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I was listening to Soundgarden and it dawned to me that out of all the versions of hard rock, heavy metal and punk, grunge is perhaps the most frozen in time.

These days it's quite common to hear bands playing old school thrash, death, speed/NWOBHM etc and hardcore and punk never stopped.  Hence these genres sound timeless.  A lot of old bands are still active in these scenes - in fact not many bands stay broken up.

Yet most of the leading bands out of grunge movement are permanently gone due the deaths of so many key players - Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Chris Cornell, Shannon Hoon, Scott Weiland, Andrew Wood etc.  And most of the rest have floated out of the scene or music altogether or like Pearl Jam morphed into some sort of arena rock thing.

And the genre has seen nothing new or innovative or noteworthy in 30 years.  Even AIC and Soundgarden reunion albums were largely forgettable, unmemorable affairs.  The genre hasn't evolved new additions or new sounds.  Even thrash and death have evolved over the years or renewed their sound.

So grunge is left in frozen in a 1989-1994 time capsule.   

To be honest part of me likes that.  Not only does it harken to my youth but it stays forever young and isn't sullied by dubious changes or inundated with cookie cutter clones of past glories.

It also makes me sad because it means I am getting old and that the world that created and defined my youth is fading into memory.

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I have a different take on some of this. The bands playing retro styles don't usually sound timeless to me, they sound like a 3rd rate rehash. There are exceptions but the popularity of those styles feels less like new blood carrying the torch, more like an unmoored crowd searching for legitimacy. I'm judging this by lots of live shows and a bit of online clicking around, so maybe I'm missing something, but meh.

Grunge also had its B and C listers and derivative mainstream acts, but it all happened really fast - by the end of the decade we were drowning in grunge-flavored butt rock. You liked Ten? You'll love Creed! Bush! Days Of The New! Etc etc. Maybe it wore out its welcome by getting that commercialized and oversaturated that quickly. So the sound doesn't really encapsulate "cool", because it's attached to a lot of lame shit. Also, given how much of the sound was born out of 60s and 70s rock, it's no suprise that it was easily subsumed back into the larger world of rock music. You don't get vocalists like Layne and Chris or distinctive guitarists like Kim Thayil every day... absent those strong personalities it's just part of the machine.  

I thought King Animal was a solid album. I still dig it. It doesn't have the teeth of their older stuff but there are some moments of real inspiration on there. Same but maybe a little less so for the new AIC stuff, I like it a lot when I'm in the mood but nothing will ever be Dirt.

All of this is is just my perceptions of growing up with the stuff and living through it - I haven't done a deep dive into every corner. Probably missing a lot. In the end, like you, I'm fine with those great albums being a time and a place and not sending fresh tendrils out. 

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I'm a bit older than you guys of course, I was 30 when Nevermind came out in Sept '91 and unofficially kicked off the "Grunge Era" so my perception will be somewhat different I'm sure. (Days of the New hahaha)

The whole "grunge" thing was just a marketing tool to sell albums anyway. I never thought of myself as a fan of grunge in the 90's because to me Pearl Jam basically epitomized what I thought of as 'the grunge sound' and I hated Pearl Jam with a passion. Always have, always will. Which makes sense because I hated most of that late 60's and early 70's 'hippie rock' that it was derived from. That was an era when nothing was remotely heavy enough or fast enough to suit me. I knew what I wanted in the 70's, it just didn't exist yet. Don't get me wrong I loved certain 70's bands like Sabbath of course, and also Zeppelin and Aerosmith and Skynyrd and stuff but the vast majority of 70's rock was just not giving me what I wanted from my music. It just wasn't heavy or aggressive enough. I knew there had to be more than just what we had at the time. When punk rock and metal finally came around in the late 70's and early 80's I realized immediately that was the stuff I had always been waiting for and I celebrated the death of hippie rock. I certainly had no desire to return to 70's hippie rock 15 years later in the 90's.

So as far as grunge is concerned like everyone else I bought Nevermind which I thought was just alright. But after hearing some of those songs on the radio hundreds of times in just a few years I just stopped playing it and never looked back. Not saying it's bad, because it is a good record, but I could take it or leave it really. Never bothered with any of the other Nirvana albums.

Didn't really like Soundgarden until Superunknown came out in '94. I'd heard about them and wanted to like them, I'd even liked the single Outshined from their previous record, but then when I bought the album I didn't connect with the rest of it at all. Same as had happened with Louder Than Love, I'd read positive reviews about them so I bought the record and hated it. So in my mind I love Soundgarden, but it's really only based on that one album and a small handfull of songs from the album after that.

I did worship Alice in Chains from day 1, but I always looked at them as more of a heavy metal band, I refused to associate them with the grunge movement just because they happened to be from Seattle. They had nothing in common with any of those other bands. Funny that I didn't know anyone else personally back then in the early 90's who liked Alice very much besides me, but then years later it seemed all of a sudden everyone I knew loved and revered them too.

Wasn't really keen on any of the other early 90's grunge bands I was hearing at the time, except for My Sister's Machine whom I loved, but like AiC they were on the more metallic end of the grunge rock spectrum. I really liked that one Screaming Trees song they used to play on the radio, but again once purchased I didn't really dig the rest of the album.

Years later I found some other 90's bands who are loosely associated with grunge that I liked a bit more such as: Mudhoney, The Melvins and Tad, but they're not what most people think of when you say 'grunge' and I'm not like a superfan of any of them or anything.

And then by the mid/late 90's as FA has pointed out most of what they were calling 'grunge' was just bullshit commercial radio friendly butt rock. Record companies just kept signing these bands from Seattle (or bands they thought sounded like it) and slapping the grunge label on them to milk grunge's popularity for every last nickle they could, at least until they could figure out what the next big thing was going to be that they could push on everyone until they could manage to run it into the ground.

So when you say the genre hasn't seen any growth or anything noteworthy happen in 30 years, that's just because they stopped marketing new shit as 'grunge' 25 years ago when they ran out of Seattle bands to sign. And what I think most people miss is that most young aspiring musicians who are into any kind of mainstream rock music are going to have their bands play in whatever style is currently in favor. For example every up and coming young band in the late 80's was a spandex wearing hair metal band because that's what the record comapnies wanted at the time. By the mid 90's every young rock band wanted to sound grunge. By the late 90's into the 2000's everyone was jumping on the nu-metal bandwagon. And so on and so on.

So maybe in an alternate universe if grunge had never left and was still just as popular as ever, then I think you'd still be seeing young bands deciding to play their version of grunge. But since grunge has long been dead and buried, young bands are going into different styles that they hope could potentially bring them more commercial success, because that's what the record companies' "tastemakers" are looking for.

Underground black metal bands can self-release stuff and sell 500 copies and be happy with that. But mainstream oriented bands with aspirations of grandeur still need recording contracts and promotion and distribution if they wanna make it big one day. And they all wanna make it big. So they whore themselves out in service to whatever genre they think can get them where they wanna go. Think of Pantera starting out as basically just another cock rock hairspray band in the 80's and then regrouping when they realized that style was dead and reinventing themselves as something completely different going into the 90's. If cock rock had stayed big then maybe they'd have stuck with that style til the end.

Underground metal is a different story though. Most young bands that decide to play old school death or black metal or whatever (not talking about the more watered down 'extreme' metal bands here) do so because they love it. They have to love it because we all know there's no real money in it. Most of these bands can't even make a living solely from their musical endeavors. They want to pay their tribute to and be part of the music they love, and it's really not their fault that they were born too late to be part of the first waves of these genres. Any real success any of these kinds of bands reach is usually incidental, it came to them somehow while they were just doing their own thing. Think of like a Cannibal Corpse or some band like that who has achieved some level of success and noteriety. They didn't contrive to go chase stardom or tailor their music in any way just to fit record company expectations. They did their own thing their own way and were just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. 

That's why these more extreme styles of black and death metal and crust punk can live on and on for decades and change very little. They have no reason or motivation to change. They're just playing what they're into playing regardless of whatever the flavor of the moment might be. Sure it's true that there are many people like FA who think most of the newer black & death bands are just rehashing what came before, and maybe they are. I hear so many people bitch that everything is a rehash anymore and therefore it's all worthless and banal. Surely there must be at least a handful of innovators operating within these sub-genres who are doing something original though?

But either way personally I don't take points off just for unoriginality. A good riff is a good riff. If your album has cool riffs and changes, is executed well and sounds good and filthy to me and gets my neck going then I'm gonna buy it even if you wear your influences on your sleeve. Everyone can't be an originator and I don't expect them to be. And honestly the more modern production for black and death metal these days doesn't bother me at all the way I hear a lot of people complain that it does for them. I'm just glad I'm not limited to only the old 90's stuff and that they just keep making more of what I love each year. For the time being anyway.

 

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Some really great points.

 

I agree there was a lot of crap grunge flavoured "alt rock" once mainstream rock got on board.  No idea about the B and C graders of early grunge movement - I was too young to do deep delves and it not only happened really quickly but it also didn't have anyone really take ownership of its history so they're largely forgotten.  This is unlike metal and punk where the newer generations took over historical gatekeeping and where sufficient numbers of old timers existed to reform old bands or even engage in new projects to keep things going.

The early 1990s B and C graders I have heard do tend to have that Seattle sound that seems to be impossible to replicate today.

 

As for modern thrash/death/NWOBHM/speed/grindcore - I agree these are mainly 3rd rate rehashes.  These genres have become literal zombies; brought back from death in early 2000s but without a soul of their own!

I do  like a lot of it though and there's a few classics here and there that stand up with the 1980s/early 1990s classics.  And it doesn't matter how good they are, they are not the classics and the scene has struggled to embrace them regardless of competence.

 

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I used to think that queen music was incredibly dated but now it's become timeless for me and I like it. Maybe that's just me but maybe grunge music will become timeless too.

you know that nirvana went very mainstream when even my mum requests nevermind album be put on the playlist for there recent 45 year wedding anniversary party😆

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Another notable feature is the failure of grunge revivals in the form of new bands replicating the sound. I am sure they are out there and occasionally stumble across them, but none are noteworthy or very popular from what I can tell, and certainly are dwarfed by the amount of bands (in my feed anyway) that are thrash, OSDM, 2nd wave black and now melodic DM revivals (that one makes me feel particularly old). I do see a lot of teens in Nirvana shirts, but no successful new bands. Maybe Kurt's death was also the ultimate mic drop on the whole scene.

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Why would anyone these days want to plow their talent and ambition into a sound that got watered down to the nth degree, flogged to death, and is still getting airplay on commercial radio? I bet if a truly stellar band came along with a distinctive take on grunge, it could break through, but there's no real market for run of the mill stuff, we already have plenty of that. A relatively mediocre death or black metal band can still kick ass and put on a good show and give some fans that feeling of discovery. Mediocre grunge is just gonna sound awful and pointless, more of the shit that boring old 40-somethings grew up with. I've heard a handful of younger bands copping a bit of a Helmet and Fugazi vibe, that seems to work pretty well. 

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1 hour ago, FatherAlabaster said:

Why would anyone these days want to plow their talent and ambition into a sound that got watered down to the nth degree, flogged to death, and is still getting airplay on commercial radio? I bet if a truly stellar band came along with a distinctive take on grunge, it could break through, but there's no real market for run of the mill stuff, we already have plenty of that. A relatively mediocre death or black metal band can still kick ass and put on a good show and give some fans that feeling of discovery. Mediocre grunge is just gonna sound awful and pointless, more of the shit that boring old 40-somethings grew up with. I've heard a handful of younger bands copping a bit of a Helmet and Fugazi vibe, that seems to work pretty well. 

I presume there is a whole world out there of garage band type rock music which isn't metal so I'd probably never hear it. Grunge is an extension of that. As you say, if a really stellar band came along it might rise to mainstream consciousness and I could find out about it. But it would have to be Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin level genius (on that level but something completely original) for me to be interested.

Was there a typo in your line "and is still getting airplay on commercial radio?" because that kind of answers itself. If a form of music is popular enough and a band can make a living from it, of course they will put in the effort. It might not make any sense to you or me, but people that like soft rock just aren't as worthwhile as you or me. They are empty vessels that will never find true meaning. Like a fat chick that refers to her also fat partner as "hubby," but they are not inherently evil.  

I truly wonder what proportion of predominantly guitar based music is still around which isn't metal. There must be some. Pop and Hip hop presumably makes up most of what "normies" listen to, but there surely is still a market for rock bands, like Oasis or U2 or something. Those guys were huge and there is still a viable if ageing population who grew up with it. Just like I will cling to metal until my dying day there must be a section of humanity who just love pussy guitar music or, at best, never dared try anything heavier than AC/DC.

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6 minutes ago, JonoBlade said:

Was there a typo in your line "and is still getting airplay on commercial radio?" because that kind of answers itself. If a form of music is popular enough and a band can make a living from it, of course they will put in the effort.

No, what I'm saying is that the "hits" and a fair amount of commercial garbage from the 90s is still saturating the airwaves. At least that's my sense of it around here. No room for anything new, just the same old carousel of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Bush, and butt rock. Golden Oldies, like.

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1 hour ago, JonoBlade said:

I truly wonder what proportion of predominantly guitar based music is still around which isn't metal. There must be some. Pop and Hip hop presumably makes up most of what "normies" listen to, but there surely is still a market for rock bands, like Oasis or U2 or something. Those guys were huge and there is still a viable if ageing population who grew up with it. Just like I will cling to metal until my dying day there must be a section of humanity who just love pussy guitar music or, at best, never dared try anything heavier than AC/DC.

That aging population of dad rockers is all set. They have their U2 and their Oasis and their Aerosmith and their Creedence and their Fleetwood Mac (my Kiwi father in law who is 2 years older than me was told I was a metalhead and then got me a Fleetwood Mac CD for Christmas) and their Green Day and their No More Tears or whatever band they liked 30 years ago and they're happy, they don't want or need any new stuff. 

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17 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

That aging population of dad rockers is all set. They have their U2 and their Oasis and their Aerosmith and their Creedence and their Fleetwood Mac (my Kiwi father in law who is 2 years older than me was told I was a metalhead and then got me a Fleetwood Mac CD for Christmas) and their Green Day and their No More Tears or whatever band they liked 30 years ago and they're happy, they don't want or need any new stuff. 

That would be my perception too, but is it definitely true that there is no new "rock" music? For the old guys stuck in the past, sure they are not interested. Same as an Iron Maiden or Metallica fan that has never listened to another band, but is there no new generation of non-metal rock at all?

I know there is a band called Greta Van Fleet which everyone says sounds like Led Zeppelin, so I am assuming it is guitar based, and playing big gigs.

I suppose it is a moot point because I don't really care. Just interesting because back in high school everyone was into U2 except me it seemed. And the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Goddamn I hated those guys.

Once upon a time you recommended All Them Witches. They were great and I still get their new albums, seen them live a few times. Although, the latest stuff is just not as good ...

Holy shit, I just checked and they are playing London on 3 October. This is happening a lot lately; I have no reliable alert system to find out about gigs. 

EDIT: but its sold out :(

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How about this for contemporary guitar based music - THE CHATS. My son messaged me tonight . He saw them live and he said they were as loud fast and aggressive as a good metal band...OK. If he says so. 

They were support for The Strokes though for fucks sake.

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7 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

That would be my perception too, but is it definitely true that there is no new "rock" music? For the old guys stuck in the past, sure they are not interested. Same as an Iron Maiden or Metallica fan that has never listened to another band, but is there no new generation of non-metal rock at all?

I know there is a band called Greta Van Fleet which everyone says sounds like Led Zeppelin, so I am assuming it is guitar based, and playing big gigs.

I suppose it is a moot point because I don't really care. Just interesting because back in high school everyone was into U2 except me it seemed. And the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Goddamn I hated those guys.

 

There are still some still popping up, shit like Halestorm springs to mind, as well as bands like Opeth and Mastodon who have mellowed out to the point that they're more rock than metal these days. I think the real issue though, is that there was a study not too long ago that showed peoples tastes solidify pretty early on, so the less popular that style is, the less people get exposed to it, resulting in less people wanting to play it

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9 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

That would be my perception too, but is it definitely true that there is no new "rock" music? For the old guys stuck in the past, sure they are not interested. Same as an Iron Maiden or Metallica fan that has never listened to another band, but is there no new generation of non-metal rock at all?

I know there is a band called Greta Van Fleet which everyone says sounds like Led Zeppelin, so I am assuming it is guitar based, and playing big gigs.

I suppose it is a moot point because I don't really care. Just interesting because back in high school everyone was into U2 except me it seemed. And the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Goddamn I hated those guys.

Once upon a time you recommended All Them Witches. They were great and I still get their new albums, seen them live a few times. Although, the latest stuff is just not as good ...

Holy shit, I just checked and they are playing London on 3 October. This is happening a lot lately; I have no reliable alert system to find out about gigs. 

EDIT: but its sold out :(

I saw ATW in NYC back in 2019 before the pandemic and I enjoyed them very much.  But when they took the stage I was gutted to learn that they keyboard player had quit the band. He was such an integral part of their sound up til 2015. I've bought a couple more of their albums since the amazing Dying Surfer but they are just nowhere near as good imo.

As far as new rock music is concerned, of course there's some newer guitar based rock music being made out there in the world. But in most cases no one will ever hear it. Just like the non-commercial extreme metal some of us listen to you'd have to really hunt for it. Hunting is work and it takes time. Casuals don't hunt. 

But we need to remember it's largely older people born before 1980 that are really focused on that style of guitar based rock music to the exclusion of other styles. That's why they call it dad rock. And most of those dads and moms really don't care about finding any new bands playing in the same old style they love the way many of us older metalheads do. They have 0 curiosity and don't want to try anything new. For some reason there are many tens of millions of people who are quite content listening to the same exact songs by the same exact bands for 50 or 60 years because it's familiar and comfortable. 

Which means that style of music is simply not commercially viable for most new bands starting out these days. You can't get your songs on the radio and become successful that way anymore because radio's been completely closed to new bands for many years. They will ONLY play stuff from 30-40-50 years ago. There's just no way for newer bands to break in to the music business the traditional way by playing retro rock music.

Whatever avenues new bands might have to get their music into people's ears via the internet, there are so many other bands doing the same thing it's hard to stand out. It's not gonna happen for them just from word of mouth playing live gigs in their little hometowns or local regions the way dinosaur bands like Maiden did it. So nowadays musicians that would like to attempt to make a living just from playing their music have no choice but to adopt a style that is commercially viable and keep the stuff they like as a little hobby just for themselves.

That's why when you see any newer band gain any kind of commercial success whatsoever, you know you will soon be seeing dozens of similar bands trying to copy their formula to achieve their fame and fortune. But this isn't a new thing, the recording industry has been like this forever.

Back in the old pre-internet days most bands had to compromise their art to try and get noticed by a record company and then convince them that they'd be able to not only recoup the money they'd be laying out to make the first record (how many legacy bands like Sabbath have you heard say they made their first album in 2 days for $1,300) but also maybe make them a little money on top of that as well. 

Once a band made their album then they needed a hit single or some good album sales even just not to be dropped by their label. Only once a band had proven themselves as moneymakers for a label after a few albums had sold well, and if they were really lucky, then their label might give them some leeway to experiment and do their own thing and make the music they really wanted to make. 

But things have become more polarized these days. With so many more bands out there all trying to get their music heard this means only a tiny handful of bands will become a big names and make boatloads of money, usually by playing an artistically bankrupt style of music. But I think for bands to achieve mid-level success and sustain it for decades is much more rare than it used to be. Most likely outcome for the vast majority of this massive glut of bands we see now will be to forever stay at the level of unknown 'starving artists' that have to keep their day jobs just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. There just isn't enough money to go around to support all these thousands of bands to the point where they can quit their jobs. And that's why you aren't aware of any new young bands playing guitar based rock music.

But there is guitar based rock music out there to be found if you want to hunt for it. If I happen to come across any more All Them Witches Jon-O I promise I'll let you know, alright?

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On 7/27/2022 at 11:19 PM, FatherAlabaster said:

Why would anyone these days want to plow their talent and ambition into a sound that got watered down to the nth degree, flogged to death, and is still getting airplay on commercial radio? I bet if a truly stellar band came along with a distinctive take on grunge, it could break through, but there's no real market for run of the mill stuff, we already have plenty of that. A relatively mediocre death or black metal band can still kick ass and put on a good show and give some fans that feeling of discovery. Mediocre grunge is just gonna sound awful and pointless, more of the shit that boring old 40-somethings grew up with. I've heard a handful of younger bands copping a bit of a Helmet and Fugazi vibe, that seems to work pretty well. 

If a band goes for that more 1989-90 grunge vibe, then I don't thing it would be a watered down sound if they included the rawness and punk/hardcore vibes.

15 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

That would be my perception too, but is it definitely true that there is no new "rock" music?

I know there is a band called Greta Van Fleet which everyone says sounds like Led Zeppelin, so I am assuming it is guitar based, and playing big gigs.I

 

Whole of Scooby Doom is a throw back to 1970s hard rock so it exists.  There's a few AC/DC clones (eg Airbourne) as well and a lot of New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal that borders on hard rock.  And then plenty of new glamish bands of the sort old Metal-fi admin, J.A.G. used to promote.

So the 1970s are well covered.  It's that late 1980s-early 1990s alt rock scene that seems dead.

 

Quote

Just interesting because back in high school everyone was into U2 except me it seemed. And the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Goddamn I hated those guys.

I hated U2 save one or two songs.  RHCP had some good tracks early on but quickly became mum rock (as did Foo Fighters who along later).

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9 hours ago, Thatguy said:

How about this for contemporary guitar based music - THE CHATS. My son messaged me tonight . He saw them live and he said they were as loud fast and aggressive as a good metal band...OK. If he says so. 

They were support for The Strokes though for fucks sake.

They're a punk band though I can't remember hearing them.

 

I used to go to a lot of "garage rock" gigs with bands that followed in the vein of Swedish revivalist scene as exemplified by the Hellacopters, Hives, Backyard Babies etc.

 

And yes they kicked arse as much as metal bands and in fact did better than a lot of metal bands.  Music was high octane and high intensity.  Gigs were raucous and action packed.  Crowd got really heavily into it and more so than many metal gigs.

Even bands that were quite polished on recordings, "let their hair" down for the gigs.

Even Aussie Triple JJJ commercial punk bands ala Living End used to tear it up live.

 

With regards to old Lonnie scene, Mustang exemplified it (and this doesn't capture the raw energy and intensity of their live performances) :

 

 

So yes live the Chats might well be worth seeing.

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6 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

 

But we need to remember it's largely older people born before 1980 that are really focused on that style of guitar based rock music to the exclusion of other styles. That's why they call it dad rock. And most of those dads and moms really don't care about finding any new bands playing in the same old style they love the way many of us older metalheads do. They have 0 curiosity and don't want to try anything new. For some reason there are many tens of millions of people who are quite content listening to the same exact songs by the same exact bands for 50 or 60 years because it's familiar and comfortable. 

 

I agree with all of your post 100% especially above.  I know extreme metal guys who were total underground nutters in early 1990s who are now in the same boat as Metallca-Pearl Jam listening suburban dad. - apparently death metal stops with Cryptosy and Suffocation which is the last time they actively sought new extreme metal music.

 

There's another side of the coin to the problems of new bands coming through:

 

1. Internet has killed promotion for new bands through oversaturation and killing traditional band .  It works fine for old bands who established their names pre-streaming.  But it sucks for new bands who have to compete with many other similar sounding bands.   

 

2. Brian Slagel from Metal Blade commented that the newer generations might get into metal or rock or whatever as much as old generations BUT and it's a big but, they tend to go old fashioned and don't really innovate themselves.  Instead they embrace nostalgia as much as some 40-50 year old guy who was young when Metallica or Guns N Roses were new.

Hence lots of revivalist bands who are in the end condemned to obscurity regardless of quality.

 

And to get back to the topic:

3. Yet despite this revivalism, they seem to avoid the grunge glory era.  I do think the glory era of grunge represented a number of specific social circumstances whereby mainstream kiddos fully embraced this new dark, depressing and at times heavy and extreme music (compared to Madonna, Prince or Bon Jovi or even Guns N Roses).

 

---------

Oh and for what it's worth - local kiddos aren't into any kind of hard rock or metal or punk.

When I was in my 20s there was probably over a dozen original bands active at any one time - metal, hard rock, punk, alternative and mainstream rock.

Now there's 2 semi-active metal bands left (Nosce Teipsum and Atra Vetosus) and that's it.  One of those bands is old timers in their mid-late 40s (Nosce Teipsum).  City's population has grown by during that time.  Launceston youth just doesn't do electric guitars.

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52 minutes ago, Dead1 said:

Yet despite this revivalism, they seem to avoid the grunge glory era.  I do think the glory era of grunge represented a number of specific social circumstances whereby mainstream kiddos fully embraced this new dark, depressing and at times heavy and extreme music (compared to Madonna, Prince or Bon Jovi or even Guns N Roses).

This is true and I believe it's largely because in the late 80's & early 90's in my country anyway, MTV was a force, and back then they still played music videos most of the day & night. Commercial rock radio had long since stopped taking chances on anything new by 1990 and they were sticking to their 60's and 70's rock playlists. So newer bands would make music videos as a way to get their music out without using the radio which wasn't available to them. Moms and dads listened to the radio and kids got their new music from MTV. And MTV embraced the grunge movement hard, just like they had embraced the visually oriented "hair band" bubblegum metal era hard before that. Many smaller bands didn't have the resources to make music videos but the record companies would pay for videos for the bands they wanted to promote and MTV would turn them into huge successful acts. I can remember seeing that stupid Smells Like Teen Spirit video two or three times an hour at least at one point. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, STP...all fucking made household names by MTV. I think they were behind the unplugged series too which was immensely popular. Being all acoustic and mellow those Unplugged specials turned a lot of people onto music that they might not have been interested in otherwise because the electric versions of those songs could have been too heavy for them. So MTV being a visual medium is largely responsible for turning "grunge" into such a trendy commercial mainstream genre as they had previously done for 80's cock rock. Because when suggestible kids would see a video over and over and over again every single day in the pre-digital, pre-streaming era, sooner or later they would likely go out and buy the album. We're all here making our early 90's lists chock full of our death metal favorites but at the time in the early 90's I can tell you I was listening to more of a thrash/grunge/punk mix because that's what I was being exposed to. I never even heard any death metal til a decade later. Now that we have the internet the music industry has had to change and adapt once again. MTV hasn't played any music videos for over 20 years. So the days of the old school traditional radio & TV media being able to create these major musical trends are over. There won't be any more widespread universal musical trends outside of bubblegum pop music which is what the kids mostly listen to now.

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11 hours ago, Thatguy said:

How about this for contemporary guitar based music - THE CHATS. My son messaged me tonight . He saw them live and he said they were as loud fast and aggressive as a good metal band...OK. If he says so. 

They were support for The Strokes though for fucks sake.

 Not at all familiar with The Strokes besides just their name so I dialed their greatest hits up on Youtube. Holy fucking shit this is just pathetic. I can't see the appeal. How do you know them? Are these dudes successful down there? 

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12 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Not at all familiar with The Strokes besides just their name so I dialed their greatest hits up on Youtube. Holy fucking shit this is just pathetic. I can't see the appeal. How do you know them? Are these dudes successful down there? 

No, no , no. I fucking hate the Strokes and it seems incongruous that The Chats - who are a good band - would be supporting them. My son specifically said that I would not like the band on with them before he told me who they were. I think his wife likes them. I hope that it's not him.

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3 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, STP...all fucking made household names by MTV. I think they were behind the unplugged series too which was immensely popular....

 

Well said . 

 

Funny thing is there are glam metal revivalists out there - Steel Panther being the obvious one but there are many others.

 

FWIW save Nirvana's, I hated the whole Unplugged series.  

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1 hour ago, Dead1 said:

Well said . 

Funny thing is there are glam metal revivalists out there - Steel Panther being the obvious one but there are many others.

FWIW save Nirvana's, I hated the whole Unplugged series.  

Glam/sleaze/hair/cock rock...whatever you want to call that stuff, it has never left though. There has always been a certain steadfast loyal following for that kind of music that has never wavered from their love of hairspray & spandex, and there have always been bands to play it for them, in the states anyway. Even though most of them are either has beens or cover bands. Problem is no one else cares the tiniest bit about glam except for the faithful though. Funny how a genre can be so loved and so hated at the same time.

The grunge thing on the other hand was a moment in time more than an actual musical style that can be recreated. When Kurt died in '94 the whole thing totally started falling apart. Besides being from Seattle many of those bands had very little in common musically aside from most of them being like some sort of modern takes on some old 70's rock mixed with punk in various ratios and usually with a shot of Sabbath on top. How can there truly be a grunge revival when each band sounded so different from the next? Every fan of grunge has their own personal idea of what 'grunge' sounds like which has been informed by whichever group of grunge bands they themselves happened to be into.

Alice was the only one of the major successful acts to come out of that movement who was truly original and had a unique sound all their own. No one will ever really be able copy them. Even Jerry Cantrell himself can't recapture the magic without Layne and he was the one who wrote all the music. But they weren't 'grunge' anyway imho they were just in the right place at the right time and got caught up in it to their benefit.

Even Soundgarden for all their immense talent wasn't really doing anything so fucking unique after their big success with Superunknown in '94, they just kinda turned into a boring commercial rock band and then broke up. Which brings us back to FA's repeated point, after '94 or '95 whatever they were marketing as 'grunge' just became a bunch of shitty watered down "grunge flavored' commercial butt rock that needed to die. Who would want to revive that shit now when it wasn't even any good the first time around? No musicians aspire to be kings of butt rock, do they?

The earliest bands we now apply the term 'grunge' to retroactively that were already going from before Nevermind blew up were all essentially punk rock bands. Punk rock has also never died. Since the late 70's there have been punk rock bands and as long as there are guitars there will always be punk rock bands.

And I believe it was you who pointed out that all that 'scooby doom' is still going strong too, another rock sub-genre that basically got started (ripping off Sabbath) in the 90's and has survived. That's the thing, sub-genres never really die anyway. There will always people out there who still care and bands who'll carry the torch for it. 

And yeah Unplugged wasn't my thing either, I think Alice in Chains was the only one of them I ever actually heard. But it sure was hugely successful.

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14 hours ago, SurgicalBrute said:

There are still some still popping up, shit like Halestorm springs to mind, as well as bands like Opeth and Mastodon who have mellowed out to the point that they're more rock than metal these days. 

Opeth and Mastodon have streamlined their sounds, but they very definitely started as metal bands. The issue here is new rock music that has little or no connection to metal.

13 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

I saw ATW in NYC back in 2019 before the pandemic and I enjoyed them very much.  But when they took the stage I was gutted to learn that they keyboard player had quit the band. He was such an integral part of their sound up til 2015. I've bought a couple more of their albums since the amazing Dying Surfer but they are just nowhere near as good imo.

The multi-instrumentalist guy is back in the band! So, things may look up for the next album. I saw them on the Dying Surfer tour (or it could have been one after) when that guy was still there and it made such a difference. The second time I saw them they were a three piece opening for Ghost (I shit you not) and it was pretty weak. It was a massive empty stage, whereas those guys work best in a basement bar where you're in their face sweating along with them. Charles Michael Parks Jr. is dreamy.

8 hours ago, Dead1 said:

Whole of Scooby Doom is a throw back to 1970s hard rock so it exists.  There's a few AC/DC clones (eg Airbourne) as well and a lot of New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal that borders on hard rock.  And then plenty of new glamish bands of the sort old Metal-fi admin, J.A.G. used to promote.

So the 1970s are well covered.  It's that late 1980s-early 1990s alt rock scene that seems dead.

I hated U2 save one or two songs.  RHCP had some good tracks early on but quickly became mum rock (as did Foo Fighters who along later).

Scooby Doom is still metal adjacent though. Having been to a few Ghost gigs, the T-Shirts in the line to get in are still all manner of trad, death, black metal etc. And then there are the late comer rock families. At the last gig I saw (mentioned above All Them Witches opening) there was an Indian family in front of us with their ten year old kid. There was something profoundly hilarious about a ten year old well dressed Indian boy yelling "hail Satan!" 

But, Ghost is lame now. I won't be seeing them again. I don't regret it, Meliora is still a perfectly paced and constructed album, but the song writing is becoming too homogenous. However, Ghost is a gateway drug, so if you want to see more extreme forms of metal continue, its fine for projects like that to be successful. That ten year old kid might get curious and start mining the good stuff. We all have to start somewhere. For me it was Twisted Sister.

The other day my wife played Toto "Africa" in the car and it dawned on me that the vocal layering was exactly like Ghost. I guess that was Tobias' plan all along, to do a Satanic Toto.

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