Punk rock

Punk rock is a rock music genre emerged in the early 1970s in the USA, and later in the UK. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produced recordings and distributed them through informal channels.

Birth: 1974 Bloom: 1977

In the late 70s punk rock emerged in the UK and began to be described as a scandalous and politicized style of music; that`s why the genre had become one of the most popular rock music styles in the UK by 1977.

Gradually, punk rock gave a birth to a number of subgenres, the biggest of which is melodic light pop punk and aggressive hardcore, and Oi!, also there are combinations with other genres – ska punk and post punk.

The word «punk» has lots of meanings, mostly it`s used as swearing. For example, between the late 16th and the 18th centuries, punk was a common coarse synonym for prostitute. The term eventually came to describe «a young male hustler, a gangster, a hoodlum, or a ruffian».

The first known use of the phrase punk rock appeared in the Chicago Tribune on March 22, 1970, attributed to Ed Sanders, cofounder of New York`s anarcho-prankster band The Fugs. Sanders was quoted describing a solo album of his as «punk rock—redneck sentimentality». In the December 1970 issue of Creem, Lester Bangs, mocking more mainstream rock musicians, ironically referred to Iggy Pop as «that Stooge punk». Suicide`s Alan Vega credits this usage with inspiring his duo to bill its gigs as a «punk mass» for the next couple of years. Music critics Dave Marsh and Lenny Kaye employed the term «punk rock» in the 1970s.

By 1975, McNeil with his magazine «Punk» (that was completely devoted to American punk rock and new wave) finally gave a name to the genre.

Punk rock bands often emulate the bare musical structures and arrangements of the 1960s garage rock. Typical punk rock instrumentation includes one or two electric guitars, an electric bass, and a drum kit, along with vocals. Songs tend to be shorter than those of other popular genres. Most early punk rock songs retained a traditional rock 'n' roll verse-chorus form and 4/4 time signature. Punk rock vocals sometimes sound nasal and lyrics are often shouted instead of sung in a conventional sense, particularly in hardcore styles. Punk rock lyrics are typically frank and confrontational; compared to the lyrics of other popular music genres, they frequently comment on social and political issues. Often punk rock groups had a shocking appearance: New York Dolls wore bright female clothes, The Adicts copied main characters of the film «Clockwork Orange»; torn clothes (Richard Hell), pins (Sex Pistols), mohawk hairstyles (The Exploited).

Also read: Post-punk

Umbrellate style: Rock

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