The Prime: Alt Through the Ages

March 11th, 2024 by Liz Kosik

by Liz Kosik ’25

Genre: Alternative

Subgenre: Math rock

RIYL: Don Caballero, Covet, American Football, Three Trapped Tigers 

Math rock is a subgenre of alternative rock that rose to popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The fusion of punk, progressive rock, and jazz influences is known for its complex and intricate rhythmic structures, unconventional time signatures, and instrumental inclusions, math rock quickly gained a dedicated fan base. Bands like Slint and Shellac were among the early trailblazers of the genre, incorporating elements of post-rock and indie rock into their music.

Throughout the 2000s, math rock continued to expand, with artists like Hella and Don Caballero contributing their talent to the genre with their innovative approaches to songwriting and instrumentation. These bands incorporated elements of electronic music, noise, and even pop into their sound, further diversifying the math rock landscape.

Today, math rock has become a globally recognized and celebrated genre, with a thriving community of musicians and fans around the world. Bands like Covet and Chon have gained popularity for their technical proficiency and melodic sensibilities, while newer artists continue to re-affirm math rock’s creditability. With its emphasis on complexity and precision math rock remains a vibrant and exciting genre that continues to inspire and challenge musicians and fans.

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