporate influences from later primitivist genres into their approach. The genre is characterized by dirty, choppy guitars, lyrics sometimes dealing with bad taste and rebelliousness, usually played by acts who are on independent record labels, or who are unsigned.
Garage punk bands are generally apolitical and tend distance themselves from hardcore punk bands and usually avoid the kinds of strict adherence to subcultural codes and ideologies often associated with other forms of punk.
One of the earliest known uses of the term appeared in Lenny Kaye's track-by-track liner notes for the 1972 Nuggets LP to describe a song by the 1960s garage rock band, the Shadows of Knight as "classic garage punk", and is still often used to describe the garage bands of that era.
Simon Reynolds traces garage punk to American garage bands in the 1960s. Garage punk enjoyed a period of popularity in the 1990s, as well as late 1990s and early years of the twenty-first century. According to the Allmusic guide, "Before the punk-pop wing of America's '90s punk revival hit the mainstream, a different breed of revivalist punk had been taking shape in the indie-rock underground. In general, garage punk wasn't nearly as melodic as punk-pop; instead, garage punk drew its inspiration chiefly from the Detroit protopunk of The Stooges and The MC5."
Many of the main influences of the style came from different sonic backgrounds, but commonly associated with decadent lifestyles, the 'true rocker' attitude and speed. Bands such as Motörhead, New York Dolls and records such as The Damned's Damned Damned Damned and The Stooges's Raw Power were crucial for the development of the style. Other important precedents are the early 1970s Detroit band Death and the Boston band The Modern Lovers. The latter were an influence on punk while using an organ similar to 1960s garage bands.
Early UK punk bands such as The Clash often originally characterized themselves as 'garage bands' with The Clash even featuring a song on their first album The Clash called "Garageland" in which they claimed "We're a garage band, We come from garageland". While originating from punk and garage rock, it sometimes incorporates elements of 1960s soul, beat music, surf music, power pop, hardcore punk and psychedelia. Many garage punk musicians have been white, working class, suburban teenagers.
"Some of the first garage punk bands who appeared in the late '80s and early '90s (Mudhoney, the Supersuckers) signed with the Sub Pop label, whose early grunge bands shared some of the same influences and aesthetics (in fact, Mudhoney became one of the founders of grunge)." Bands like New Bomb Turks, The Oblivians, The Gories, Subsonics, The Mummies, The Dirtbombs, and The Humpers helped maintain a cult audience for the style through the 1990s and 2000s.
List of artists
- Black Lips
- The Cramps
- Dead Moon
- The Dirtbombs
- The Gories
- The Hellacopters
- The Hives
- The Humpers
- Jay Reatard
- The King Khan & BBQ Show
- The Mummies
- New Bomb Turks
- Reigning Sound
- Thee Oh Sees
- The White Stripes
- Ty Segall
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- GaragePunk Podcast Network
- Garage punk fashion
- List of garage rock bands
- List of garage rock compilations
- Hoffmann 2004, p. 1725.
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- NY-based Yeah Yeah Yeahs headline Love Garage