Styles & Forms | Punk | The Aftermath (1979 & Beyond) | An Overview
Punk was pronounced dead on many occasions, as early as 1977 when The Clash signed to CBS and when The Sex Pistols split up the following year. By 1979 there was a consensus that, although the original impetus had died down, a thriving post-punk environment had arisen. Liverpool spawned the new psychedelia of Echo & The Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes. In the West Midlands, punk attitude fused with ska rhythms to produce two tone. New wave took the movement’s vigour and applied a less uncompromising, more radio-friendly approach.
In America, the punk scene was an underground phenomenon, yet the influence of the bands who originated hardcore – The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag – would resonate down the years. Punk began to divide into sub-genres: anarcho-punk, no wave, Oi and punk-pop all changed the blueprint in strikingly different ways.
For some, punk was represented by a set of certain musical conventions and a rigid dress code, but in its purest form, punk was a movement for change. It challenged the musical establishment. It wasn’t interested in standing still and repeating the same tired gestures. The aftershocks of punk would continue to be felt throughout the 1980s and 1990s; indie and alternative rock moved beyond their DIY origins and into the mainstream. More than 35 years on, punk is still alive and kicking down doors.
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