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Post grunge

The death of grunge also marks its success. So much so, that labels promote bands reflecting elements of grunge that slowly take away the bitter taste of poverty and exclusion that previously characterized it.


Post grunge

Post-grunge is a genre that includes all the bands that started playing grunge music right after the great Seattle grunge bands hit the mainstream in the 1990s. During that period, the rapid success of grunge music was paralleled by its decline: with the publication of Nirvana’s album Nevermind in 1991, grunge music started to have some troubles. Kurt Cobain’s serious drug addiction and his discomfort with being famous represented a sort of warning signal of the decline of grunge, which sank with Cobain’s death in 1994. Moreover, Pearl Jam’s contractual problems and Alice in Chains Leayne Staley’s drug addiction led to the cancellation of many concerts in 1995. While the great grunge bands were facing a difficult spell some new bands started to tread the stage, emulating the former, being supported by the majors. The definition of post-grunge was born exactly to identify this new commercial and mainstream scene, whom fans and press have sometimes criticized.

The difference between grunge and post-grunge lies in that the former were firmly rooted in the underground alternative rock scene of the '80s, while the latter were influenced by what grunge had become, a popular form of hard rock, imitating its sound and style. The typical anger and introspection of grunge bands became a sort of essential requirements for post-grunge bands, which saw such features as the steps to take to attain artistic legitimacy. Such attitude, which came to be almost a moral code, became a kind of artistic manifesto for 1990s hard rock bands. Despite its alternative roots, post-grunge is a commercial and mainstream genre: it has been released on major labels, and the thick and distorted sound of grunge guitars was polished to be radio-ready. However, post-grunge bands received different influences: early-'80s jangle pop, punk-pop, ska revival, alternative metal, or classic rock.

The popularity of the genre came in 1995, when former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and his new band, Foo Fighters, defined the artistic parameters of post-grunge, achieving a considerable success in the US and in the world. Many bands who had started playing at the beginning of 1990s mad post-grunge one of the best mainstream subgenres in the new millennium. The scene spread outside its original Seattle birthplace; many bands contributed worldwide to the development of the genre: Live, Collective Soul, Candlebox, the Australian Silverchair with their 1996 debut album Frogstomp, the British band Bush and Alanis Morissette in Canada. The first wave of post-grunge bands was then followed by a new wave, with bands such as: Creed, with their 1999 record Human Clay, a must-have of the genre along with Silverchair Frogstomp; Matchbox Twenty, Three Days Grace, Puddle of Mudd, Breaking Benjamin; Staind with their 2000 record Break the Cycle; Chris Cornell’s and Tom Morello’s Audioslave; Alter Bridge, composed by former Creed members; Incubus, Hoobastank, Shinedown, Seether and Nickelback.

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