Garage rock

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Garage rock is a raw form of rock and roll that was first popular in the United States and Canada from about 1963 to 1967.[1] During the 1960s, it was not recognized as a separate music genre and had no specific name. In the late 1970s, some rock critics retroactively identified it as an early incarnation of punk rock, and it is sometimes called garage punk, protopunk, or 1960s punk; however, the music style has predominantly been referred to as garage rock.




The term "garage rock" comes from the perception that many such performers were young and amateurish, and often rehearsed in a family garage.[2] Some bands were made up of middle-class teenagers from the suburbs, but some were from rural or urban areas, while others were composed of professional musicians in their twenties.[3]

The performances were often amateurish or naïve, with typical themes revolving around the traumas of high school life and songs about "lying girls" being particularly common.[4] The lyrics and delivery were notably more aggressive than was common at the time, often with growled or shouted vocals that dissolved into incoherent screaming.[2] Instrumentation was often characterised by the use of guitars distorted through a fuzzbox.[5] Nevertheless, garage rock acts were diverse in both musical ability and in style, ranging from crude one-chord music (like the Seeds and the Keggs) to near-studio musician quality (including the Knickerbockers, the Remains, and the Fifth Estate). There were also regional variations in many parts of America with flourishing scenes particularly in California and Texas.[4] The Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon had perhaps the most defined regional sound.[6]

The style had been evolving from regional scenes as early as 1958. "Tall Cool One" (1959) by The Wailers and "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen (1963) are mainstream examples of the genre in its formative stages.[7] By 1963, garage band singles were creeping into the national charts in greater numbers, including Paul Revere and the Raiders (Boise),[8] the Trashmen (Minneapolis)[9] and the Rivieras (South Bend, Indiana).[10] Other influential garage bands, such as the Sonics (Tacoma, Washington), never reached the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[11] In this early period many bands were heavily influenced by surf rock and there was a cross-pollination between garage rock and energetic and upbeat party frat rock, though the latter is sometimes viewed as merely a sub-genre of garage rock.[12]

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