The Prime: Alt Through the Ages

November 22nd, 2023 by Liz Kosik

by Liz Kosik ’25

Genre: Alternative

Subgenre: Garage Rock

RIYL: The Sonics, The Kingsmen, The Black Keys, Artic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant 

Garage rock is a subgenre that emerged in the mid-1960s as a raw and gritty form of rock music. It originated in the United States, particularly in cities like Detroit and Los Angeles, where young musicians were influenced by the aggressive and energetic sound of British Invasion bands. Garage rock bands have a do-it-yourself ethos, with minimal production and a focus on catchy guitar riffs, simple song structures, and rebellious, sometimes politically-influenced lyrics. Garage rock laid the foundation for alternative music, as its independent and DIY sound-influenced movements like punk and indie rock.

The 1960s marked the birth and heyday of garage rock, with bands like The Sonics and The Kingsmen pioneering the raw, rebellious sound. Characterized by fuzzy guitars, aggressive vocals, and a DIY attitude, garage rock became a soundtrack for youthful rebellion and set the stage for the punk movement. In the 1970s, garage rock’s influence continued to be felt as bands like The Stooges combined the raw energy of their predecessors with elements of glam and punk.

While garage rock had a relatively quiet period in the 1980s, its DIY ethos and lo-fi production values paved the way for the underground indie rock scene to thrive. Bands like The Replacements and The Jesus and Mary Chain incorporated garage rock elements into their music, influencing a garage rock resurgence in the 90’s with bands like The White Stripes, The Hives, and The Strokes leading the charge. Garage rock continues to evolve with bands like The Black Keys, The Kills, and Ty Segall experimenting with different sounds and influences while staying true to the garage rock spirit.

Want to get more into Garage Rock? Check out some suggestions below!

“Louie Louie”The Kingsmen

“Raw Power”The Stooges

“Seven Nation Army” –  The White Stripes

“Last Nite” –  The Strokes



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