A subgenre of the alternative music scene, emerging from Seattle. Musical characteristics are quite similar to hard-core. It was a fusion of punk and metal. At the heart of grunge is musical dissonance. Artists wanted to have artistic control over their music instead of it being relegated to a major recording company ... enter Bruce Pavitt`s Sub Pop Records. Artists include: Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is an is an independent-rooted music genre that was inspired by hardcore punk, thrash metal, and alternative rock. The genre became commercially successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s, peaking in mainstream popularity between 1991 and 1994.
Bands from cities in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, such as Seattle, Olympia, and Portland, created grunge and later made it popular with mainstream audiences. The genre is closely associated with Generation X in the US, since it was popularized in tandem with the rise in popularity of the generation`s name. The popularity of grunge was one of the earliest phenomena that distinguished the popular music of the 1990s from that of the 1980s.
Grunge music is generally characterized by "dirty" guitar, strong riffs, and heavy drumming. The "dirty" sound resulted both from a stylistic change in the standard method of playing punk rock, and from the common use of guitar distortion and feedback. Grunge involves slower tempos and dissonant harmonies that are generally not found in punk. The lyrics are typically angst-filled - anger, frustration, ennui, sadness, fear, and depression are often explored in grunge songs. These lyrics may have come from the feelings of angst that are common in adolescence; many grunge musicians began their careers as teenagers or young adults. However, other factors, such as poverty, discomfort with social prejudices, and a general disenchantment with the state of society may also have influenced grunge lyricism. Nevertheless, not all grunge songs dealt with such emotions: Nirvana`s satirical "In Bloom" is a notable example of more humorous writing. In fact, several grunge songs are filled with either a dark or fun sense of humor as well (for example, Mudhoney`s "Touch Me, I`m Sick!" or Tad`s "Stumblin` Man"), though this often went unnoticed by the general public. Much of the humor in grunge satirized heavy metal and other forms of rock music that were popular during the 1980s.
Grunge evolved out of the Pacific Northwest`s local punk rock scene, inspired by local punk bands such as The Fartz, The U-Men, the feedback- and distortion-intensive The Accused, and pop-punksters The Fastbacks. Above all, the slow, heavy sound of The Melvins was the biggest influence on grunge. Both The Melvins and the punk band The Wipers (also influential) are themselves considered grunge bands by some fans of the genre, although others classify them as hardcore punk bands. Aside from its punk origins, the grunge movement had strong roots in the musical and youth culture of the American northwest. The musical resemblance to such 1960s northwest bands as the Wailers and, most particularly, the Sonics, is unmistakable.
Mark Arm, the vocalist for the Seattle band Green River (and later Mudhoney), is widely credited for being the first to use the term "grunge" to describe the sGrunge
tyle. However, Arm used the term pejoratively; he called the band`s style "pure grunge, pure shit". This was not seen as being negative by the media, and the term was subsequently applied to all music that sounded similar to Green River`s style. It is likely that the term was seen as appropriate because of the "dirty" guitar sound that grunge is known for (the word grunge itself means "dirt") and the unkempt appearance of most bands of the genre which was in direct contradiction to the relatively polished look of glam metal bands of the late 1980s.