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Paul Revere & The Raiders

Paul Revere & The Raiders

Garage rock (in Spanish, garage rock) is a subgenre of rock that combines sound aspects of doo-wop, R&B and instrumental rock with the characteristic rhythms of blues and surf rock and instrumental music. This musical subgenre is the raw and energetic form of rock and roll and rockabilly.

It usually uses very basic and simple chord structures, performed with distorted electric guitars (mainly by pedals such as the fuzzbox); although the use of keyboards is also common. In general the lyrics are unsophisticated and, at times, show an angry and aggressive attitude.

The term garage rock comes from the fact that its performers were groups made up of teenagers and young fans, with very little musical training, who used to meet "to play and rehearse in the garage of their homes." The music of these bands was, in general, much less elaborate than the originals from which they were inspired (since their performers had little instrumental expertise. Boys between fifteen and twenty years old, they barely knew how to play a few chords); but, in return, it was full of passion and youthful energy, what some consider the true spirit of Rock'n'Roll. Most bands used simple sequences of eighth and fifth notes because, in addition to what was previously explained, the amplifiers of the time had a lot of distortion at high volume and became oversaturated. With the use of these notes (to which aggressive drums and catchy lyrics were added) this problem was disguised and surprising results were achieved.

In the early 1970s, when the movement had already disappeared as such but (paradoxically) was rediscovered by music critics, the word "Punk" came to be used to define both this type of music and the groups that played it. Hence garage rock and garage punk are practically interchangeable terms. Or that, sometimes, the term Sixties Punk (or "60's Punk") is also used as another name for the original Garage Rock. And that is also why, when the Punk movement itself emerged in 1976-77, many of its members vindicated themselves ideologically, musically and aesthetically, declaring themselves direct heirs of the garage bands of the mid-sixties.

After Rock & Roll saw a relative decline in popularity during the early 1960s, new acts that had this genre as their main template as well as influences such as Blues and early Rock music would emerge. Their musical approach was distinguished for being relatively raw and energetic, generally employing simple, fuzzbox-distorted guitar melodies and many times even shouting or screaming. Since many of these groups featured rather untrained musicians, aimed for an amateurish approach to their music and/or tended to practice in their garages, the style has been retroactively dubbed as Garage Rock.

Garage Rock has been considered as one of the most important precursors and influences to the Punk Rock explosion of the second half of the 1970s and the genre is strongly related to the so-called Proto-Punk phenomenon that predicted the style. While Garage Rock would suffer a decline of popularity during the last years of the 60s, bands from the Detroit Rock scene, including The Stooges and MC5 would continue with the legacy of the genre, playing an even more hard-edged and aggressive style than earlier artists did. This would also contribute not only to the development of Punk, but also of Hard Rock. The 1972 release of the first Nuggets compilation has also been credited for a continued popular interest in the genre. LFM | RYM | Wikipedia

Notable artists during the 60s: Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Kingsmen, The Trashmen, Los Saicos, The Sonics, The Standells, Them, The Knickerbockers, The Seeds, Monks and The Troggs, as well as Psychedelic Rock bands such as The 13th Floor Elevators and The Electric Prunes.

Related genres: Mod, Beat

Essential Compilations[]

  • It Came From The Garage! Nuggets From Southern California After Intoxica and It Came From The Suburbs comes It Came From The Garage, the third volume of Ace Record's trawl through the archives of Downey Records: a small label and studio run out the back of Wenzel's Music Town in downtown Los Angeles. The label closed in 1967 and the vast majority of the material on the album was recorded around that period and is pretty indicative of the sea change in the American music scene at the time. The impact of the British invasion was no longer as strong but the vapour trails left by bands such as The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five are still in evidence. But they're being intermingled with the homegrown psychedelic influences of the likes of The Byrds. It makes for an interesting if inconsistent mix. Listen on: Deezer | Rdio | Spotify
  • Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 What makes this particular collection so appealing to newcomers is that it doesn't get bogged down with way too many totally obscure tracks that appeal only to hardcore fans of the genre. Virtually everything here should be very interesting to listeners of all persuasions. Listen on Deezer | Rdio (Note that a lot of tracks have country restrictions)

Garage Punk[]

Garage Punk combines the raw fuzztones of the original Garage Rock bands of the '60s with the tempo and attitude of Punk Rock. Garage Punk is often used to determine the difference between modern bands with a more '60s revivalist sound and modern Punk bands indebted to the path-breaking of the '60s Garage Rock without the same stylistic deference. Garage Punk can also include elements of Post-Punk, such as the use of synthesizers or more angular guitar tones, as well as roots elements, both musically and lyrically. Most Garage Punk bands prefer to issue their music on 7" singles rather than LPs and nearly all Garage Punk bands record for independent labels.

Essential Compilations[]

Garage Rock Revival[]

The Strokes

The Strokes

Garage rock revival was a movement in the 1980s that recaptured the raucous spirit of 1960s garage rock. Key bands in this genre include DMZ, The Fuzztones and Lyres. The scene was never particularly commercially successful, but it gained a strong underground following.

Primarily led by The Strokes, The Hives, The Vines and The White Stripes, the early 2000s saw an explosion in Garage Rock influenced indie rock bands. These so-called 'garage rock revival' bands included other influences into the sound, such as Post-Punk, New Wave and Punk Rock. This revival was far more popular than the 80s revival and the original genre. This popularity helped the genre become a significant force in guitar music throughout the decade, with artists such as Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and The Libertines all being influenced. No, we don't have any actual chart of garage revival - what you came here looking for - because we all, are, huge fags. Fuck you.



  • Downey Records Jack and Bill Wenzel were brothers who owned a music shop in Downey, CA, and between selling gear to up-and-coming bands and records to teenagers digging the latest sounds, they were in a position to know what the kids wanted to hear, and in 1962 they founded the Downey Records label to put promising acts on wax.
  • Rhino Records What started as a small record store in West Los Angeles in 1973 became a burgeoning re-issue label by the mid-1980s. Primarily an outlet novelty and comedy records, the label slowly transformed into an oldies re-issue company; releasing retrospective, best-of recordings for labels such as Del-Fi Records, Colgems (who owned rights to The The Monkees catalog) and Voxx.