Wednesday Question: Best Modern Rock Genres

What are the best genres in modern rock music? Share your opinion here to find out.

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Rock music has, thankfully, spiralled out of control.

Since its modest beginnings as an unruly cousin to blues, rock music has captured the imagination of young people across the decades. And with each generation comes new iterations to enjoy, share and develop.

Today, there are dozens if not hundreds of rock music offshoots - but which are the most popular?

This week's question is:

What are the best modern rock genres?

It might seem like a tough poll, but it's pretty straightforward. Just pick a genre and an artist which you think is a great example, and if others vote for it, it might win the poll.

Post one genre (and sample artist) in the comments, and place your votes as normal. Feel free to correct people if the genre can be better described, or if you have a suggestion for a better artist to share. Good luck!

350 comments sorted by best / new / date

    willzchannell
    Wow they really are running out of questions...
    jamie_hough
    Actually I think this will get some really interesting results in that will deviate from the usual winners (Metallica/Queen/Led Zeppelin/Sabbath), so I'm all for something a bit different.
    Petzakecske
    Eh... You want Foo Figthers or some Prog Metal band instead? Won't be much different from the usual UG.
    Burnzyburns
    I, just once, want some category that will produce Chuck Schuldiner or Alex Skolnick, somehow; or will find different results, but it almost never happens. So I'll take this, whateva! whateva!
    kingrayzer92
    Progressive Metal/Rock - Dream Theater Can't wait for the new album!
    D4CE
    I love some progressive rock. I love Porcupine Tree, King Crimson.. Bands like that. I like some Dream Theater songs but they tend to bore me really fast.
    third(-)eye
    Dream Theater are amazing musicians, but IMO they're super corny and not very good songwriters. But maybe that's because I find that style of music corny in general. Porcupine Tree aren't that great either, but they have Gavin Harrison, so they're worth a listen just for that.
    Kornholic
    What are you talking about? Porcupine Tree is amazing!
    sideslick
    I just have to put this out there: He was talking about his belief that prog is "corny" and your avatar is KoRn. I loled a bit.
    third(-)eye
    I don't think PROG is corny, I love prog. It's my favorite genre. Prog METAL tends to be pretty predictable though. And Porcupine Tree also suffer from the great-musicians-but-poor-songwriters syndrome. At least Steven Wilson does. Best thing he ever did was do production for other bands like Opeth and King Crimson.
    theblazinasian
    Same here, favorite genre undoubtedly. It's definitely an expansive genre, and has definitely evolved over time. I'm a big fan of newer prog acts like Coheed and Cambria and The Dear Hunter. I definitely agree that DT's brand of prog metal can get corny. But bands like Tesseract are far from predictable.
    third(-)eye
    Progressive rock is the obvious choice because it always finds a way to stay modern even though it's been around since the late 60's.
    Badmotorfingers
    Stoner rock/metal (like corrosion of conformity, the sword etc)
    N-D
    Actually I like Sludge (in all his forms - Neurosis, ISIS, etc)
    Metalisnotmusic
    post-metal, or 'heavy music', or 'metal influenced prog rock', or whatever they like to call themselves, doesn't get enough respect anywhere, and especially not on UG.
    dawgzfan66
    Early Mastodon, Sleep, High on Fire, Electric Wizard, and Bongzilla to name a few more
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    just put stoner/doom/sludge in one category, they are so similar plus then the results will be varied.
    dennis.1960
    Cathedral!!!
    nikolairox1
    That dont count, Thats been around for daaaaays. were talking about newer genres.
    TryTheKetchup
    Garage maybe? (Jack White, the Black Keys)
    BjarnedeGraaf
    Isn't that blues rock?
    mrRICHARD911
    i think that jack white, black keys, black rebel motorcycle club, the hives, clutch, the wanton bishops all fall under the category of garage revival bands not sure though...
    JelloCrust
    I think you're looking for the Dirt Bombs or Hunx and His Punx (though Hunx is also queercore, which is an awesome genre).
    Darth Wader
    Alternative Rock (Foo Fighters)
    DickHardwood
    I'd say more alternative rock like the bands in the grunge movement, like Soundgarden and AIC.
    Charvel1030
    AIC has said countless times that they are a metal band, not alt and not grunge.....
    dawgzfan66
    Honestly, a lot, if not most, of Alice in Chains material is along the lines of sludge and stoner metal. The entire Tripod album is extremely representative of this.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    Gunge Breakdown The Big Four AIC (Alt Metal/Sludge/Heavy Metal) Nirvana (Alt Rock/Hardcore Punk) Pearl Jam (Jam Band/Alt Rock/Blues-Rock) Soundgarden (Stoner Rock/Psychedelic Rock/Heavy Metal) The others Mudhoney (Hardcore Punk/Noise Rock/Blues-Rock) Melvins (Sludge (I don't even consider them grunge because basing a bands genre off of geographical location is dumb)) Grunge is as Jack Endino said in an interview, just 70's heavy metal and hard rock continued. Plus the whole loud quiet verse/chorus dynamic (and yes I know other bands use this but this became a hallmark of grunge)
    DickHardwood
    Grunge is not a genre, it was a movement. I consider all grunge bands alt rock, they all had punk and metal influences in their music, some more than others.
    Charvel1030
    down vote all you want, but Jerry Cantrell will tell you straight up that AIC is a metal band
    wormgus2003
    U were lookin for that Gold Medal werent u? U know anything with Dave Growl is considered sacred amongst UG.
    N7Crazy
    R.E.M, The Replacements, Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Weezer, Manic street preachers, Pavement, Radiohead... It's funny how many of those bands have widely different sounds, yet are considered into the same category - but then again, I guess that is what makes it great. Alternative rock covers over (most) bands that have a completely unique sound or approach to their music, to the point where you can recognize it as rock, but can't lump it into any of the usual categories - bands that sound like no other. Well, at least that is my opinion. Anyways, IMO I think this deserves the top spot, not only because it has some of the most innovative and creative names under its banner, but also because it is debatably the modern rock genre with the largest impact on music today as we know it.
    Nero Galon
    Thats because "Alternative" pretty much means an alternative to something else, with that something else pretty much being whats in the mainstream of its current day.
    Jackstratstroem
    Alternative! Muse and Foo!
    dewitt
    I can see how Muse is alternative, but what exactly are the Foo Fighters alternative to? They are probably the most standard rock band in popular music, so I don't get why they're still considered alternative.
    Charvel1030
    all this sub genre stuff is stupid....
    sklaiss24
    THANK YOU! This article is just a bunch of people arguing about what genre a band is or not... Genres are stupid. How about we all just agree that it's all one genre, music, and stop trying to label every-goddamn-thing for a change.
    DarthPeanuts
    So what happens if I ask for music recommendations, but can't describe it any more than that?
    sklaiss24
    Seriously? So you can't get any more in depth with describing a band then saying that they're a specific genre? Think outside the box dude. Take The Doors; I would say that they're a band with great in depth lyrics that can be interpreted in many different ways. Their a band that keeps you on your toes with every one of their songs because they're so unpredictable as a band. They're highly influential and severely underrated because no other band in history has ever sounded like them, and I would highly recommend them to anyone with an open mind and a love for music... There, I described a band without calling them a genre. I don't mind basic genres like, rock, blues, metal, folk, etc... But all theses sub genres are getting completely out of hand. Seriously, metal, metalcore, hardcore, thrash core? What's the difference?? Not much...
    DarthPeanuts
    Of course you can describe a band without genres, but they're an easy way to quickly get a sense of what a band is like. If I want to recommend Invection, I can tell you that they're a modern thrash band, and you can already get a rough idea of what they sound like, and whether or not you're likely to enjoy their music. With those specific genres, you're kind of comparing apples and oranges. Metal is a genre that developed from hard rock, hardcore is a more aggressive form of punk, and metalcore is pretty much a combination of the two. If you want to see genre differences more clearly, listen to some Iron Maiden, some Anaal Nathrakh, and some Cynic, and note that, without subgenres, these would all come under "metal" (or even "rock").
    sklaiss24
    I mean I definitely think some sub genres are needed but I feel like they've got way too carried away with them, particularly in metal genres. But to me if you're a band and can be defined by one specific genre, you're not worth listening to. No offence to you for liking them, but I've heard some Anaal Nathrakh and they don't know what the word melody means. I know that that's kind of the point, to be just a sludge of sound and to be "powerful" but I need music with melody and that's actually pleasing to the ear to listen to. And a band like Invection I'd really just call a metal band, nothing else, maybe "heavy" metal.
    Absurder22
    I find the only people who say that are the kind whose taste's are so limited they have no use for them... Genre's are useful and nesscary to find music you like and don't know, end statement.
    victor420
    In all honesty, its people like you that ruin it for everyone. I think subgenres are interesting and they definitely throw a more interesting twist on some genres. Some bands I have become interested in was the result of a "subgenre" they belong to. Everyone is always looking for something to relate to in music and what better way than to throw in a twist on it. For example, Municipal Waste plays thrash metal but you could easily call it party metal, and people would be interested. Is it stupid when people fight over the subgenres? yeah its pretty dumb, but subgenres, and especially all the little ones, interest the listener a little more.
    Funnyname99
    So, without using the words in their definitions, what's the difference between thrash metal and party metal and thrash core and death thrash and party metal core and party death thrash and party death thrash core? Because to me they all sound pretty fkn similar.
    DarthPeanuts
    It doesn't help that you've just invented about three new genre labels.
    sklaiss24
    Don't worry, with the rate that all these genres are getting created, they'll be real genres within the year.
    Alcofuel
    No it really isn't. It helps you find things. It's useful if done right. That meaning people not ruining it by arguing too much or calling things screamo that aren't, hardcore that aren't, etc. I think what bugs me about people saying "all this genre/sub genre stuff is teh dumbz!!1" is that they wouldn't be saying this about books, movies, or any other form of entertainment.
    DarthPeanuts
    How are you supposed to get recommendations for new music, or discover bands you might like, if all you can describe it as is "rock"? So many bands fit under genre labels with hugely different sounds, and it's important to be able to differentiate between them.
    Sammy Mantis
    Yes, this is the stupidest article I've ever seen...At this rate, every band is their own genre.
    Freebass101
    Post Rock
    jeddyc
    explosions in the sky, mogwai, sigur ros, this will destroy you, mono, godspeed you black emperor, caspian, and so i watch you from afar, sleepmakeswaves, all brilliant.
    TheNameOfNoone
    And all subgenres of postrock. Post-metal, post-sludge, post-black metal, holyshitthatsnotagenre etc.
    Shuei5
    Post-Punk. Joy Division is the famous example, but Bauhaus, Early The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees etc.
    SocksAndTrees
    Hate me if you will, but I love Alternatic Metal acts such as Breaking Benjamin.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    I'll one up you for hated subgenres I actually enjoyed nu-metal (first two albums from Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Papa Roach), Korn, Deftones, SOAD, POD, Disturbed, Coal Chamber, and Slipknot. Like Glam Metal before it, killed by MTV over-saturating the market with bands, and the whole Woodstock 99 fiasco and trying to appeal too far to the rap influences by having really whack rappers featured (Limp Bizkit I'm looking at you.))
    biff022
    Deftones and sad to say, Limp Biscuit are the only decent bands you mentioned. Korn, Papa Roach, and Lincoln Park are tweenwave and need to be hated.
    trurob101
    Post-Rock- Explosions in the sky, Godspeed Y!BE, Russian Circles Post-Metal- Isis, Pelican, most bands on Hydra Head Records. Shoegaze- My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Deerhunter Post-Hardcore- Fugazi, At the Drive-In, Pianos Become the Teeth. Stoner/Sludge/Doom- Electric Wizard, Boris, Kyuss. Progressive Metal- Between the Buried and Me, Dream Theater, Animals as Leaders. Metalcore- Converge, Killswitch, Dillinger Escape Plan. Indie pop- Smiths, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend. No particular order, but I'll be damned if Post-Rock or Stoner isn't on the list
    dshatel
    This so much it sums up all the great subgenres of this era
    Burnzyburns
    Just the mainstream ones.
    Alcofuel
    Implying shoegaze is mainstream
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    the only band that could be considered shoegaze that is mainstream would be Smashing Pumpkins, but they only have influences, My Bloody Valentine is the only thing that comes close to being mainstream
    EyesWideOpen
    Well I certainly love my technical death metal. Bands like Obscura, Necrophagist, Cephalic Carnage etc.
    sideslick
    Someone's gonna say it eventually, why not me?: That is metal not rock. Then again, the attempt to assign genres like this really sounds like UG is running out of Wednesday-Question-ideas. Personally I'm fine with your choices.
    EyesWideOpen
    While I see your point, it does say pick your favorite "offshoot" of rock which does include metal and it's sub genres I think.
    USCENDONE BENE
    Not the most popular, but fascinating if done well: Shoegaze (My Bloody Valentine)
    Alcofuel
    Shoegaze definitely deserves to be on this list. Even though it's not well known it's probably one of the most active to be honest. There are a shit ton of bands and the good to bad band ratio is better than any other genre/subgenre I have listened to. Like really to be bad at shoegaze you just have to be really terrible. Not to mention the influence it has had on bands like Deftones, whether people know it or not.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    anyone who claims to love effects pedals, owes a mighty debt to shoegaze, the boutique market would not be what it is without shoegaze.
    killergege
    Melodic death metal (Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy...)
    maliceheart18
    I know it's not a real genre, but it might as well be one, "Djent"
    CrazyWombat
    Djent - now it's already a real genre) - Meshuggah (godfathers))), TesseracT, Periphery, etc
    crazysam23_Atax
    Heh, too bad it's already dying out. (2 of the 3 bands you mentioned are moving into different genres, with TesseracT going Prog Rock and Periphery adding more actual prog elements to their metal.) And too bad Meshuggah is pretty much the only band that will keep up that kind of musical formula. Oh, and if anyone says Djent is "Progressive Metal", then I'm gonna slap a ho! Whoever says that will the blame for some innocent ho getting slapped!
    N-D
    Mathcore (The Dillinger Escape Plan, etc)
    victor420
    CONVERGE!
    N-D
    Yes for Converge, but they're Chaotic Hardcore, not mathcore.
    Agent 00Awesome
    Choatic Hardcore? This is the type of genre categorization that annoys me. Why must there be a label for every little style of music? I'm sure every single band could have their own genre if that's the case.
    crazysam23_Atax
    A few of Converge's album have heavy mathcore elements. Their last few albums are metalcore. But does it really matter?
    Funnyname99
    My vote goes for Norwegian Black-Melodeathgrindcorefunk (with the Uzbekistani band 'Twiddles'). Either that or Folkgothdoomcore (with Canadian pioneers 'Anal gouge'). I guess it all just depends on what mood you're in.
    N7Crazy
    In a attempt to at least stay within the last 15 years or so, just to underline the "modern" part, I'm voting for post rock/experimental rock - In the likes Sigur Rs, GYBE!, Radiohead, Caspian, and so forth...
    Jozef23
    Wouldn't put Sigur Ros in rock/experimental. More in Ambient Rock. But definitely agree about Experimental Rock being a great genre
    N7Crazy
    Sigur Ros is usually referred to as post-rock - Personally though, I think they fall into both that and, just like you said, ambient rock - A band can fall into more than one genre.
    Yakisobayum567
    Can't we all just love music and get along? The man likes Christian Rock, big deal...a besides, Skillet's new album got some pretty epic shred going on