Genre Deep Focus: Grunge

Story posted December 8, 2021 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Fernanda Lopez

The music genre “Grunge” was first introduced to the mainstream media during the 1980s as a rock subgenre in Seattle, Washington and quickly became a subculture.

When it was first introduced, it was often associated with punk, as it was rebellious, and loud.

Grunge became extremely popular during the 90s amongst teenagers, as this genre represented anger coming from the newer generations.

Characterized by the raunchy, deep voices of the lead singers, alongside riff-based rock songs with bass lines to support their melodies, this subgenre of rock is often well-known for the angsty, and even devastating lyrics.

These are found in tracks like “Something In The Way” by Nirvana and “Nutshell” by Alice in Chains.

The band Green River were credited for the release of the first Grunge album in 1985 called “Come on Down.”

When thinking of Grunge, the first image that comes to the mind of many is a picture of a naked baby swimming in a pool. This is the cover of one of the most influential Grunge albums ever made, “Nevermind”, by the beloved Washington band, Nirvana.

This band, along with acts like Temple of The Dog, popularized this genre and created a cultural subgenre, which catapulted musicians like Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell into beloved and admired icons.

These are four iconic bands that redefined what Rock was, making their print in Grunge history:


The Aberdeen, Washington, band formed in 1987 created a legacy for themselves only comparable to rock acts like “Black Sabbath” and “ACDC.”

With only three studio albums, this band became the face of Grunge due to its catchy, gritty songs and piercing lyrics.

The band separated when beloved lead singer, Kurt Cobain, passed away at the young age of 27.

The bassist, Krist Novoselic, is now a recording artist and the drummer, Dave Grohl became the lead singer of contemporary beloved rock band, “Foo Fighters” and a rock icon.

Their most iconic albums are “Nevermind” and “In Utero.”

Alice in Chains

This Grunge band led by lead singer, Layne Staley, was formed in Grunge’s home, Seattle, Washington.

Popular for their hit song and music video, “Man In The Box,” Alice in Chains is often recognized for having one of the best MTV Unplugged performances of all time.

Their album “Jar of Flies” is not only one of the most relevant albums of the early 90s, but has also received the title of the best Grunge album by music critics, as the lyrics and instrumentation made this record close to perfection.

The impeccable records to get into Alice In Chains are “Jar of Flies,” “Dirt,” and “Facelift.”

Stone Temple Pilots

The “Interstate Love Song” band reached stardom with their debut album, “Core” in 1992, becoming a force in the Grunge movement.

Their records “Purple” and “Core” are one of their best albums, showing versatility and emotion.

The band, from San Diego, California, were known for their pro-feminist music, which set them apart from emerging Rock bands, and for the electric and unique voice of the lead singer, Scott Weiland.

Pearl Jam

One of the most influential rock bands of the past couple of decades, Pearl Jam started their music career as a Grunge sensation, thanks to their critically acclaimed and beloved album, “Ten.”

The band, led by Eddie Vedder, quickly grabbed everyone’s attention with his impressive range and raspy vocals.

The Seattle-based band now continues to release music that has remained loved by their fans.

Their hit song “Black” is considered one of the best rock songs ever written, and a staple in the Grunge Hall of Fame.

Their albums “Backspacer,” “Ten” and “Yield” are a must in order to become familiar with the band’s lengthy and successful career.

Fernanda Lopez is a first-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email