What are the best modern rock genres?
Tough call, right? Well, that's what we asked UG readers to nominate this week and they did a sterling job of picking apart modern rock music and sharing their opinion on what is best.
It's been a tough article to write up - everyone's perspective on these genres will be different. If you think you can offer a better definition, or would like to share YouTube examples, go ahead and join the debate in the comments. We think it'll be a lively one.
Otherwise, go ahead and enjoy - this playlist has some of the most credible underground artists we've ever posted about, so there's a lot to discover and enjoy here.
Sludge was originally a blend of doom metal and hardcore punk, and can easily cross over into stoner metal. Band like the Melvins pioneered the sound, but artists including Eyehategod, City of Caterpillar and especially Neurosis took it forward towards something better known as post-metal.
9. Post Rock
Usually instrumental, and often introspective, this genre rocks through the entire spectrum if delicate clean sounds to the most crushing walls of sound possible. But there are few quiet/loud dynamic changes here; every transition is slow and hard earned. Acts like Mono and Godspeed You! Black Emperor are some of the best known, though Pelican is a good example of a more leftfield variant.
8. Alternative Metal
This is a tough one - almost all metal is alternative, so it seems a little unfair to give credit to it to just a couple of artists. Apparently the voter for this category suggested Breaking Benjamin, so we'll post them here as an example and you can come to your own conclusions about how this should be defined in the comments.
7. Funk Rock
Rock almost lost its groove when digital recording and click tracks were invented. Thankfully, artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Primus were around to keep that funky backbeat alive.
6. Stoner Rock
Here's how to make a stoner rock guitar sound: record a huge guitar amp, and boost 400 Hz with an EQ. Make it as wooly and muddy as possible. Once upon a time, this would have sounded plain wrong - then bands like Kyuss arrived and made it seem normal. The first Queens of the Stone Age album is considered by some to be the gold standard in stoner rock, given that it was written by former Kyuss member Josh Homme.
5. Modern Blues
Rock came from blues, and there's still plenty of artists who stick to its original roots. Jack White is probably the only mainstream representative, though the next category in Garage Rock is often indistinguishable.
4. Garage Rock
There's so many garage rock bands now that it's fruitless trying to list them all. Just mix catchy guitar hooks with a solid beat, then throw some fuzzy vocals over it. I mean, having a good song will help, but that's pretty much it.
3. Alternative Rock
It's weird to call this 'alternative' when it's really just a modern take on classic rock. Think of it as an accessible version of rock with plenty of songwriting integrity. Bands like Foo Fighters and 30 Seconds to Mars lead the mainstream charge, but there's plenty of alternatives - particularly in Britain where alternative rock takes on a more progressive edge with acts like Amplifier.
2. Progressive Metal
The genres that so often captures the hearts and minds of guitar-loving UG readers. Dream Theater are perhaps the guitar geek's dream band with John Petrucci's shred-tastic guitar solos, but Tool's emotional progressive metal sound has become one of the most influential in metal history.
1. Stoner Metal
What happens when you get metal head musicians really damn stoned? They slow down a little, get some groove on, and sometimes give their head banging anthems an intellectual twist. Phil Anselmo's Down are a popular example, but the underground classic act are Sleep. Their album "Dopesmoker," shared in full below, is one riff which loops for an hour with the band jamming around it. Why? They were signed to a major label, then spent the money on weed and spent a year recording the same riff as heavy as possible. The label refused to release it, but its notoriety made it an underground hit - plus it sounds incredible loud. Enjoy.
What do you think of the top 10 modern rock genres? Which artists have you discovered, and what do you disagree with? Give your fellow UG readers a musical education in the comments, and hit "like" if you're a fan of any of the bands on this page.