Late form of *mostly* US punk, for the most part characterized by:
-gloriously filthy distortion on guitar and often on bass
-LOTS of feedback
-thick sound, usually in the lower octaves
-being generally raw and “unpolished” (but still good quality, mind you!)
-vocals that are either loud, mumbling, and unintelligible; yelled angrily and are, once again, unintelligible; or overly pronounced in a bitter, pissed off, or sarcastic manner
-lyrics that are often metaphoric and angsty, crestfallen, regretful, bitter, ironic, sarcastic, disdainful, symbolic, etc.
-lack of focus on looks/appearances and more focus on the music itself
-being against sexism, racism, and homophobia (and pretty much any other kind of discrimination)
-lack of emphasis on being “macho”
-being supportive of female involvement in music

Bands such as Green River, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains, The Melvins, Stone Temple Pilots, Hole, Screaming Trees, Nirvana*, Dinosaur Jr., Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Silverchair, etc. (and trust me, there’s a lot more)

*Nirvana is not the first grunge band (Green River is more like it), nor are they the best one. They’re great and one of my favorite bands, but there are plenty that equal or outdo them. And for the record, Smells Like Teen Spirit is nowhere NEAR their best song, and Nevermind is CERTAINLY not their best album. Bleach is a far better album, and as for songs, Paper Cuts, Floyd the Barber, Scoff, Downer, Milk It, Pennyroyal Tea, and Scentless Apprentice all completely OWN Smells Like Teen Spirit.

**Disclaimer-esque-thingy: Although reading about different genres of music is informative and beneficial, the best way to learn about any type of music is to go buy the CD and experience it yourself (at full volume). And for goodness sake, please refrain from listening to it on those godawful devices known as MP3 players. CD players, boomboxes, and multiple-disk stereo systems are the way to go!
If you listen to the influences of your favorite grunge bands, you'll find even more awesome music.
by awkwardLAD April 22, 2009
Seattle-based punk rock merged with 70's hard rock and Sabbath-esque heavy metal that emerged in the mid-80's. Pioneers of the sound include Green River and Soundgarden. Green River is considered to be the first crucial grunge band, the band that coined the term and truly kickstarted the then-new Seattle Sound. The band split toward the late 80's, forming Mother Love Bone and Mudhoney in its wake. By 1990, MLB was considered the biggest band in Seattle, and was poised to break the scene wide open, but tragically singer Andrew Wood died just days before their major label debut. Grunge seemed to lose momentum for a year or so, but in 1991 all that would change with the release of Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten. Smells Like Teen Spirit became a Top 10 Hit on the Hot 100 and received heavy rotation on MTV, instigating the grunge revolution. Jeremy won four VMA's in 1993, including video of the year. In the early 90's, grunge was THE most dominant music genre in America, however, with the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 and Pearl Jams backing-away from the spotlight, grunge quickly lost momentum once again. In its place came the generic watered down genre known as post-grunge, filled with forgettable bands like Bush and Silverchair. Not long after the breakup of Soundgarden in 1997, pop-punk, nu metal, and teen pop took hold and seriously fucked popular music. Layne Staley of Alice in Chains' death in 2002 was grunge's death knell.
Grunge music is often credited for killing hairmetal and 80's-style pop rock, and when grunge was fresh and dominant this was thought of as a good thing, and rightly so...but the bands that took over after end of grunge, like Korn, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Blink 182, and eventually Fall Out Boy etc., are bands horrible enough to the point that even the cheesiest, most asinine hairband (see Tuff) is preferable.
by VegettoVai90 January 05, 2011
Grunge: The dry shit that gets caked around ones ass.
Clean your Grunge
by Shakespeare the II September 05, 2011
grunge is what happens when punk and metal meet with the result of passionate vocals and dirty guitars nirvana were a great band but not he only grunge group though kur ws the god of grunge with mark arm as a close second
poser:this is a great band their called blink-182
grungie:fuck this shit play some mudhoney long live grunge
by grungelover November 30, 2008
Mudhoney. Period. Mudhoney basically is Grunge itself. As the best grunge band, Mudhoney blows Nirvana out of the water, damn they rock so hard. Mudhoney did not create grunge though. Neither did Nirvana or The Melvins, like the other people said. Malfunkshun created grunge, so be thankful, people.
The Grungiest song ever is "Thirteenth Floor Opening" by Mudhoney. The sound is so dirty in that song. I love Grunge.
by Johnny Moron August 13, 2006
Lots of people have their opinions about Grunge. The name came from Mark Arm who described the sound of seattle bands in late 80s to mid 90s. But it lasted longer than that. Some claim Grunge is dead - It is not. The popularity has fallen, but so will Hip Hop. Blues had it down period for example. So if Grunge is dead then no one is listening to it - and people do. You have the most known metal dude from England who went over to seattle to check out how much in common grunge had with Metal. He soon found out that metal had less in common than what people think. so it is only an opinion. Then you have these people who claim Nirvana is not grunge. Nirvana is if you ask people - but claiming they were not grunge cos of popularity is like saying the fastest car in the world is not fast cos it is popular. It can not be defined by popularity. If you ask kurt cobain himself then grunge is punk that sounds grungy.continue on examples
..If you analyze what happened with chord progressions - it is very much the same as what is typical for punk. In a documentary from the seattle scene you have a guitar player showing that the chord progressions started going away from the traditional punk way of playing guitar - A chord was held longer in some places and done in different patterns. But what is punk really - it is going against the rules. That is what grunge did.Grunge has more in common with punk than metal. Thats why you have to agree with Cobain. Some say sound garden sounded the closest to metal - I would have to agree , but if you ask the band itself they will say that their music is different than from metal. I think it was cos of the same guitars used as typical as for metal bands and clothes - but if you are a musician you will tell the difference - If your into this. It is after all rock´n roll split into different subtitles. It is not a clear answer what grunge really is. Mark arm was describing the sound - and when all bands became hot cos of the hype then it is spread all around. Look at Hip Hop - no matter what opinion people have Hip Hop is the child that came from Rock. Rock from Blues. Pop from blues and rock. It all boils down to slaves in north America who sang out their troubles. So if you wonder where rock , pop , metal , grunge" or punk came from. Take a listen at son house - grinnin in your face. Peace
by Viking territory May 03, 2013
A way of life, living without care, not giving a fucking shit. Main stream describes it as a music genre but really most people who are grunge listen to alternative music mostly, along with rock metal and punk. Most of the style came from the west coast, Seattle being a major input but also Cali and Nevada helped with large populations of grunge.

Some of you almost got it. But the rest of you... Go fuck yourself, you will never get it.
Living a grunge lifestyle you do a lot less laundry.
by mental terrorist January 15, 2013

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