Garage punk

For more details on the 1960s music also labelled "garage punk", see Garage rock.

Garage punk is a rock subgenre that evokes sensibilities and approaches identified with punk rock.[5][6] Its origins can be traced to North American garage rock bands in the early 1960s who were inspired by R&B.[1] The terms "garage rock" and "garage punk" may be deployed interchangeably to describe those bands,[7] although the term "punk" was not solidified as a genre until 1976.[8]

Another movement that is widely categorized as "garage punk" drew heavily from stripped-down 1970s punk rock[5] and Detroit proto-punk, taking shape in the indie rock underground between the late 1980s and early 1990s.[2] Groups incorporated numerous influences into their stylistic approach, such as 1970s punk rock, power pop, 1960s girl groups and garage rock, hardcore punk, early blues and R&B, and surf rock.[6] Associated bands from that period contributed to the development of stoner rock, a more psychedelic variation of the genre.[2]

Etymology and usage

"Punk" was first used to describe the music of American garage bands of the mid 1960s, and was not solidified as a genre until 1976.[8] When referring to 1960s groups, the term "garage punk" is usually deployed interchangeably with "garage rock".[7] The earliest known use of the term "garage punk" appeared in Lenny Kaye's track-by-track liner notes for the 1972 Nuggets LP[9] to describe a song by the 1960s garage rock band, the Shadows of Knight, as "classic garage punk".[10] The Guardian's Michael Hann writes: "Look at the tracklisting for Lenny Kaye’s original Nuggets album, the record that codified garage punk and you’ll find an awful lot of music that would not now fit comfortably into the genre."[1] MTV's Beverly Bryan says that "garage punk" may be used "more likely" to refer to "garage rock or garage revival".[6]

Development and characteristics


See also: Proto-punk
The Sonics are sometimes considered to be the first garage punk band.[11]

Simon Reynolds traces garage punk to American garage rock bands in the 1960s.[12] He explains that mid-1960s garage punk was largely the domain of untrained teenagers who used sonic effects, such as fuzz tones, and relied heavily on riffs.[13] Hann locates the "golden years" of garage punk to 1965–67.[1] The Sonics are credited as a pioneering act in the genre.[11][14] Critic Tim Sommer wrote: "The Sonics created the template for American garage punk, not to mention crafting the prototype for every punk rock band that thought that three chords and a horny shriek was enough to move a nation."[15]


In the 1980s, there began a revived interest in the music of the 1960s, starting with garage punk.[16] Labels like Crypt and Norton began reissuing the work of "lost mid-century weirdos", which led a new generation of punk musicians to rediscover older rock artists like Little Richard and the Sonics.[6] These newer garage punk bands continued to draw heavily from stripped-down 1970s punk, rather than just mid-1960s styles.[5] According to the Allmusic guide, "Before the punk-pop wing of America's '90s punk revival hit the mainstream, a different breed of revivalist punk had been taking shape in the indie-rock underground. In general, garage punk wasn't nearly as melodic as punk-pop; instead, garage punk drew its inspiration chiefly from the Detroit protopunk of The Stooges and The MC5. ... Some of the first garage punk bands who appeared in the late '80s and early '90s (Mudhoney, the Supersuckers) signed with the Sub Pop label, whose early grunge bands shared some of the same influences and aesthetics (in fact, Mudhoney became one of the founders of grunge)."[2] Bands like New Bomb Turks, The Oblivians, The Gories, Subsonics,[17] The Mummies, The Dirtbombs, and The Humpers helped maintain a cult audience for the style through the 1990s and 2000s.[2] Associated bands from that period contributed to the development of stoner rock, a more psychedelic variation of the genre.[2]

While originating from garage rock and punk, garage punk sometimes incorporates elements of 1960s soul, beat music, surf music, power pop, hardcore punk and psychedelia.[18][3] It is often fast-paced and characterized by dirty, choppy guitars and lyrics typically expressing rebelliousness and sometimes "bad taste", and may be performed by "low-fi" acts who are on independent record labels, or who are unsigned.[19] Garage punk bands are generally apolitical and tend distance themselves from hardcore punk and generally avoid strict adherence to the types of social codes and ideologies associated with the punk subculture.[18]

List of artists



See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Hann, Michael (July 30, 2014). "10 of the best: garage punk". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Garage Punk". AllMusic. Archived from the original on July 23, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  3. 1 2 Sabin 1999, p. 99.
  4. Hoffmann 2004, p. 1725.
  5. 1 2 3 Markesich 2012, p. 43.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Bryan, Beverly (February 4, 2013). "Please Explain: What is Garage Punk?". MTV Iggy. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015.
  7. 1 2 Aaron 2013, p. 52.
  8. 1 2 Austen 2005, p. 168.
  9. Nobles 2012, p. 32.
  10. Kaye, Lenny (1972). Nuggets (booklet). Various Artists. United States: Elektra Records.
  11. 1 2 3 Ansill, Laura (April 14, 2015). "The Sonics – Here Are The Sonics".
  12. Reynolds 1999, p. 138–139.
  13. Reynolds 2012, p. 150.
  14. Pehling, David (May 11, 2015). "Garage-Rock Godfathers The Sonics Get Feral at the Fillmore". SF Weekly.
  15. Sommer, Tim (November 15, 2016). "The Musicians Who Actually Deserve a Spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". The Observer.
  16. Reynolds 2005.
  17. "Clay Reed on Outsight Radio Hours". Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  18. 1 2 Bovey, Seth (2006). "Don't Tread on Me: The Ethos of '60s Garage Punk". Popular Music & Society. Routledge. 29 (4): 451–459. doi:10.1080/03007760600787515.
  19. Alan Rutter (September 2006). "Bluffer's guide: Garage punk". TimeOut London. TimeOut Group Ltd. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  20. 1 2 White, Timothy (June 1986). Reviews. SPIN Media LLC. p. 34. ISSN 08863032(Warning: Check ISSN).
  21. "Mick Farren". The Telegraph. August 1, 2013.
  22. Lounges, Tom (June 19, 2014). "Local Sixties teen idols ready to rock the Region". NWI Times.
  23. 1 2 3 Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (2011-04-02). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 7. ISSN 0006-2510.
  24. David A. Ensminger (16 June 2011). Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 250. ISBN 978-1-60473-969-5.
  25. Zorn, Alexandra. Dead Moon - Biography by Alexandra Zorn at AllMusic. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  26. 1 2 CMJ Network, Inc. (17 April 2000). CMJ New Music Report. CMJ Network, Inc. p. 19. ISSN 0890-0795.
  27. Yegor Letov's Interview in Irkutsk. About music and politics
  28. Eric Davidson (1 May 2010). We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001. Backbeat Books. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-61713-389-3.
  29. Colin Larkin (27 May 2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  30. Chris Handyside (13 August 2013). Fell in Love with a Band: The Story of The White Stripes. St. Martin's Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-1-4668-5184-9.
  31. Everett True (2004). The White Stripes and the Sound of Mutant Blues. Music Sales Group. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7119-9836-0.
  32. Deming, Mark. The Reigning Sound - Biography by Mark Deming at AllMusic. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  33. Deming, Mark. Teengenerate - Biography by Mark Deming at AllMusic. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  34. Leggett, Steve. Thee Oh Sees - Biography by Steve Leggett at AllMusic. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  35. Adam Budofsky; Michele Heusel; Michael Ray Dawson; Michael Parillo (2006). The Drummer: 100 Years of Rhythmic Power and Invention. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-4234-0567-2.
  36. NY-based Yeah Yeah Yeahs headline Love Garage


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