Gothic rock

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Gothic rock (also referred to as goth rock or simply goth) is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes. The genre itself was defined as a separate movement from punk rock during the early 1980s largely due to the significant stylistic divergences of the movement; gothic rock, as opposed to punk, combines dark, often keyboard-heavy music with introspective and depressing lyrics. Notable gothic rock bands include Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Virgin Prunes, The Sex Gang Children, Christian Death, and Alien Sex Fiend, among many others. Gothic rock gave rise to a broader goth subculture that includes clubs, fashion and numerous publications that grew in popularity in the 1980s.


Style, roots and influences

Gothic rock takes the guitar and synthesizer sounds of post-punk and uses them to construct "foreboding, sorrowful, often epic soundscapes".[1] According to music journalist Simon Reynolds, standard musical fixtures of the genre include "scything guitar patterns, high-pitched basslines that often usurped the melodic role; [and] beats that were either hypnotically dirgelike or 'tribal'".[2] Reynolds described the vocal style as consisting of "deep, droning alloys of Jim Morrison and Leonard Cohen".[2] Many goth bands use drum machines that do not stress the back beat in the rhythm.[3] Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure tended to play the flanging guitar effect, producing a brittle, cold, and harsh sound that contrasted with their psychedelic rock predecessors.[4]

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