Grunge (sometimes referred to as “the Seattle sound”) is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the state of Washington, particularly in Seattle. Grunge became commercially successful in the first half of the 1990s, due mainly to the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, Alice in Chains’ Dirt, and Stone Temple Pilots’ Core. The success of these bands boosted the popularity of alternative rock and made grunge the most popular form of hard rock music at the time. Although most grunge bands had disbanded or faded from view by the late 1990s, their influence continues to affect modern rock music.
Grunge typically fuses elements of punk rock and heavy metal, such as the distorted electric guitar used in both genres. 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. Lyrics are typically angst-filled, often addressing themes such as social alienation, apathy, confinement, and a desire for freedom. Bands you should know:
- Pearl Jam
- Alice In Chains
- Stone Temple Pilots