Different Types of Grunge

This is a board for discussion about grunge on the whole. Stuff that doesn't relate to specific bands alone can go in here. Feel free to share with us how you discovered grunge and give your opinion as to what grunge is to you.

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Different Types of Grunge

Post by KristinNirvana » Mon May 21, 2018 2:25 pm

I don't remember if we have had an actual topic on this, but I always found it funny how people complain about how grunge bands have nothing in common, despite the fact that the same goes for metal and punk but people decided to split each of those up into the million different types of metal and punk which we could easily do for grunge as well. So help me finish this list, or feel free to give your opinion on where a band should be instead.

Different types of grunge:

*Grunge (I don't know where else to fit these so maybe they're just standard?)
-Nirvana
-Pearl Jam
-Green River
-Mad Season
-Hater

*Metal Grunge:
-Alice in Chains
-Soundgarden
-TAD
-Melvins
-My Sister's Machine
-Gruntruck
-Skin Yard
-Willard
-Bundle of Hiss
-Foil
-Feast
-64 Spiders
-Overlord
-Dickless

*Punk Grunge:
-Seaweed
-7 Year Bitch
-Supersuckers
-Gas Huffer (also Punkabilly Grunge)
-Mudhoney
-Coffin Break (also Metal Grunge)

*Psychedelic Grunge:
-Screaming Trees
-Love Battery
-Nero's Rome
-Truly

*70s Rock Grunge:
-Mother Love Bone
-Malfunkshun

*Garage Rock Grunge:
-Mono Men
-Blood Circus
-Swallow
-Cat Butt (also Punkabilly Grunge)

*Blues Grunge:
-Temple of the Dog
-Dead Moon

*Folk Grunge:
-The Walkabouts

*Pop Grunge:
-Flop
-Posies
-My Name
-Svelt
-Sprinkler
-Hammerbox
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BleedTheFreak
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by BleedTheFreak » Mon May 21, 2018 8:08 pm

For me, my POV is more simple, and a heck of a lot less traditional than others; grunge basically splits into "three" categories: grunge, post-grunge, and alternative rock:

Traditional "grunge" in it's essential essence boils down to a melodic PNW predecessor to NOLA sludge; dirty, fuzzy guitars, memorable chuggy riffs, an emphasis on heavy, groovy bass, and a combination of clean harmonized singing with rough vocals (growls and shrieks) -- a combination of early Black Sabbath and the last three songs of Black Flag's 'My War' with added influence from noise and no wave acts of the time (Scrach Acid, Swans, Sonic Youth)-- some examples of this would include the following songs by these noticable bands:

Nirvana: Negative Creep, Anorexorcist, Paper Cuts, Curmudgeon, Scoff, Pen Cap Chew, Blew, Token Eastern Song, Dive, and Oh, The Guilt
Soundgarden: Birth Ritual, 4th of July, Room A Thousand Years Wide, Gun, Outshined, Black Rain, Slaves and Bulldozers, and Beyond The Wheel
Alice In Chains: Grind, Junkhead, Sludge Factory, Again, Dam That River, Died, A Looking In View, Stone, and Them Bones
Melvins: Revolve, It's Shoved, Set Me Straight, The Bit, Cow, Hog Leg, and Leeech (originally a Green River demo)
Tad: Throat Locust, Bullhorn, Grease Box, Jinx, Luminol, Emotional Cockroach, Stumblin' Man, Pansy, and Jack.
I also generally consider various parts of U-Men, Skin Yard, Willard, Bundle of Hiss, Gruntruck discographies, Jerry Cantrell's 'Degradation Trip' and Hole's 'Pretty on The Inside' to fit into this category as well (and a handful of early Mudhoney songs; though they're largely garage punk imo).

--

I use the post-grunge term pretty truthfully to it's mainstream definition, these are bands that rode off the hype and the success of "grunge" and alternative rock in the mainstream and provided a more radio-accessible, friendlier version to audiences, by replacing walls of distortion and fuzz with acoustic guitars and high-end production values, typically fronted by Vedder/Cobain imitators and often crossing with nu metal. I generally break this into three 'waves'.

First Wave: Bush, Silverchair, Foo Fighters, Candlebox, Days of the New, Alanis Morrissette, Matchbox Twenty, and Collective Soul
Second Wave: Nickelback, Creed, Seether, Puddle of Mudd, Staind, 3 Doors Down, Theory of a Deadman, and Daughtry
Third Wave: Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Skillet, Papa Roach, Alter-Bridge, Halestorm, Flyleaf, Hinder, Crossfade, and Art of Dying

--

Then, there's alternative rock, probably the most loosely defined term, refers to the plain ol' 90's rock bands that seldom fit into one category on their own, usually derived from 80's college rock (Pixies, R.E.M, The Smiths, U2, Daydream-era Sonic Youth, etc) and includes acts such as Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jane's Addiction, Stone Temple Pilots, Dinosaur Jr, and The Cranberries.

Mother Love Bone, Temple of the Dog and Mad Season also fit in this category, along with these songs by the aformentioned artists:
Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit, Lithium, Heart Shaped Box, About A Girl, In Bloom, Polly, Dumb, All Apologies, and Pennyroyal Tea
Soundgarden: Black Hole Sun, Fell On Black Days, Rusty Cage, Burden In My Head, Spoonman, Live To Rise, and Pretty Noose
Alice In Chains: Rooster, Man In The Box, Would?, Nutshell, Down In A Hole, Voices, No Excuses, Bleed The Freak, and Heaven Beside You

Also, not included is second wave "post-hardcore" (generally referred to as 90's "alternative metal") which includes bands such as Helmet, Quicksand, Rollins Band, Unsane, Jesus Lizard, Handsome, Paw, Tar, Hammerhead, Tool's 'Undertow' and a few other bands often mislabeled as grunge.
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by Jack_Armstrong » Mon May 21, 2018 11:30 pm

I think of Nirvana more as punk grunge, personally, whilst Pearl Jam sound like they fit into the ‘70s rock category. Green River are somewhere in between punk grunge and metal grunge. In fact, I’d give bands like Melvins, TAD and Green River their own category, something like ‘hardcore punk grunge’, being somewhere between punk and metal?

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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by Jack_Armstrong » Wed May 23, 2018 1:18 pm

And with regard to Flop, I’d say they fall into punk grunge more than anything. Some of their songs are quite heavy. Listen to Pluto.

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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by incessantmace » Fri May 25, 2018 10:39 am

Since it was so long ago, of course no one but Papa Jan will remember the poll about the different sides of grunge. This of course was before the Great Genre Definition War so...
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by Jack_Armstrong » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:10 am

Categorising the Stone Temple Pilots is quite difficult. Despite what BleedTheFreek says they ARE grunge. But Core fits more with Metal grunge, while anything done thereafter is just ‘standard’ grunge.

I suppose No. 4 falls into Metal grunge a bit.

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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by BleedTheFreak » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:28 pm

Yawn.
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by Jack_Armstrong » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:24 pm

BleedTheFreak wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:28 pm
Yawn.
I’m sorry if you mistook that as an attempted dig at you.

__________

In the case of Flop I definitely prefer punk-grunge to pop-grunge.

I’d add the categories ‘Glam Grunge’ (Mother Love Bone) and Hardcore Punk Grunge (L7, Melvins)

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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by BleedTheFreak » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:34 am

No, I just see reviving this whole topic as beating the dead horse.
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by KristinNirvana » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:36 am

This topic is only a few months old...
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by Jack_Armstrong » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:01 pm

BleedTheFreak wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:34 am
No, I just see reviving this whole topic as beating the dead horse.
I’ve revived MANY older threads...

So have other members...

What’s your point?

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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by j-bug » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:34 am

Do not. Either of you.
:twisted:

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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by Y2K-kyle » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:25 am

I would rather have revived threads than 1000 repeat threads of the same topic that's been covered over and over again.
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by KristinNirvana » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:02 pm

That's the efficient way to do it.
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Re: Different Types of Grunge

Post by Jack_Armstrong » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:21 pm

To make an on-topic post, quite how anyone can believe that 'Junkhead' (Alice In Chains) and say 'Today' (Smashing Pumpkins) are of different genres, which has been implied, is rather beyond me. Musically, the similarities are fairly obvious.

Personally, I acknowledge that grunge as a genre varies somewhat; the underpinning definition of 'grunge' has it as a 'fusion-genre of punk and heavy-metal', but some acts play more on the metal side of grunge than the punk side, and obviously vice-versa. Nevertheless, I would say an 'archetypal' grunge style exists, which I find to posseses the following main characteristic features:

- heavy-hitting, yet catchy/memorable intro guitar riffs, regularly influenced by more traditional hard-rock.
- varying between clean and distorted. Distorted intro/clean verse/distorted chorus is a fairly common grunge song structure.
- rhythm guitar should be very prominent during choruses but played-down during the verses. Occasionally, verses may have little/no rhythm guitar whatsoever.
- drum and/or bass should be heavy-hitting, aggressive, and should play a more dominant role in the music.
- guitar solos should be short. Though not necessarily simplistic, they shouldn't use more than three strings.
- more subdued vocals in verses and more pronounced ones in choruses. This isn't massively significant, but nevertheless preferred.
- again, not the most important feature, but folk-influenced vocal melodies are commonly found.

I acknowledged before that grunge as a genre varies quite a lot, but that's how I'd describe typical 'grunge' music. Obviously, the genre's stylistic origins lie as a fusion of alt-rock, heavy-metal and punk, with some blues, folk, garage and psychedelia thrown in there. Based on the characteristics I've described, I would consider these songs to represent grunge's 'archetypal' style:

- Nirvana - In Bloom
- Alice In Chains - Junkhead
- Pearl Jam - Dissident
- Soundgarden - Hands All Over
- Bush - Comedown
- Smashing Pumpkins - Today

Now obviously, these songs don't sound precisely the same. I could have included more songs in this, but that's besides the point. But most/all of the characteristics I alluded to in my list are present in these songs. Clearly, you do have styles like 'Metal Grunge', 'Punk Grunge' etc. but what I described is what I'd call simply 'grunge'.

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