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Old school rock < Modern rock
« on: June 15, 2020, 10:45:49 am »
So I've spent the last six months or so deep diving into the catacombs of old school rock - everything from Led Zep, to Hendrix, to Pink Floyd, to the Allman Brothers, etc. etc. etc. - and I have to say: Modern rock is vastly superior.

Musically, emotionally, spiritually, it's just better. I'm a little surprised with my own conclusion, as audiophiles generally regard the 60s/70s as the apex of rock history. But they're wrong. It's like saying an old Shelby GT350 is better than a new one. Clearly an evolution has taken place, taking us from great to outstanding.

We know those old school bands were a direct offshoot of american blues music. Practically all of them have a deep and obvious blues underpinning. But that's there undoing, in my opinion, because blues has a tendency to sound rather samey (there are only so many ways you can riff off of a pentatonic scale). But thankfully blues took a backseat in the 80s and eventually morphed into punk, metal, grunge, nu-metal, indie, and finally, bands like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s3ytiYZS8g

https://youtu.be/Ij1EXJgYc5Q

God damn they're good. Beautifully melodic, crushingly heavy, and lyrically profound (but not overly cryptic). This is rock 'n roll at it's finest, boys and girls. Such a pity they'll never get the recognition they deserve.

Any thoughts? Or is rock finally dead? 



  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1787

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 10:53:52 am »
And that's just like, your opinion, man.


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5844

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 11:49:39 am »
And that's just like, your opinion, man.

Exhibit A

Clearly an evolution has taken place, taking us from great to outstanding.

Evolution is scientific and objective.
The first thing to say is that this is definitely not pyramid selling, OK?


Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 11:54:48 am »
This is a pretty complex issue, but if we are going to objectively compare genres you're at least approaching it from a proper standpoint.

My theory is that people listen to music emotionally or objectively, though it's usually a blend and quite difficult to detach the 2.
I don't count passive listening.
From the emotional side of the spectrum, you have nostalgia. Nostalgia is an extremely powerful element and has the ability to turn what most might call an objectively bad song into an amazing song for someone else as it might evoke certain memories and experiences associated with said song or music.

Those die-hard fuddy-duddies who refuse to entertain the idea that any good rock music was made after the 60s, 70s or even 80s are listening from a nostalgic perspective, they were likely teens or in their early 20s at that time and are desperate to relive the days when they had hair on their head.

That said, you need to understand that EVERY genre has signature rhythmic, melodic and harmonic elements. Almost every metal song is going to make use of the flat 2nd of the Phrygian mode and/or the harmonic minor scale to give it that neo-classical sound. Every song that makes you want to dance is going to rely heavily on syncopated rhythm. The vast majority of jazz music is going to use the ii-V-I progression. At the core, all Western music is the same as it's built off the major scale.

Just because every sandwich has butter and bread, doesn't mean it's going to taste like the next. There are many elements beyond the blues scale in classic rock.

Ultimately, they were pioneers and I agree, modern rock has built off it and combined elements from other genres to stay fresh.
Personally, I prefer modern rock as I don't have the emotional investment into the 60s, 70s and even 80s that someone like my dad has and my ear demands more colour.

there are only so many ways you can riff off of a pentatonic scale

If you're a musician, study up man, lol!

I think you meant to say the blues scale, which adds the flat 5th (blue note), to the minor pentatonic. It's still used heavily in almost every genre of music and will stay fresh for a while. There are countless ways to incorporate (not play) it. Musicians aren't simply limited to how to play a blues lick, but where to play it, when to play it. Lets say you're listening to a pop song and out of nowhere, it modulates or a solo comes in and hits that blue note, the effect can be extremely powerful. Then you've got something like freebird hitting the blue note 1000 times a minute and it might sound repetitive. I haven't even approached using timbre or dynamics.

I like to think of my blues licks as a think of my cheese, eat it on bread everyday and it'll get repetitive, but add it to different recipes in many different ways and the possibilities are endless.


  • LIC
  • Expert Waygook

    • 842

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 12:19:36 pm »
Well, you all know where my love lies. Having said that, I can admit that the musicianship exhibited today is arguably better than in the 60's and 70's when I was a rocking young man. A careful - or at times not so careful - listen to old classic influential rock reveals a lot of sloppiness. Hendrix was sloppy as hell but he's still worshiped today by guitar gods.


  • Savant
  • The Legend

    • 2280

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 01:16:18 pm »
Modern Rock? Which era are we talking about? Post 90s?

Never really gotten into “Modern Rock”.

Only a few modern bands whose music I’ve listened to repeatedly.

Led Zep, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Queen, The Who, Pink Floyd etc are bands that I keep listening to and never grow tired of.


Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 01:25:51 pm »
I like to think of my blues licks as a think of my cheese, eat it on bread everyday and it'll get repetitive, but add it to different recipes in many different ways and the possibilities are endless.
Yup this is pretty much what I'm getting at. In the early days rock was essentially big-band electric blues (think the Yardbirds, early Fleetwood Mac, etc.) Hell, even a soft cock rock band like the Beatles had some songs straight out of the twelve-bar blues playbook. Revolutionary for the time, and sure to piss off your mom and dad, but also super generic (evidenced mainly in hindsight I guess).

Hendrix was sloppy as hell but he's still worshiped today by guitar gods.
People seem to have no problem declaring Hendrix the GOAT, but I disagree. I can list literally dozens of guitarists than would run circles around him in a technical sense. Having said that, I do think he is and always will be the most important guitarist in history, purely for his originality. Truthfully, I battle to distinguish between the licks of Clapton, Page, SRV and their progenitors (Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Albert King, etc.), but that delicate blend of rhythm/lead playing is unmistakably Hendrix. He was simply way ahead of his time.

Here's a question: Is rock finally dying out for good? It occurred to me recently that Rage Against the Machine's 'Killing in the Name' (once a massive rock hit) could literally be the anthem of the BLM movement. Yet I haven't heard of it being referenced a single time in connection with the current political climate. Protesters must be too busy listening to Bieber. Check out this video (circa 2010):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8XiUrpn6u4


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1787

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2020, 01:43:04 pm »
Exhibit A

Evolution is scientific and objective.

Though, the outcome of evolution is subjective. :p


Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2020, 01:50:02 pm »
Yup this is pretty much what I'm getting at. In the early days rock was essentially big-band electric blues (think the Yardbirds, early Fleetwood Mac, etc.) Hell, even a soft cock rock band like the Beatles had some songs straight out of the twelve-bar blues playbook. Revolutionary for the time, and sure to piss off your mom and dad, but also super generic (evidenced mainly in hindsight I guess).

These were still the early days of rock, it was gingerly stepping out the blues pool.

People seem to have no problem declaring Hendrix the GOAT, but I disagree. I can list literally dozens of guitarists than would run circles around him in a technical sense. Having said that, I do think he is and always will be the most important guitarist in history, purely for his originality. Truthfully, I battle to distinguish between the licks of Clapton, Page, SRV and their progenitors (Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Albert King, etc.), but that delicate blend of rhythm/lead playing is unmistakably Hendrix. He was simply way ahead of his time.

Hendrixian influence is littered across modern lead, solo and rhythm guitar work. He revolutionized the guitar and that's why many regard him as the GOAT. Do I? I don't know or care, back to the food analogy, it's like arguing what's the best ingredient of all time or what's the best tool in a toolbox.

Here's a question: Is rock finally dying out for good?

Not being mainstream isn't the same as dying.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you've recently picked up an instrument and/or are beginning to understand music from a theoretical perspective. If so, you're going to find there are deeper layers to explore than just signature motifs and rhythms.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 01:52:23 pm by Aristocrat »


Re: Old school rock < Modern rock
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2020, 02:23:20 pm »
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you've recently picked up an instrument and/or are beginning to understand music from a theoretical perspective. If so, you're going to find there are deeper layers to explore than just signature motifs and rhythms.
Haha, you're half right! I've been playing guitar since I was 16 (now 35), but only recently have I made any serious inroads into genres outside of the ones I grew up with (I suppose I identify most closely with nu-metal of the 2000s). Admittedly I'm not a music theorist (I can't read music), but then again neither could Jimi :laugh: