Rebellion and revolt — it’s as old as time itself. Where there’s a rule, there’s someone itching to break it; where there’s unrest, there’s someone waiting to take advantage. It’s what’s classically clichéd about humankind, and that’s why the music that often fuels our feelings of dissidence will always be around.
If you’re a religious reader of my articles (thank you), you’ll have spied my feature about the Seattle grunge scene and what it birthed to the music industry. Within that, I touched upon the inherent bond between angsty sounds and riotous moods. Thrashing riffs, thudding drums and roaring vocals allow people to unleash their rage and speak their truth to the masses that can identify. It’s textbook — people listen to music that they can relate to and that often echoes their own inner thoughts.
Maybe you just like heavy tracks and you aren’t harnessing emotions of frustration or anger bubbling beneath the surface — I know I could largely fall into that category. But it’s more typical that the genres of grunge, alt rock and metal will attract those with the same points to prove.
When music can be an outlet, an expression of self and an aural portrayal of personality, it’s only right that we’ll seek it out. That’s why you might like a bit of Metallica at the gym, Nirvana after a few chilled drinks or even Iron Maiden in a traffic jam. It’s also why bands such as IDLES, Kid Kapachi and The Imbeciles, for instance, are charging ahead in the punk and alt rock spheres — they’re providing new tunes about current feelings and time-honoured ones, and every lyric is matched to addictively bass-led hooks and riffs.
In a world where pop, ten-a-penny electronica and low-rent dance music typically governs the charts, we’re crying out for more rock bands as well. Sure, there’s something much more enjoyable about favouring music that not everybody listens to, but folk might be a little more themselves if they sifted through what’s out there as a habit and stopped settling for spoon-fed sounds as much. For those who choose raw sounds, there’s plenty of grunge, alt rock and metal around — and that won’t change.