Rock music has been around since the early 1950’s. It was derived from R’n’B music and has since evolved and changed into hundreds of genres and sub-genres. From mainstream styles like pop rock, heavy metal, punk rock to less known genres of alternative rock that emerged in the late 1980’s. The clashes and mixtures of genres have transformed rock music and always bring us something new. And because this is the internet era, it’s much easier to look for and find new original bands that don’t receive the attention they deserve. We want to share with you 10 less known rock genres you probably didn’t know and you should if you’re a fan of rock music (like we are).
Shoegaze is an alternative rock subgenre that appeared in the late 1980’s with bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Slowdive. The music is characterized by the use of many effects pedals like delays, reverbs and heavily distorted guitars that create what it’s called a “wall of sound”. The name “shoegaze” comes from the fact that musicians who play this rock genre stare at their feet while playing because they have to step on the effects pedals.
9. Dark Cabaret
Dark cabaret music is a mixture of many genres from cabaret and circus music to gothic rock, alternative rock and punk. The origins of this genre are not really known but bands like The Tiger Lillies and Dresden Dolls have made it popular in underground music scenes. Think of Marlene Dietrich meets the Sex Pistols and you’ll get an idea of what dark cabaret sounds like.
8. Post Punk
Post Punk is one of the less known rock genres that rock music lovers should listen to. Post punk appeared in the late 70’s and it was derived from punk rock, adding a darker sound and introverted lyrics to the style. Famous post punk bands that were given this label are Bauhaus, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, The Fall, Faunlet and many others. Since then post punk has evolved in other subgenres like post-punk revival, electro post-punk and other styles.
7. Post Rock
Post rock is a music genre that exploded in the underground music scene around the year 2000. It’s a multitude of other rock genres like progressive rock, shoegaze, metal and alternative rock. Most post-rock bands play a loud instrumental music that alternates between dreamy, melodic and heavy passages. Notable post-rock bands that you can listen to are Mono from Japan, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, God is an astronaut, Valerinne and many others.
6. Gothic Country
One of the less known rock genres that somehow remained obscured in general music scene is gothic country. Also known as alternative country or gothic Americana music, this rock music subgenre is a combination of country music and other styles like punk, alternative rock, doom country and dark cabaret music. Representative bands for this genre are 16 Horsepower, Woven Hand, Jay Munly, Those Poor Bastards.
5. Post Metal
Post metal is a subgenre of metal music that could be appreciated by people who don’t usually listen to metal. Post metal is much more sophisticated and incorporates many genres to create a very dark apocalyptic music. Post metal combines rock genres like progressive metal, alternative rock, experimental music and doom metal to create a very heavy and melodic music.
Psychobilly is a less known rock genre that appeared in the early 80’s and it combines a fast punk rock with rockabilly music and dark imagery taken from B horror movies, pulp fiction and other underground trends. One of the first psychobilly bands was The Cramps from California. Since then many psychobilly bands have come and gone.
Neo-folks is a dark experimental style of rock music that was influenced by folk singers like Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed. Neo-folk singers are inspired by the nihilistic side of existence, occultism and pagan symbols. Most notable neo-folk bands are Current 93, Death In June, Sol Invictus and Spiritual Front.
2. Less known rock genres – Freak-Folk
Freak-folk is a style of folk music that combines elements of experimental music with alternative rock, baroque pop or dark cabaret. Freak-folk singers incorporate instruments like pianos, guitars and drums and other less conventional music instruments like toy pianos. Famous freak-folk singers and bands are Antony and the Johnsons, Cocorosie, Davendra Banhart.
1. Dream Pop
Dream pop is an alternative rock subgenre that took form in the 80’s and it’s characterized by a dreamy, atmospheric , echo music and introspective lyrics. Notable dream pop bands are Cocteau Twins, Cranes, Julee Cruise.
This was our list of less known rock genres. Are you familiar with any of these styles? Are you a fan of any?