What’s the difference between punk rock and alternative rock?

April 8, 2005 7 Comments
Secondhand asked:

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Tags: , , Rock and Pop
7 Comments to “What’s the difference between punk rock and alternative rock?”
  1. Josh says:

    Good alternative is rock with elements from different genres or is strange in some way. Compare Weezer to Rise Against or Linkin Park to Hoobastank. You’ll see a difference.

  2. egn says:

    Punk has faster drum beats. Your right though sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. I think it also has to do with the style of the lyrics and the people in the band. Lyrics that talk about rebellion and not being like everyone else is punk. Alternative could be about anything I guess. Punk is just angrier I think.

  3. Javi says:

    Punk is generally consisting of power chords and was born in London and New York, mostly during the late 70′s. The concept of Punk is to be anti-authority. Punk fashion is usually mohawks, chains, leather, t-shirts and jeans. NOT HOT TOPIC and NOT “EMO” bands.
    Essential Bands: The Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, The Ramones, The Clash

    Alternative was born of Punk, in Seattle during the late 80′s and early 90′s. My favorite kind of music. It really broke into the mainstream in 1992 with the Release of Nirvana’s album, Nevermind (damn good) and with Pearl Jam’s Ten. It really started to decline after the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain in 1994, but many 90′s bands remain and the genre lives on in bands such as the strokes, the white stripes, and Kings of Leon.

    Essential Bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, The White Stripes, Green Day, Stone temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Weezer, and Rage Against the Machine.

  4. Punk Rock is more hard core and screamo to me. I’d say that Green day is sort of in that genre..

    Alternative is softer and most of it sound the same if you don’t really get in to it. Examples: Fall out Boy, All Time Low, Boys like Girls, Metro Station, Hey Monday.

    Also++ Pandora.com is a great site to listen to music. It allows you to listen to certain types of genres, so if you really want to get the feel of punk rock and alternative then listen in. Hope this helps

  5. Yikes, these answers are terrible! Punk music is hard to describe, because it is less of a music genre and more of a movement. Real punk focuses on DIY ethos, that is “do-it-yourself” and also think-for-yourself approach to everything. It is about independence, and rebellion against the inherent oppression of a forced social structure. Second, it does has a certain music style (the cliche “three chords and a drumbeat”) but that is besides the point. Notable punk bands include the following:
    Rudimentary Peni:
    Alternative is a little complicated, because it can be broken up into two parts:
    (1) First, it as a condition that applies to music that is outside of mainstream (or, alternative to mainstream). However, bands that were once considered Alternative began to make it big (such as The Smiths and The Cure) and consequently made this term near obsolete. An Alternative band can not be mainstream, because (by contradiction) it would no longer be alternative. Therefore, plenty of punk bands can be considered Alternative, because no (real) punk band is mainstream.
    (2) The second definition of Alternative has to do with sound. The ‘sound’ began around the time of post-punk, when bands were taking punk ethic and applying to new, artistic, and experimental music. Sooner or later, these bands could not be placed into any genre, so they were called “Alternative” from there on.
    Notable Alternative rock bands include the following:
    The Jesus and Mary Chain:
    Sonic Youth:
    Joy Division:
    In conclusion, the difference between punk rock and Alternative rock depends on which definition of Alternative implied. Punk is (conditionally) an Alternative band because it is non-mainstream, but is not in the second, sound-relevant definition.
    Hope that helps.

  6. gus b says:

    “Alternative” is a pop rock term, Also is pop punk (also alternative). Punk is underground, has a message and doesn’t complain about their jobs and ex Girlfriends and sell out for millions of fans (not true any more Sex pistols).

  7. patrick c says:

    i agree with mysterium that the answers are terrible, but although this doesnt really answer the question i have to fix somethings h said punk did NOT exist mainly in the 70′s that is when it was created in the 80′s it was hardcore punk and it was a little more underground and in the 90′s it was the punk revival, and punk is about the music and not the money, and believe in anti-fascism and anti-racism, but i dont really know any bands that express alternative rock very well because its such a broad catagory, but some great punk bands are the dead kennedys, bad religion, crass, the exploited, gbh, the misfits, and the adicts

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