Define Rock Music

Have you ever told someone before that you like rock music and thought – this merely scratches the surface of my music taste? It’s like you walk into a deli, ask for a sandwich, say no more and expect a total stranger to know you’ll take a cuban with extra pickles and honey mustard – not regular. Along with pop music, this could be seen as the most extensive category of modern music.

The birth of rock would be attributed to figures such Elvis Presley and the recently deceased Chuck Berry. When I think of straight up rock, I picture the likes of The Doors, Led Zeppelin or Fleetwood Mac. Three very different bands in their own right but groups that share a similar backbone of distorted guitars, a driving rhythm section and an imposing lead vocal. This certainly isn’t to say though, that today’s bands follow this exact trend.

The primary component to interpreting rock is its era. Early rock from the 50’s, 60’s and into the 70’s was mainly driven by the blues. Then in the very late 60’s and 70’s we had punk, metal and folk rock. The 80’s brought us new wave, the 90’s garage and a host of other sub genres throughout sixty odd years that would take us a lifetime to disseminate. The 21st century is probably still too young to categorise but there is one sub genre that sticks out in my mind, although it has become very difficult to definitively classify it.

One of my top five current bands would be The War On Drugs. Personally they evoke a combination of Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and The Travelling Wilburys among others – fairly quintessential rock music through the years in my mind. Despite this, The War On Drugs are widely regarded as an indie band. Now I know many people roll their eyes at the thought of an indie outfit. They picture hipsters drinking craft mochaccino latte’s out of a flower pot who make songs that insult the fibre of music. But indie has become a genre that covers a considerable amount of modern rock. Alternative rock is another prominent style today but with how indie has developed, it’s very hard to differentiate between the two.

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There’s no definitive answer for this highly subjective topic. But, if a general consensus on what sub genre defined rock music in the early part of this millennium is ever met down the line, my money is on indie.

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