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Post-punk revival

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Post-punk revival

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The post-punk revival is a movement in modern rock music, being part of the larger indie/garage rock, punk, and dance genres. The post-punk revival draws in part on the conventions of the original post-punk sound from the early 1980s, yet is also an extension of and reaction to the more pop-oriented punk music of the 1990s. The movement began and is most prominent in English speaking countries such as the US, the UK, and Australia, and has been especially tied to the New York City music scene.

History of the post-punk revival

Originally, the term "post-punk" was coined to describe those groups which in the late seventies and early eighties took punk and started to experiment with more challenging musical structures, lyrical themes, and a self-consciously art-based image, while retaining punk's initial iconoclastic stance. Classic examples of post-punk outfits include Gang of Four, Joy Division, The Raincoats, and Wire.

At the turn of the century, the term "post-punk" began to appear in the music press again, with a number of critics reviving the label to describe a new set of bands that shared some of the aesthetics of the original post-punk era. A reevaluation of the sonic conventions from that era, this second wave of post-punk incorporates elements of the dance and indie music of the late-1980s and 1990s in much the same way that the original post-punk movement was informed by the krautrock, dub, and disco music of the 1970s.

The dual meaning of post-punk

The use of the term "post-punk" to describe two distinct waves of rock music, despite their many differences, has stuck. It is legitimized not only by the broad consensus that has emerged to call the groups listed here post-punk but also by the historical positions of each movement, relative to the dominant punk rock music of their respective eras. The first form of post-punk was seen as a response to late-1970s punk rock; the twenty-first century variant as a response to 1990s punk rock.

Earlier attempts to revive the term "post-punk" were not successful. In the early-1990s some critics referred to groups like Fugazi and Girls Against Boys as "post-punk" without this label gaining widespread use. These groups are now widely considered hardcore punk or post-hardcore.

Unlike the original post-punk artists, who were often deliberately difficult and obtuse, many bands of the post-punk revival have been more accessible and radio-friendly, leading some to claim that they are not stylisic torchbearers of the post-punk style but are instead simply a variant within the dominant commercial style of rock music.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

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