Today’s blog post deals with punk as a musical subculture.
Punk, in music described as punk rock, is a musical genre that was developed in the mid 1970’s. Punk musicians saw punk as a modern kind of rock music, which had become too civilized in their opinion. They felt that rock had lost its true meaning since even musicians like Billie Joel or Simone an Garfunkel were seen as part of rock music. Therefore they developed rock and turned into punk. The instrumentation in punk was the same as in most rock bands, one or two guitars, bass, drums and vocals and the music they played can basically be described as stripped down rock songs. The guitars in a typical punk song are distorted and only play power chords in many songs, the vocals are very raw, also punk songs have a very fast tempo and are often built from only three to five few chords. Many punk bands had their root in garage rock, that’s why the mentality of punk was a DIY way of doing things and many punk musicians were not seen as very talented and their music often sounded very dirty and not perfect.
The lyrics in punk songs are often political and criticise the established authorities, many songs deal with a rather sceptical or even pessimistic view on society and the future, like the classic punk song ‘ No future’ by the Sex Pistols. The ‘most-know’ punk bands are The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash whose success made punk rock globally known. Also very important to mention in the context of punk rock is the band The Stooges, which existed in the late sixties and early seventies and heavily influenced punk rock as a genre and brought their frontman Iggy Pop the nickname ‘Godfather of Punk’.
Today punk has adapted the qualities of a mainstream culture and modern punk bands such as Green Day, The Offspring and Blink-182 have made punk music suitable for mainstream media.