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
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
Grunge: The dry shit that gets caked around ones ass.
Clean your Grunge
by Shakespeare the II September 05, 2011

1. A genre of music arbitrarily applied to any punk or heavy metal band (exclusively) from Seattle during the early to mid 90's.
You know Nirvana had simple songs consisting of four chords, heavy distortion, and some white guy screaming. If it was 1981, it would be just another punk act. But it's 1991, that shit is GRUNGE!
by Bacon Industry June 19, 2010
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
Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged as a fusion of punk, alternative, and heavy metal1234 during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song dynamics, and apathetic or angst-filled lyrics. The grunge aesthetic is stripped-down compared to other forms of rock music, and many grunge musicians were noted for their unkempt appearances and rejection of theatrics.

in order to restore we shouldnt shouth that nirvana isnt a grunge band or that alice in chains is better without layne stayley but we should support all
"store clerk: grunge is dead bro, but i can recommend JB
me: go fuck yourself and listen grunge like the big 4: nirvana soundgarden, alice in chains or pearl jam and then when you realise call me and i'll say some shit
store clerk: still dead to me
me (gets his shotgun):no you are dead
me:grunge aint dead kids its everwere
by the j May 17, 2012

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