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  • Garage Rock

    Garage rock is a genre of music known for its more raw form of the rock music scene. It emerged into widespread popularity in America and Canada in 63, and stayed highly popular until about 67. In its beginning garage rock was not actually seen as a separate genre of music, and it was in the early years of the 70s that rock music critics began labeling it as “punk rock”. Considering the emergence of a punk rock genre a few years later, the genre became known as garage rock or “60s Punk” to prevent the confusion that was occurring between the genre and bands like The Clash and the Sex Pistols of the late 70s who were apart of the true punk rock scene. The terminology “garage rock” came from the idea that most of the performers of the genre were teenagers and amateur performers that most likely rehearsed in the garage of one of their families homes.

    This of course was not true of most of the performers of the scene, whom were quite professional and past their early twenties. But, this was coupled with that actual performances and lyrical themes of the music as well. Many of the more typical themes found in garage rock were based on high school life and the traumas suffered therein. Songs about lying girls were not hard to find in the scene. But this is not to say that many acts in the genre were not diverse or talented. Many bands had their own style and were quite good at their musical production. Garage rock music actually dates back as far as 58, with bands like The Wailers, with the song Dirty Robber, and Link Wray’s song Rumble, as prime examples of the mainstream form of the genre in its beginning. Five years later in 63 the garage rock scene had grown from regional scenes to crawling up national charts in large numbers, with bands including Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Kingsmen, the Rivieras, and the Trashmen. There were many bands that had a great impact on the genre without ever reaching national charts like the Billboard 100, such as the well known band the Sonics. From 64 to 66 during the influx of highly popular bands from Canada, Australia, and the UK garage rock began to involve thanks to influences that had come to America during the ‘British Invasion’. Many bands responsible for the larger influences on the genre include The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Kinks, The Animals, and many others, all who generally carried a harder blues-based sound. Unfortunately, after 77, the genre began a slow but unrelenting fall from fame as fewer and fewer bands of the genre continued to produce the garage rock music, and by 1970, the genre was all but dead.
    Garage rock has had many attempted revivals by bands who play tributes to the garage rock of the 60s. In the 70s, bands such as The New York Dolls and The Stooges were arguably bands who attempted a revival of the genre. The 80s found many bands whom attempted to bring back the sound and style of the genre, bands like The Chesterfield Kings, The Milshakes, The Fuzztones and The Cynics were examples of this movement. This actually helped incite the emergence of a primitive form of the garage rock scene in the later half of the 80s, which was dubbed as “Garage Punk”, thanks to acts like The Mummies, Thee Mighty Caesars, The Gories, and The Devil Dogs. Garage punk was a more loud and raw sound that blended in elements for the proto punk scene, as well as the 70s punk rock music scene. The garage punk scene and garage rock revival coexisted well together from the 90s through the 2000s, and many independent record companies released thousands of records by various acts that were playing the primitive form of rock music. A few bands whom can be found that are considered apart of the garage rock revival of the 2000s include The Strokes, The Vines, The White Stripes, The Hives, The Sights, The Go, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Kings of Leon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Jet, to name only a few names on a long list of acts and influential performers.

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