On The Curiously Self-Tortured Legacy of Post-Grunge Music

Eli Zeger at The Baffler:

Godsmack is part of an aggressive, no-cowards-allowed milieu of hard rock known as “post-grunge” (or pejoratively “butt rock”), which was at its most lucrative during the late 1990s and throughout the aughts, when it dominated both the rock and pop charts. Obscuring the stylistic boundaries between neighboring genres—country, grunge, and the genre which grunge supposedly killed, hair metal—post-grunge is characterized by its dragging tempos, down-tuned chord progressions, sporadic twanginess, and overly passionate vocals. If you took an eighties power ballad’s major key and turned it minor, you’d have a post-grunge song more or less. Even today, as its pop appeal has vanished, it remains viable in the realm of mainstream rock, selling out amphitheaters and filling up the playlists on “Alt Nation”-type stations. It soundtracks WWE pay-per-views; it’s what plays over the loudspeakers in Six Flags food courts.

more here.