Evolution Of Punk Rock Music

Evolution of Punk

Punk rock which is simply addressed to as punk is a rock genre that was introduced in themed 70s in the UK, the US and Australia. This genre is deeply rooted in garage rock and protopunk music. Their rock bands are considered to be the excesses of the mid 70s rock. The songs sung here are developed very fast and short ones for that matter. They have the characteristics of being hard-edged with stripped down instrumentation and their lyrics are in most cases ant-establishment ones. Punk rock songs embrace the DIY ethic and most of these bands are produced and self-recorded. Their songs are in most cases distributed via informal channels.

The spread of punk music gathered momentum in the late 70s. It spread across the world and became very popular in the United Kingdom. It took root locally among people who tended to reject association with the mainstream. This saw the development of the punk subculture which comprised of youths characterized by very distinctive adornment and clothing styles and anti-authoritarian stands. In the early 80s, more aggressive adornment styles were adopted and became the most popular mode of rock music. This stance was adopted by the mainstream at the turn of the 20th century and this gave rise to various rock music movements such as the alternative and the post punk.

Ideally punk has two major characteristics namely the visual elements and the music and lyrical elements.

Musical and Lyrical Elements of Punk Music

Many modern banks borrow a leaf from bare musical arrangements and structures of the garage rock of the 60s.the typical instrumentation of punk rock includes one or two guitars (electric), drum kit, electric bass and vocals. Songs are very short compared to those of other reputable genres.

The vocals of punk rock sound nasal. Lyrics are in most cases shouted instead of being sung in the usual conventional sense like the other popular genres. This is especially the case for the hardcore rock styles. The shifts in the tones pitches and volume are relatively not frequent. Parts of the guitar have distorted power cords which lead to a buzzsaw drone sound. However not all punk takes the same approach. Others take a surf rock mode which is characterized by a lighter guitar tone. Others employ the gonzo attach approach to punk music. The bass guitar lines are not complicated and the approach to it is relentless with a repetitive rhythm.

Drums produce a dry and heavy sound and it’s set at minimal in most cases. The main objective of all these is to ensure that the recording of the music sounds natural without manipulations in order to reflect the authenticity of a live band performance.

The lyrics on the other hand are confrontational and frank in nature and from time to time reflect the social-political issues in their commentary. The lyrics may comment on issues such as relationships, sex, unemployment and urban life.

The Visual Elements of Punk Music Entail

Stage performances with macho postures with a few deviations from the earlier styles but are insignificant. Females deviated from those styles and have adopted masculine postures.

Punk Music Lives On

Punk Rock Guitar

Punk music has its roots in the 1960s.The Punk bands short songs with lyrics that were anti -establishment or political. They had stripped down instrumentation were fast and hard-edged.

The Legacy of Punk Music is design, fashion and tempo beats though the original rebellious, self indulgent and capable anti consumerism as a culture may be forgotten. There are many notable personalities who have been inspired Punk. These include Vivienne Westwood a fashion designer, Gareth Pugh and John Galliano. It was popular in New York and London in the 1970s. It has several ardent fans and there are relics of the music in downtown New York CBGB music club. Currently the music is only heard in one gallery with more emphasis being made on couture and art.

Punk originated in the 60s as garage music by bands like Sonics who had few skills in music. Later the MC 5 and the Stooges emerged in Detroit and they had violent concerts which played crude, raw and political music. Next came the Velvet Underground whose music seemed to be noise and was managed by Andy Warhol. They expanded punk music unwittingly. Finally new artists David Bowie and New York Dolls entered the scene with Glam Rock. They dressed in an outrageous manner, produced loud rock and roll and lived extravagantly. At the end of the period Glam split up into punk rock, hard rock and “hair metal”.

New York was the first place Punk rock was played by bands like Ramones, Heartbreakers, Blondie and Johnny Thunders who played at CBGB. In London it started out later
In England punk came to life because of the high unemployment rates and poor economy. The youth were angry, unemployed and rebellious. They had a lot of free time and strong opinions. Punk fashion evolved here with a shop named SEX started by an American. He was had tried reinventing New York Dolls as a fashion house back home and failed. He opted to move here and started the Sex Pistols. This project was successful and gaining a large fan base. Soon after the Bromley Contingent was created after watching the Sex Pistols perform. Many more groups were formed including Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Clash and Generation X.

In the late 70s it was a fully fledged music class. It started splitting into different genres with new musicians individualizing it with specific sounds. Punk music has since grown and become a force to reckon. It morphed into art, culture and fashion. It has given rise to generations of musicians and introduced a culture of its own. Punk lives in several generations in their hairstyles, dressing, behavior and religion. They espouse it as a lifestyle and as a philosophy of life. It is recorded in museums, libraries and archives where fans relive and eschew its happenstance. Punk enthusiasts don t-shirts and jeans and motorcycle riders. Punk music is never complete without electric guitars and raucous beats. Its very embodiment is noise and rowdy behavior. Down with the rules and live as you want may well be its motto.

Influence of Blink-182 on the Pop Punk Genre

Blink-182 back in the day

Blink-182 was formed in 1992 in Poway, San Diego. The American rock band consists of three members, Mark Hoppus the vocalist and bassist, Tom DeLonge the vocalist and guitarist and Travis Baker who is the drummer. The Influence of Blink-182 on the Pop Punk Genre is considered very great as they are the developers of the genre who came up with radio friendly content much better than their predecessors. They have since been dominant in the genre both in America and wide abroad. Basically pop punk is blink-182 and blink-182 is pop and punk.

In fact, to date, they have sold albums counting to more than 35 million worldwide. According to one New York Times in 2011, no punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than blink-182! and to back this most contemporary bands have attested their successes to the existence of blink-182. They have produced a number of albums to prove this success. With the years gone by more and more people have been listening to the famous trio and supporting the band with blink-182 merch. Wearing t-shirts, hoodies, posters on bedroom walls and now days smart phone cases.

Cheshire cat was their first ever album to be completed in the year 1994. Even though the album was not such a hit as the others that followed, it helped put them with their roadmap. The first single from that album got sponsored by Cargo to do the video after it have received airplay. In as much as their popularity was achieved from copies of pirated CDs, there are people who never gave up on them on their first attempt. For instance, Pennywise was there to pay for their air tickets for tours in Australia. When Dude Ranch was released in the year 1997, it was definitely more successful than the first one.

Then there breakthrough came in 1999 with their release of their album ‘Enema of the State’. This compared to their previous pieces and pieces from other competitors was nothing but bliss with great production and sound so radio friendly. Enema greatly attracted listeners who were directly trying to oppose the kids who considered themselves the owners of punk. With the inception of the dot com and availability of internet though, there were more downloads every day and some streaming in online to all the songs which may have been beyond their domain in the previous occasions. This greatly contributed to the popularity of the band because more people would listen in to them regardless of their location. This might have been the most successful album which led to the greatest Influence of Blink-182 on the Pop Punk Genre.

After Enema, in came ‘Take off your Pants and Jacket’ which took the same trend as its predecessor. They released this one in the year 2001. In 2003, it was number three as ranked in billboard 200. Most fans and critics consider this album the one that defined who blink-182 was. Blink-182 has never stopped since and their fans worldwide are pleased by their ravishing performances, catchy melodies, trashy choruses and chuggy verses.

Influence of Blink-182 on the Pop Punk Genre has gone a long way with them breaking the group only once. They have also received a couple of awards for their prowess like in the teen choice awards they were the best choice group in 2000, best rockers in 2001 the best love song of people’s choice in 2004 for their track ‘I miss you’.

Tracing the First Wave of Punk Rock

Punk Boys with a Van

Punk or punk rock is a genre of rock music developed in-between 1974 and 1976 within the United States, Australia and United Kingdom. Bands performing this type of music focused on producing garage rock creations plus other forms of the now-called proto-punk music. They avoided the excessiveness that was quite common in mainstream 1970s rock.

Punk bands developed fast and hard-edged music, generally with stripped-down instrumentation, short songs as well as often anti-establishment, political lyrics. Punk embraces DIY ethic and many bands self-produced recordings, distributing them via informal channels.

“Punk” first was applied by certain American critics relative to rock music in early 1970s, describing garage bands along with their devotees. Bands like The Clash and Sex Pistols in London, as well as Ramones and Television in New York City, got recognized as vanguard of a pioneering musical movement. Punk rock then spread around the globe in the year following, becoming major cultural phenomenon within the United Kingdom. The rock music genre took root especially in local scenes which appeared to reject any association with mainstream music. A related Punk sub-culture emerged and expressed youthful rebellion, easily noticeable through distinctive adornment and styles of clothing. This included deliberately offensive T-shirts, jackets, spike brands, leather jackets plus other spiked or studded jewelry to S&M and bondage clothes, along with a host of anti-authoritarian ideologies.

Faster and more aggressive styles like Oi and hardcore had turned to be the predominant punk rock mode by start of 1980s. Musicians inspired by or identifying with punk pursued an array of alternate variations, which led to alternative rock and post-punk movement. Punk rock got assimilated into the mainstream come end of 20th century, being popularized by bands like Green Day, Blink-182 and The Offspring.

The first wave of punk rock targeted being aggressively modern and distanced itself from sentimentality and bombast of early 1970s rock. It appears that the quality of this rock music variety dwindled later on, with emerging performing artists coming up with non-starting solos. This was a stark contrast of what Jimmy Hendrix and other established musicians would produce earlier.

Punk rock prizes technical accessibility as well as a DIY spirit. Musical virtuosity often got viewed suspiciously, being allegedly composed by amateur musicians who still found the need of expressing themselves through music. Some leading figures of British punk appeared to reject contemporary mainstream rock along with its broader culture, along with the predecessors they themselves earlier celebrated. Even with nostalgia being gradually discarded, many individuals within the scene exhibited nihilistic attitude.

“Self-imposed alienation” was quite common among “gutter punks” and “drunk punks.” Tension was always present between the “radical leftist utopianism” expressed by bands like Crass who experienced a liberating, positive meaning and their nihilistic outlook.

The matter of authenticity is critical within punk subculture. “Poseur” is a term used in reference to persons associating with the rock genre, adopting its style as well, yet lack basic understanding of the philosophy and values underlying it. Often times, Punk rock bands emulate bare musical arrangements and structures which branded the 1960s garage rock music. Typical instrumentation of this music type includes two electric guitars, drum kit, an electric bass, together with vocals.

Influence of Green Day on the Pop Punk Genre

Green Day

Pop punk music genre emerged in the 1970s with an agenda of reducing boredom from music in both genres which it fuses. Pop melodies and lyrical themes are combined with the fast tempos, chord changes and loud guitars associated with punk rock music to make a fusion that has been acceptable to many since its invention till today. The roots of this kind of music can be traced to America, UK, Canada and many more but it mainly rooted in California which is the home of the Green Day band which has been in the punk rock scene since its formation in 1987.

Green Day had their share in influencing the pop punk genre in the 1990s when their releases through major label signings served to create major popularity of the pop punk music. But what exactly has the Green Day band been through in the pop punk genre?

The band was formed by Billie Joe Armstrong who is the lead vocalist and guitarist together with Mike Dirnt who is the backing vocalist. The current members of the band are Tre Cool and Jason White who only became permanent members in 2012 having been in the band for over twelve years. The band has been in the punk music industry for over 25years now.

It was initially part of the initial DIY recording habit that was began in California by punk rock music bands. Their first releases were under the Lookout! Records which was the band’s DIY recording. These were not major hits though till in 1994 when the band was able to secure a release with Reprise records, an independent recording company. Their album ‘dookie’ was their breakthrough and the success was intense with over 10 million copies sold in the U.S only. From this time and the coming years, Green Band brought a much bigger audience to the pop punk genre and made it widely accepted. Some of the California punk bands that took part in creating this wide acceptance of pop punk music include Sublime, Rancid, Bad Religion and The Offspring.

Green Day has since released many more pop punk music albums but this is not the only genre they have been majoring on though it is their main. Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning are the three albums that followed the dookie but with reduced success rate (not meaning that they flopped on the charts though). In 2004, their album American Idiot gained success more than that of the first album selling over five million copies in the U.S. in 2009, the album, 21st century breakdown hit the top charts and was the biggest success ever recorded for the band. This was followed by a trio of albums released between September and December in 2012 which have not had a success rate of the 2009 one.

In conclusion, the Green Day band has had a very important role in influencing the pop punk genre. It is one of the bands that popularized the genre and has since then continued to make it even more and more accepted in many parts of the world. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed though with the band winning five Grammy awards for various albums and many other awards.

Punk Bands Of The 1980′s

1980 Punk Rock

Between the year 1974 and 1976, a new musical culture was born in the US, UK and Australia: Punk rock. With its roots on garage rock, this type of rock genre entailed hard-edged music that was typically shorter than that of other rock genres. It was fast and used stripped down instrumentation. Over the 1970s, bands like Ramones, Sex pistols, The damned, The clash, and Television spear headed this new rock culture. Bands likes The offspring, Green Day and Blink-182 have given punk rock a wild wide acceptance and popularity. When originating, punk rock immediately became recognize with youthful rebellion, a different clothing style that entails offensive t-shirts, spiked jeweller and leather jackets. The lyrics are mainly confrontational and often touch on political issues.

Although punk rock originated in the 1970s, it was not until the 80s that most bands embraced a speedy, a more aggressive and concentrated styles called hardcore and oi!. This eventually become the predominant style used in punk rock. Below are some punk bands of the 1980s that pushed this new culture to new fronts that still resonates in our playlists today.The dead kennedys. This San Francisco band will forever be remembered for their outstanding work in the 80s. Their controversy, offensiveness and revolutionary music was definitely defining for pop culture. They were a musical sensation whose genius invented and even led to a perfection of hardcore. Jello Biafra who was their lead singer will definitely not fade from our minds any soon, thanks to his popularity as a cult figure and his influence in the rock world.

Minor threat. Another rock band whose independence may never be rivalled. They have gone down in the books of history for the introduction of the remarkable “straight-edge” philosophy that was clean and sober. This philosophy still has a strong validity even today’s punk fans still adore it. Their syncopated and shouted lyrics is a love of many.

Punk Band on Stage

The misfits. A new jersey based band that was vital for the link between hard metal and punk rock. There songs like “where eagles dare, “attitude” and “last caress” have a remarkable genius in them. The great and awesome melody in the songs will keep them among the list of loved rock anthems for many ages to come.

Angry Samoans. A south Californian group that will be remembered by how they perfected the theme of offensiveness in punk music. They are credited for producing some of the most assaultive songs in the 80s. “My old man’s a fatso”, “I am a pig” and “I’m a pig” are among the songs that really depicts the talent of the ring leaders of this group had. The way they could direct their anger in almost all directions is just remarkable.

MDC. Another rock band whose music was tuneful and pulverizing. There lyrics condemned a variety of conformity. Fear. A band known for what can be referred to as genuine menace. Their songs like Don’t Care about You and f “I Don’t Care About You” clearly depict this.

Social distortion, T.S.O.L and circle jerks can also not be forgotten whenever there is any discussion about punk rocks.

Punk Bands Of The 1970′s

Punks of the 1970's

In the early 1970s, the evolution of rock and roll music began to take shape resulting in the creation of several sub-genres. While some bands such as The Eagles embraced folk and country music, others continued to create heavier rock music, giving rise to a genre referred to as hard rock. This continued a growing trend towards more electrically distorted and aggressive rock music that was played by classic artists such as Led Zeppelin, KISS, Van Halen, and Aerosmith. In addition, these bands furthered the use of lead guitars in rock with blistering, skillfull electric solos.

However, as the 1970s drew to a close, several bands pushed hard rock to a whole new level leading to the emergence of a style known as punk rock. This genre was fast, heavy, and mainly dealt with themes of conformity and questioning authority. The band credited with ushering in this new phenomenon were England’s The Sex Pistols who were crude, fast, loud, and questioned various societal norms. Their songs were simple, short, and furious ensuring that they rapidly gained a huge following in England, before worldwide fame followed. Below, we take a look at 3 of the best punk bands of the 1970s as follows:

The Sex Pistols

This punk band generated so much controversy owing to their obscenity-laden clothing, TV appearances, constant infighting, drug habits, and hairstyles that people often forgot how good they were. They made only one proper LP- the 1977 classic Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols- but it had such an incredible impact with nearly every song in it becoming a classic. In fact, when they reunited for a performance in 1996, they had enough material from this classic to perform an entire set list devoid of clunkers.

The Ramones

Considered a cursed band by many, the Ramones nonetheless enjoyed a 20- year run in punk rock although they rarely played in venues larger than clubs, never had a single climb higher than position 66 on the charts, and mostly traveled to their gigs by van. Further, their lead singer Joey battled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder all his life while bassist Dee Dee was addicted to heroin. It is, perhaps, for this reason that few people seemed to care when they went their separate ways in 1996 although their legend began to grow a few years later. This was because their music finally started appearing in TV shows and movies, leading to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sadly Johnny, Dee Dee and Joey all had their final bows between 2001 and 2004.

The Clash

Beginning as a traditional punk band, The Clash soon embraced everything from reggae to rockabilly to hip-hop resulting in, arguably, one of the strongest catalogs in the history of rock music- a feat only matched by the legendary Beatles. During the 7 year period in which The Clash played together, they produced what is often regarded as one of the greatest LPs ever made- 1980s London Calling. Sadly, they never got a chance to reunite as Joe Strummer died suddenly following their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Early History Of Punk Rock

Early Punk Rock

Beatles hit America (1966) and two years later, Iggy pop made the Stooges in Detroit, Michigan, with friends who hardly played their instruments as they had little musical idea to interfere with the ideas that they had.

In 1968, their performance was made of an aural background for the body of Iggy pop’s body contortions, dives into the audience, mutilation and insults to those who had come for entertainment and not to be involved in the show. The band managed to achieve the distinction of the first true influence on punk.

They got signed by the major label Elektra in 1969, and their debut was produced by John Cale which was highlighted by the classic “I wanna Be Your Dog,” and pre-punk No Fun. In 1969, they exposed the cause of their outrageousness to boredom, chanting “another year with nothing to do.” They were bored by music scene and poverty.

Also from Detroit, MC5 articulated their boredom too, coming to celebrity in 1968 Democratic Convention unrests as figureheads of Sinclair’s White Panther Party.

By 1970, the provocative Detroit scene had lured Alice Cooper away from San Francisco and Frank Zappa’s Straight Records claimed the Motor City as their new home. Singer Vincent Furnier extended upon the theatrics of Iggy’s brand of Theatre of the Possessed with his style of shock-rock. They produced the albums; Love It To Death in 1970 and Killer in 1971 and it was no longer boring in Detroit.

Punk rock surfaced in 1975, but the first punk actor was is unknown. Many early bands such as Iggy, Stooges, MC5, Richard Hell and Voidoids displayed aspects of punk, but none of the bands combined all elements in my opinion until the Ramones collected in 1975.

The Ramones release self-titled debut in 1976, which was the first example of punk rock, and they are generally accepted as the creators of the genre. The key factor to creation of Ramones sounds was lack of originality.

Their music utilized a few chords in each song and then repetition of the lyrics. For this reason, many punk bands were referred to as Three chord wonders. The following are examples of their songs;

The Blizkrieg Bop, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, Cretin Hop, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.

The Ramones also brought back the two-minute songs, creating a sound that many people found reminiscent of the early rock ‘n’ roll.

Legends have it that a touring representative, from A&M label, saw the Ramones left in disgust after only hearing half of a song.

The Ramones influenced British punk acts directly. During 4th July 1977 concert in London, which had many members of future punk bands like the Sex Pistols, the Damned, the Banshees, the Clash,

The Sex Pistols influenced Punk Rock a lot. They helped in creating the look that came to characterize many punks. The Pistols’ manager, Malcom MacLaren, owned a fashion boutique called SEX. He saw the Pistols as an approach to help him promote his fashions, he started to emulate their styles in his work.

The maniac pace and aggression of the Pistols in the UK and the Ramones in the US are considered as vessels that woke pun rock. The genre spread in 1980s across the world.

In 1990s, many people said punk is dead or slowly dying. Many other people still think the genre is over.

Suddenly industries were seeing possibilities of mass consumption of the music. Joseph-Fox Communications tried to emulate by producing New Route. They wrote an editorial in the 1989 October.

Joseph wrote that as long as the music industry was healthy and properly managed and that new artists continued to create interesting music, we will hear great music from both major and independent labels.

It is influential people like Joseph and his New Route to continue reminding underground fans of the reality of their worst nightmares.

Read more about Punk Rock on Wikipedia.