Grunge is a musical subgenre derived from alternative rock, whose name comes from the term grungy, a popular word used in the English language to say ‘dirty’.
Grunge emerges in the late 1980s in Seattle, Washington state, which is why it is also known as “Seattle sound.”
It has its roots in different musical genres, among which we can mention sludge metal, punk, hard rock, hardcore and noise rock.
It is characterized by the use of guttural voice, repetitive melodies, protagonism of the distorted guitar, the presence of a strong and marked drums and lyrics that express disappointment, frustration, sadness, depression and apathy.
Among its most prominent representatives are the group Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Green River, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, The Melvins and Mudhoney.
The first two were the protagonists of the stage of launching the genre in radio media in the early 90s, at which time the grunge reached its highest international popularity.
The grunge as a musical genre had a very short path, because towards the end of the decade the grunge began to decline.
One of the reasons was the many musical proposals that reacted against their aesthetics and spirit.
In addition, many grunge fans stop following the bands, since, they went against what the grunge proposed: never follow trends, reject the purchase and marketing of products and strive as little as possible for appearance.
Therefore, there were very few bands that managed to stand, such as Pearl Jam, for example.
Grunge as urban tribe
The grunge creates a subculture with specific features, based on the pessimistic ideological models of a generation affected by heroin and boredom against the consumer society.
In this way, it adopts a careless style and is characterized by the use of flannel shirts as clothing.
The suicide of Nirvana’s vocal leader, Kurt Cobain, in 1994 would become one of the movement’s most emblematic myths.