Rock music isn’t dead

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By Braden Murray | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

The phrase “Rock is dead” is a very common refrain from older music fans. This is simply not true. Rock just isn’t as pervasive in modern culture as it used to be.

The perceived “death” of rock often coincides with the gradual rise of hip-hop culture during the late 1980s and early 1990s. During this time, classic rap artists such as Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Notorious B.I.G. and Nas were topping the charts and were among the most popular artists of the decade.

During the 1990s, grunge was the predominant subgenre of rock. That all changed on April 5, 1994, when Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist of Nirvana, died. It could be said that grunge died with Kurt, as the rest of the 1990s saw the rise of post-grunge like Foo Fighters, nu-metal like Linkin Park and alternative bands like Radiohead.

All these new subgenres have their merits, but for the most part, they are greatly inferior to the decades of rock music before them. The early 2000s saw the rise of garage rock, led by bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes.

In the mid-2000s, punk rock began to see a resurgence. But this time, it wasn’t the kind of punk that The Clash released in the 1970s. No, this was pop-punk — the kind of music that can be heard in Hot Topic stores across the country.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some My Chemical Romance or even some Blink-182 from time to time, but it just doesn’t hit the same as classic punk bands from an earlier time.

The 2010s are when things started to get really bad for mainstream rock music. If rock wasn’t already dead before the 2010s, then it certainly was after … right? Wrong.

Good rock never died; it just hasn’t seen as much mainstream success as it once did. The people most often discussing the death of rock are usually talking about classic rock and glam rock.

Many artists from the 1970s and 1980s are still touring, and a few of them are even releasing new music to this very day. There have even been new artists trying to bring back the classic rock sound; Greta Van Fleet is the most successful example.

For some reason, these new attempts to bring back the rock of old just don’t resonate with older audiences. A lot of people refuse to give Greta Van Fleet any credit, all because the vocals bear a resemblance to the vocals of Led Zeppelin.

I think some of the best rock music coming out right now isn’t from the United States. I think the best straight-up rock band out right now is the Australian band, King Gizzard, and the Lizzard Wizard.

In the United Kingdom, there is a bubbling punk and rock scene, which has provided some of the best rock albums of the last year. Some of my favorites in this category are Black Country, New Road and black midi.

We even have some great bands right here in Waco. Bands like Rad Dragon and Fooligan are some examples of bands from the area that are hoping to make it big.

Rock isn’t dead; you just have to look harder to find the good stuff.