Thoughts, Opinions, Gripes, and Grievances


Kian Pfannenstiel, Writer

It was a few weeks ago that I wrote an article about a few rock subgenres that deserve more recognition. I’d now like to extend that to a few more rock subgenres. For ease of reading, the list of the subgenres detailed is below. As always, more information on rock can be found all over the internet, most readily available at wikipedia.

  • Psychedelic Rock
  • New Wave
  • Post Hardcore/Emo
  • British Invasion
  • Prog Rock

Starting at the top, psychedelic rock gets its name from its inspiration in LSD and other hallucinatory drugs. Some of the most popular psychedelic bands were Pink Floyd, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the Grateful Dead. I haven’t listened to much psychedelic, however I can recommend anything by Pink Floyd, especially “Money” and “Another Brick in the Wall.” Jimi Hendrix is considered to be the greatest guitarist in history, so anything by him is probably good.

New wave rock was based on punk rock, but it pulled away from the blues and rock n’ roll themes of punk and it added themes of pop and a more electronic sound. Blondie, with songs like “Call Me,” was one of the most popular new wave rockers. I strongly recommend Blondie, but not many of the other new wave artists were good enough to be remembered well.

Post hardcore/emo rock gets a bad rap for its depressing styles and lyrics, however the sound is unique. It uses aq hardcore theme, but softer, more appealing vocals that were more popular with adolescents. My own recommendations in this field lie with Three Days Grace because they have a great sound, however their lyrics are very… whiney.

British invasion rock was a large genre, but the most recognizable link between all of the bands was the accent of the singer: British (obviously). I don’t think it remotely possible you don’t know this genre, and I expect you will recognize it with the naming of a few bands in this genre: the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who, the Doors, the Animals. Any of those are fantastic bands, if you like one, you’ll like the others. The Who’s songs included “Pinball Wizard” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” both are fantastic songs. The only song by the Animals I can recommend is “House of the Rising Sun,” but I recommend anything by the Rolling Stones, especially “Paint it Black.”

Prog rock, also called progressive rock and art rock, is something like the miscellaneous genre. It also happens to be my favourite, so you’ll notice some top-shelf language here. Prog rock is how we classify all of the bands that experimented with their instruments and mixed themes to come up with their own unique sound. Something that you can hear and never question who’s playing the song. As a result, there is an unending variety in this subgenre. It really is something of the trash bin of genres; other genres won’t take these bands, so they’re just stuck in prog rock. Some of the more popular prog rock bands were Queen, Rush, Foreigner, and Boston. You really can’t listen to any of those bands and wonder who it is, they’re entirely unique. David Bowie did a bit of prog material but doesn’t fall into prog rock because he fit in elsewhere for the most part. If unique is your cup of tea, start with “Peace of Mind” by Boston, “Under Pressure” and the essential “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen (David Bowie and Queen both had “Under Pressure on their albums as it was a co-op song), “Hot Blooded,” “Cold as Ice,” and “Urgent” by Foreigner, and “Tom Sawyer,” “Spirit of the Radio,” “Freewill,” and “Fly by Night” by Rush.

On a different note, there has been a small update on my alphabet. There will be silent versions of each letter to make words look more like their previous counterparts. The letters will have strikethrough. For instance, the word know would look like this: “kw.” I know that it looks like a hot mess, however, that’s what English in general seems like to people who didn’t grow up with it. I suspect that people being brought up on this would read it with much more ease.