Is Rock Music Converging?

I’ve lost count of how many sub-genres we have in music. That’s not including all the sub-sub-genres out there, though it must be said the thought of a hip-hop-folk-classical combination would be hard to ignore.

Green Day in action at Wembley Stadium, June 2010 ©Angus Marriott 2010

Rock music is as much a culprit as any other genre; we have punk, metal, glam-rock… the list goes on.  For some reason, however, there comes a point in rock music where we start to see the trend invert, we start to see the genres converging.

Guns ‘N’ Roses. Green Day. Muse. The three don’t really have much in common genre-wise. The only notable link is our beloved Wembley stadium. All three have sold out, and exhilarated everyone at Wembley, and regardless of how their CD’s sound, their live shows have a common sound.

Let’s move down a tier, to, say, Fall Out Boy. In the early 2000s they burst into the musical consciousness, emotions flaring. By the time they took their hiatus, however, they too had adopted a sound that seemed a little…familiar. Suddenly they had turned into a mature rock band, in the same way Green Day deviated from their punk roots.

Equal perhaps to Fall Out Boy, we have BIffy Clyro, who have seen their coverage and popularity sky-rocket in the last two years, even supporting Muse at Wembley. This hasn’t gone without a change in sound, albeit a minor one. They’ve moved from rugged, brash songs, to big, melodic ballads, capable of pleasing everyone.

Moving down a little more, and a little further South, you find You Me At Six. When I first listened to them, I found them over-bearing; they bought into the emo-culture just that little bit too much. Come their latest album, “Hold Me Down”, they too have grown up. It’s as if their early work was just an act to grab our attention.

So, are genres in music simply a means to an end, Just a tagline to attract the bigwigs? Or is it simply that a band gets to a certain size, a certain stature, that they feel the need to return rock to its roots.

Either way, as a fan of rock, from Matchbox 20 through to Foreigner, via Bowling For Soup, this convergence is a welcome reassurance that, despite the mess the industry is in, rock is still going strong in one form or another. Let’s hope it lasts!


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