Post-Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged in the mid-1990s as a derivative of Grunge bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam(Sfetcu, 2014). Characteristics of the Post-Grunge bands emulate the attitudes and music of Grunge, particularly its thick, distorted guitars, but with a more radio-friendly commercially-oriented sound, while taking inspiration from darker genres, like punk and metal. Post-Grunge songs tend to be mid-tempo numbers that combine the searching spirit of ballads and the power-chord energy of Hard Rock anthems(“Grunge music – New World Encyclopedia”, 2014).

Mid 90’s:

  • In the early nineties, the four main Grunge groups of Seattle – Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, were dominating the charts, ending Metal’s reign as the most popular rock genre.
  • Looking for a way to exploit on the trend, which was started by Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, record labels started signing bands that copied these group’s sonic identity. Three of the most popular of these sound-alike bands were Bush, Candlebox and Collective Soul.
  • These bands were characterized to be almost derogatory as “Post-Grunge”, suggesting that rather than being a musical movement in their own right they were just a purposeful and incredulous response to a legitimate stylistic shift in rock music.
  • In 1995, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl’s new band Foo Fighters helped to popularize post-grunge and describe its parameters, becoming one of the most commercially successful rock bands in the United States Of America(“Dave Grohl”, 2014).

Late 90’s/early 2000’s:

  • Once this first generation of Post-Grunge bands began to lose commercial impetus near the end of the nineties, alternative metal and rap-rock raided in to assert their dominance. But that did not mean that Post-Grunge went away. To the contrary, the genre morphed and grew even more popular.
  • Creed frontman Scott Stapp copied the full-throated sincerity of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder’s baritone which, aided by his Florida bandmates booming mid-tempo songs, propelled them to superstardom. Soon followed Nickelback, who like Creed embraced Grunge’s captivating intimacy and discovered that common-man sentiments married to middle-of-the-road guitar songs could find a very willing and large audience.

After 2000:

  • Guided by Creed and Nickelback, other Post-Grunge bands came to prominence at the beginning of the 21st century. 3 Doors Down propelled the charts for weeks thanks to their 2000’s hits “Kryptonite” and “Loser.” And in subsequent years, bands like Puddle of Mudd continued to find the formula to produce hit singles.
  • By this point, Post-Grunge was ubiquitous on the modern and mainstream radio, confidently competing with Alternative Metal and rap-rock for listeners.

Post-Grunge Today:

  • Several emerging groups have made their name by continuing the Post-Grunge convention. The Florida band Shinedown burst into the mainstream, thanks to their strong 2008 album(Grierson, 2017).



Dave Grohl. (2014). Retrieved 26 July 2017, from

Grierson, T. (2017). A History of Post-Grunge RockThoughtCo. Retrieved 26 July 2017, from

Grunge music – New World Encyclopedia. (2014). Retrieved 26 July 2017, from

Sfetcu, N. (2014). The Music Sound. Nicolae Sfetcu.


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