ABC of Rock Part 2 of 3

Hardcore

ABC of Rock Part 2 of 3(2014)  Hardcore (or hardcore punk) evolved from punk at the beginning of the 1980's. Hardcore is faster and far more aggressive than traditional punk music. A decade later hardcore became more groove orientated and included elements of thrash and death metal (and thrash metal bands like Machine Head or even 90's Slayer included hardcore elements as well). Important epicentres of hardcore were Washington DC, California, New York City (especially in the 90's), New Jersey and Boston, which will be important for the development of metalcore in the early 00's again. Hardcore never really was a commercially successful genre, even though bands like Black Flag, Dead Kennedies and Sick Of It All became icons over the years and were also known within the mainstream culture. 90's bands like Sick Of It All, Madball, Biohazard or Murphy's Law became kind of successful for a short period in the mid-90's. These bands were important influences for well known bands such as Terror and Hatebreed at the end of that decade. These bands combined 90's hardcore with more groove and some elements of thrash metal, which they would extend during their careers. Other bands like Comeback Kid, Have Heart or Verse formed the "new school" of hardcore and played a more melodic, less metal influences kind of hardcore than Hatebreed. Other groups like Give Up The Ghost (formerly American Nightmare), Killing The Dream or Have Heart influenced a lot of bands, especially in the UK, with their dark but yet melodic blend of hardcore. British bands like More Than Life, Dead Swans, Departures or The Legacy are (or were) very popular across the UK and the European mainland.
10 important records

Hard rock

Hard rock is one of the most classic kinds of rock music. Groups like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Kiss or AC/DC are among the most successful bands of all time by selling millions of records and they are still favoured today. The music itself is based on guitar riffs, that have its seeds in blues rock. But hard rock is a lot heavier than blues rock due to the distortion of the guitar. So it is kind of obvious why hard rock is regarded as the ancestor of heavy metal. Other significant elements of the genre are the high pitched but still masculine vocals, that differs from conventional singers. During the 1970's hard rock dominated the world of music and countless classic records were released. Previously mentioned bands or REO Speedwagon, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Styx or Van Halen sold out stadiums and their records got platinum certifications. The 80's brought keyboard sounds into hardcore and bands like Van Halen, Whitesnake and even Kiss used them in a more prominent fashion. These bands orientated towards the popular sound of glam metal, which was hard rock with a far more melodic edge. During the 00's there was a revival of classic hard rock. The Sword, The Answer or Rival Sons draw influences from 70's rockers. Sludge bands like Baroness, Mastodon or High on Fire quote riffs of Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin.
10 important records

Indie rock

Indie rock is part of alternative rock music, but due to the abundance of bands indie became a genre itself. Just like alternative rock indie (or indie rock or independent music) is a general term for many different approaches of music. The genre developed during the 1980's in the United States and England. Originally the term "indie" was meant to describe small labels, that weren't part of big major labels. The meaning of "indie" was broaden and so it included the bands as well. Indie is more danceable and straighter than alternative rock. The British band The Smiths is regarded as one of the most important bands of the genre (and often in general as well). The Smiths's sound differs from modern bands like The Kooks or Bloc Party, though. The Kooks are more poppy, whilst Bloc Party draw influences from post-punk, which is also part of the big indie-pool. The last big hype among indie music was the revival of post-punk at the beginning of the new millennium. Bloc Party, Interpol or Editors used post-punk as an ideal and mixed it with more modern elements. Other popular plays of indie are indietronic, indie folk, lo-fi, shoegaze or indie pop.
10 important records

Pop punk

Even though being far more successful that punk rock, pop punk is still considered punk rock's little brother. In the beginning of pop punk songs were fast, but more poppy than traditional punk bands like Misfits or Sex Pistols. The second wave of pop punk was the one that saw some bands become rockstars around the turn of the millennium. Blink-182, New Found Glory, No Use For A Name or Goldfinger were able to score high positions on the charts and were part of almost every US-teenie movie of that time. These bands were followed by a third wave of pop punk bands, that were more pop-orientated like the ones of Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, Mayday Parade or The All-American Rejects. These bands came at the same time emo was a big thing. These groups sounded more radio friendly that previous bands. Notably Fall Out Boy was the pop punk band of that third wave and a world wide phenomenon. Another wave of pop punk established in the late 00's. Groups such as Man Overboard, The Wonder Years, Transit or The Story So Far played a harsher kind of pop punk that draw influences from hardcore and 90's emo. These bands are still under the radar of the mainstream, but are able to sell a few records as well. At the same time acts like A Day To Remember or Four Year Strong combined pop punk with elements of metalcore and post-hardcore. It's striking that pop punk bands have more female singers than other genres. Paramore, Hey Monday or We Are The In-Crowd are female fronted and quite successful with their sugar coated blend of pop punk that is even very clean and radio friendly.
10 important records

Text by © Berning and Eschenbach