The 90s was truly an interesting time for the development of music. Being my favourite era for music, it was a time in which styles morphed and/or merged into music that often sounded both edgy and oddly familiar. Known as Grunge, the music fused heavy metal with 70’s hardcore punk and lyrics that spoke to a new generation. The sound had eventually hit mainstream airwaves with the help of one band and one music video:
Nirvana‘s song “Smells like teen spirit” and music video aided the formation and development of Grunge into mainstream music. The lyrics “I feel stupid and contagious/ here we are now, entertain us” in which Kurt Cobain demonstrates that the raw, rasping sound of Grunge was matched with lyrics that normally seemed to express a downbeat, even rebellious view that was drenched in self-derogating irony. This caused Grunge followers began to dress in flannel shirts, ragged jeans and chaotically long hair, as a method of rebellion against the ideas of rock stars having to be glamorous, suitably and tidy fashioned celebrities.
Being another one of my favourite Grunge bands along with Nirvana, Alice in chains had a big influence on the genre of gloominess and rebellion.”Rain When I Die” includes heavy drums and bass, and dark, edgy and even deathly lyrics such as “I think it’s gonna rain when I die”. Along with their famous song called “Would?” (my favourite AIC song), the distorted guitars, heavy drums and darker lyrical topics popularised the genre in American rebellious youths.
Lyrical themes often included social alienation, depression, frustration, fear and suicide which all had a stronger connection with younger audiences, especially teenagers. Many parents and older generations were disturbed and even offended by the music.
However, rather than seeing Grunge as a form of alienation and depression, I see it as a form of escapism from reality – which is why it’s one of my favourite genres. I tend to get lost within the dark and edgy sound of the distorted guitars and drums, as well as the lyrics. For a few minutes, it captivates me into a rebellious state.