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 Afro-punk
- 2 Anarcho punk
- 3 Art punk
- 4 Christian punk
- 5 Deathrock
- 6 Garage punk
- 7 Glam punk
- 8 Hardcore punk
- 9 Horror punk
- 10 Nazi Punk
- 11 Oi!
- 12 Peace punk
- 13 Post-punk
- 14 Protopunk
- 15 Punk pathetique
- 16 Queercore
- 17 Riot Grrrl
- 18 Rock Against Communism
- 19 Scottish Gaelic punk
- 20 Skate punk
- 21 Street punk
- 22 Taqwacore
- 23 Traditional punk rock
- 24 Trallpunk
- 25 Punk rock fusion subgenres
- 25.1 2 Tone
- 25.2 Alternative rock
- 25.3 Anti-folk
- 25.4 Celtic punk
- 25.5 Chicano punk
- 25.6 Dark cabaret
- 25.7 Latin Punk
- 25.8 Cowpunk
- 25.9 Dance-punk
- 25.10 Folk punk
- 25.11 Grunge
- 25.12 Gypsy punk
- 25.13 Noise rock
- 25.14 No wave
- 25.15 Pop punk
- 25.16 Psychobilly
- 25.17 Punk blues
- 25.18 Punk jazz
- 25.19 Punk metal
- 25.20 Rap punk
- 25.21 Ska punk
- 25.22 Electropunk
- 26 See also
- 27 References
Afro-punk (sometimes spelled Afro-Punk, Afropunk or AfroPunk) refers to the participation of African Americans in the punk and alternative music cultures. Afro-punks make up a minority in the North American punk scene. However, they represent a majority in the punk culture in predominantly African American regions of the world that have burgeoning punk communities, such as in parts of Africa. There are many punk rock bands with African American members, and several with lineups that are all African American. Notable bands that can be linked to the Afro-punk community include: Death, Pure Hell, Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Kennedys, Fishbone, Wesley Willis Fiasco, Suffrajett, The Templars, and Rough Francis.
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.
Art punk or avant punk refers to punk rock and post-punk music of an experimental bent, or with connections to art school, the art world, or the avant-garde. Examples of Art punk artists include A Frames, Art Brut, The Blood Brothers, Glenn Branca, Chicks on Speed, Chimera, Country Teasers, Crass, Daughters, The Death Set, and Devo
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 MxPx, Dogwood, Officer Negative, Ghoti Hook, Smiley Kids, Lugnut, One-21, Craig's Brother and Crashdog.
Deathrock is a subgenre of punk rock incorporating horror elements and spooky atmospherics, that emerged on the West Coast of the United States in the early 1980s. Deathrock songs use simple chords, echoing guitars and prominent bass. Drumming emphasizes repetitive, post-punk beats within a 4/4 time signature. To create atmosphere, scratchy guitars are sometimes used. Lyrics can vary, but are typically introspective and surreal, and deal with the dark themes of isolation, gloom, disillusionment, loss, life, death, etc.; as can the style, varying from harsh and dark to upbeat, melodic and tongue-in-cheek. Deathrock lyrics and other musical stylistic elements often incorporate the themes of campy horror and sci-fi films, which in turn leads some bands to adopt elements of rockabilly and surf rock.
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 consisted mainly of covers of glam punk songs. Glam punk heavily influenced Hair Metal.
Hardcore punk (or hardcore) music is generally faster and more aggressive than earlier punk rock. Hardcore, which originated in the late 1970s, was heavily involved with the rise of the independent record labels in the 1980s, and with the DIY ethics in underground music scenes. It has influenced a number of music genres which have experienced mainstream success, such as alternative rock, grunge, alternative metal, metalcore, thrash metal, and post-hardcore. Examples of early hardcore punk bands include Black Flag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat. Examples of later hardcore bands include Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today and Agnostic Front.
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.
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.
Peace punk is a subgenres of punk rock with peaceful lyrics. The lyrics in Peace punk advocate nonviolence but also often equality, freedom, animal liberation, veganism, ecology, human right and anarchy. The lyrics are against racism, sexism, homophobia, war, poverty, capitalism, the government, and the army. Most bands are also Anarcho-punk bands. Example of Peace punk bands include Contravene, (A).P.P.L.(E), Crass, Anti-Flag,Vulgaires Machins, Les Sales Majestés, Flux of pink indian, Omega Tribe, Subhumans, A//Political, Fallout (Band) and The Mob.
Post-punk is a rock music genre that paralleled and emerged from the initial punk rock explosion of the late 1970s. The genre is a more experimental and arty form of punk. It incorporated elements of krautrock (particularly the use of synthesizers and extensive repetition), disco, dub music, and studio experimentation into the genre. Example of Post-punk include Joy Division, The Cure, and U2.
Protopunk is the music from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s that influenced punk rock. Typically, protopunk artists are not always themselves classified as punk, and protopunk is not a distinct musical genre as it includes a wide range of musical backgrounds and styles, including much garage rock. American examples include The Stooges, MC5, Death, The Seeds, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Monks, The Sonics, Shadows of Knight, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Alice Cooper, The Trashmen, Suicide, ? and the Mysterians, New York Dolls, The Dictators, Lou Reed, Big Star, The Fugs, Television (band), Captain Beefheart, Patti Smith, and Richard Hell
Punk pathetique or Fun punk is a subgenre of British punk rock (principally active circa 1980–1982) that involved humour and working class cultural themes. Musically it was related to (and had crossover with) the Oi! subgenre. Example of Fun punk include TV Personalities, The Shapes, The Adicts and Notsensibles.
Queercore is a subgenre of punk that emerged in the 1980s after the publication of the zine J.D.s in Toronto. As a genre, queercore explores issues of gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Popular queecore bands include Limp Wrist, Queer Mutiny and Pansy Division. Festivals such as Queeruption feature music, art, film, performance art and DIY-aesthetic.
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.
Rock Against Communism
R.A.C is a subgenre of punk rock, lyrics typically feature nationalist and neo-fascist politics (and by extension anti-semitism and racism) alongside anti-communist and anti-leftist themes but musically closer to the Oi!. Examples of R.A.C bands include Absurd, Brigade M, Landser, Légitime Violence, and Skullhead
Scottish Gaelic punk
Scottish Gaelic punk is a subgenre of punk rock in which bands sing some or all of their music in Scottish Gaelic. The Gaelic punk scene is, in part, an affirmation of the value of minority languages and cultures. Gaelic punk bands express political views, particularly those related to anarchism and environmentalism.
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, Sum 41, 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.
Traditional punk rock
Traditional punk rock or simply Punk rock is the seminal genre of Punk rock before the genre evolved and splintered into many different styles and subgenres. Example of Traditional punk rock bands include Sex Pistols and Ramones.
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.
Alternative rock (also called alternative music, alt-rock or simply alternative) is a genre of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s. The name "alternative rock" essentially serves as an umbrella term for underground music that has emerged in the wake of punk rock since the mid-1980s. Throughout much of its history, alternative rock has been largely defined by its rejection of the commercialism of mainstream culture, although this could be contested ever since some of the major alternative artists have achieved mainstream success or co-opted with the major labels from the 1990s onwards (especially since the new millennium and beyond).
Anti-folk (sometimes antifolk or unfolk) is a subgenres of folk music and punk rock that seeks to subvert the earnestness of politically charged 1960s folk music. The defining characteristics of this anti-folk are difficult to identify, as they vary from one artist to the next. Nonetheless, the music tends to sound raw or experimental; it also generally mocks perceived seriousness and pretention in the established mainstream music scene.
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.
Dark cabaret may be a simple description of the theme and mood of a cabaret performance, but more recently has come to define a particular musical genre which draws on the aesthetics of the decadent, risqué German Weimar-era cabarets, burlesque and vaudeville shows with the stylings of post-1970s goth and punk music.
Latin Punk is a subgenre of punk rock influenced by Latin American Rock en Español, Latino Punk, Ska, and regional musical genres such as Bossa Nova, Samba, Cumbia and Boleros, among others. Although originally a subgenre born in the Latin Americas and Spain, the Latin Punk subgenre has grown internationally, providing Latin rock musicians abroad a connection to their roots. Examples of Latin Punk bands include Caracas, Los Furios, and Machetres.
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, and the earlier work of Against Me! and Violent Femmes.
Grunge is generally characterized by a sludgy guitar sound that uses a high level of distortion, fuzz, and feedback effects. Grunge fuses elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal, although some bands performed with more emphasis on one or the other. The music shares with punk a raw sound and similar lyrical concerns. However, it also involves much slower tempos, dissonant harmonies, and more complex instrumentation—which is reminiscent of heavy metal. Allmusic calls grunge a "hybrid of heavy metal and punk". Lyrics are typically angst-filled, often addressing themes such as social alienation, apathy, confinement, and a desire for freedom. A number of factors influenced the focus on such subject matter. Such themes bear similarities to those addressed by punk rock musicians.
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.
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.  it can be described as a fusion of punk rock and noise music. Examples of noise punk bands include Big Black, Killdozer and Sonic Youth.
No wave was an underground music. No wave is not a clearly definable musical genre with consistent features. Various groups drew on such disparate styles as funk, jazz, blues, punk rock, avant garde, and experimental. There are, however, some elements common to most no wave music, such as abrasive atonal sounds, repetitive driving rhythms, and a tendency to emphasize musical texture over melody—typical of La Monte Young's early downtown music. No wave music presented a negative and nihilistic world view that reflected the desolation of late 1970s downtown New York and how they viewed the larger society.
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, Sum 41 and Simple Plan
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.
Electropunk (also known as synthpunk) 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.
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