The Rise and Fall of Grunge

19 Nov
a band in a kitchen

a band in a kitchen (Photo credit: soundfromwayout)

I bumped into grunge like many European (and North American) kids in the early 90s. Music Television. At that time, grunge wasn’t really what I wanted my music to be like. It was not loud or heavy enough, I suppose. I got into Dream Theater, Pantera, Death, and Paradise Lost. You know, heavier kind of stuff.

In 1990 the question was “GNR or Metallica?” and a couple of years later it was “Nirvana or Metallica?” For me, the answer was always easy.

For years, I thought grunge was something evil that killed thrash metal. But in the end, what it killed was glam metal that was very much the opposite what grunge was all about. Thrash metal was actually closer to grunge – the attitude was the same, and they shared the punk influence, too.

Kurt Cobain (front) and Krist Novoselic (left)...

Kurt Cobain (front) and Krist Novoselic (left) live at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But grunge didn’t kill thrash metal. Thrash metal did it all by itself in the early 90s. It was the last part of the natural cycle and it happens with practically every genre. On the other hand, thrash did not die as such – new thrash bands popped up with a bit different sounds. Sepultura, Machine Head and of course: Pantera. The Next Generation of Thrash Metal, TNGoTM, also categorized as groove metal.

It took years for me to get into grunge. But now I can say I like many grunge bands. Or many grunge songs, anyway. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Melvins to mention a few. Even Nirvana.

In the end, grunge was just a small regional scene that got big. Just like thrash metal in the Bay area in the 80s, or death metal in Florida in the 90s, or melodic death metal in Gothenburg in the 90s as well.

Invented logo of Grunge.

Invented logo of Grunge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trends always come and go. Just like punk killed prog rock in the late 70s, grunge killed glam metal in the early 90s. There are times when you have to shake the tree of rock’n’roll and show them what rock is all about. It’s not about big hairstyles, playing 200 notes a second or doing over-the-top live shows. It’s about playing loud, making people love your music and.. Well, rock.

We all have our definitions of rock music and still, good rock music is damn hard to define. Grunge wasn’t my cup of tea in my teenage years but I still value it. I hope you do it, too.


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Posted by on 19.11.2012 in In English, Music


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