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Noise rock

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Noise rock (sometimes called noise punk[1]) is a diverse[3] style of experimental rock[2] that spun off from punk rock in the 1980s.[4][3] Drawing from no wave, minimalism, industrial music, and New York hardcore,[5] artists indulge in extreme levels of distortion through the use of electric guitars, and less frequently, electronic instrumentation, either to provide percussive sounds or to contribute to the overall arrangement.[4]

Some groups are tied to song structures, such as Sonic Youth. Although they are not representative of the entire genre, they helped popularize noise rock among alternative rock audiences by incorporating melodies into their droning textures of sound, which set a template that numerous other groups followed.[4]


Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore explained: "Noise has taken the place of punk rock. People who play noise have no real aspirations to being part of the mainstream culture. Punk has been co-opted, and this subterranean noise music and the avant-garde folk scene have replaced it."[6]


The Velvet Underground have been credited with creating the first noise rock album in 1968.

While the music had been around for some time, the term "noise rock" was coined in the 1980s to describe an offshoot of punk groups with an increasingly abrasive approach.[3] An archetypal album is the Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat (1968).[7][3] Treblezine's Joe Gross credits the "cult classic" with being the first noise rock album, accordingly, "perhaps it’s an obvious starting point, but it’s also the starting point. Period."[3]

While noise rock has never really had any mainstream popularity, the raw, distorted and feedback-intensive sound of some noise rock bands had an influence on grunge. Among them are Wisconsin's Killdozer, and most notably San Francisco's Flipper, a band known for its slowed-down and murky "noise punk". The Butthole Surfers' mix of punk, heavy metal and noise rock was a major influence, particularly on the early work of Soundgarden.[8] Starting in the 1990s, noise punk developed mostly as a form of party music, with the band Lightning Bolt serving as key players in the 2000s noise punk scene in Providence, Rhode Island.[9]

List of artists


  1. ^ a b Felix 2010, p. 172.
  2. ^ a b Osborn, Brad (October 2011). "Understanding Through-Composition in Post-Rock, Math-Metal, and other Post-Millennial Rock Genres*". Music Theory Online. 17 (3). 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Terich, Jeff. "Hold On To Your Genre : Noise Rock". Treblezine. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Noise Rock". AllMusic. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Blush 2016, p. 266.
  6. ^ Sisario, Ben (December 2, 2004). "The Art of Noise". Spin. 
  7. ^ Gross, Joe (April 2007). "Noise Rock Essentials". Spin. 23 (4). 
  8. ^ Azerrad (2001), p. 439.[full citation needed]
  9. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (December 2, 2004). "The Art of Noise". Spin. 
  10. ^ "An Albatross | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  11. ^ "Daughters / The Body / Loma Prieta The Cobalt, Vancouver BC, November 12". Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  12. ^ "Death From Above 1979 Showcase Live Show in New Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  13. ^ DeShannon, Miz. "DZ Deathrays - Black Rat - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab". Soundblab. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  14. ^ Harrison, Phil (2015-11-02). "Chaos theory: meet Dublin's raucous noise rockers Girl Band". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-13. 
  15. ^ "Guerilla Toss get remixed by Giant Claw and destroy an audience with Live In Nashville". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. Retrieved 2017-03-13. 
  16. ^ "Noise Rockers Health Release Most Disgusting Video of Year". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-03-13. 
  17. ^ "Whores Find Freedom in Noise Rock - Noisey". Noisey. Retrieved 2017-03-13.