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The Return of Legacy Alt Bands

In the past couple of months, we have seen many of our favorite legacy alternative bands, bands that defined alternative and altered the sound of the genre, making a come-back. Bands like The Black Keys, Green Day, Modest Mouse, Manchester Orchestra, Bleachers, and Offspring have started to release new music again after a sizable break from the public. With so many of our old favorites returning to their roots, what do these returns mean for the future of alternative music?

The sound of alt has clearly changed over the years. With these shifts came new listeners, a bigger alternative following. The real test will be whether these bands will be able to succeed with their old sound, or if they will have to change their sound to fit into this new wave of alt. Some have been able to re-enter the music scene after changing their style and it works, and still, others have released music without changing and been able to continue where they stopped. However, many alternative bands have tried and (in my opinion) failed to re-enter alternative music.

Take Green Day for example. They have been making music since the late 80s and in the nearly 3 ½ decades they’ve been around we have seen them attempt to change their style to fit the current alternative sound. The way that they changed their sound, however, didn’t do them justice. Their music didn’t mature and as is the way of people, the members of the band did. While they attempted to change the style of music that they were making, they didn’t change the subjects that they were singing about. This led to grown men singing about typical punk

topics like hating their parents and other things that we expect to see from younger bands, and I just don’t think that it was a good look for them.

Foo Fighters, however, were able to change their sound and keep a following in their music because they were able to mature with their music. They were able to stay true to both their sound and were able to change the subjects of their songs to reflect not only their own aging but the aging of their original fanbase-many of whom they were able to keep. They also matured their musical instrumentation to be able to keep their music sounding fresh but still recognizable.

Another band that we can take a look at is Bleachers. They’ve managed to keep the same sound and, in my opinion, it is working for them. They are still playing their upbeat, fun music with deep, meaningful lyrics. I believe that they will be able to remain in alternative music for as long as they want to make music.

With these bands and so many others, I personally am excited to see which of our old favorites come back and make music to stand against, or with, the changes that are currently happening in alternative music!

By Terra Elizabeth

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