"Metamorphosis - Teen Coming of Age Music" by: Mikyla Bethune
Updated: Jun 15, 2018
Music throughout the decades has catered to those who were considered by many people’s standards disenfranchised. The disenfranchised youth has always been attracted to the counterculture. This could be seen in any decade with any generation. With this in mind many of our seniors will be leaving high school to find normalcy or the lack thereof in college or in the workplace. As we grow up old tendencies and even preferences begin to fade away until we can’t even remember them or can’t believe we have ever engaged them. Here’s a throwback and homage to the genres of past generations that have struck a chord with the rebellious youth of the past.
Punk music was the antithesis of the counterculture revolution in the 1970s and early 1980s. With bands and acts like The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones, and even Bad Brains setting the foundation for what would come in the decades to follow. The rapid anti-establishment aesthetic and imagery created by the bands made it irresistible to completely stay out of contact of these bands during this era. Not only did it attack what the mainstream would consider proper and correct, but it also subliminally attached itself to the juveniles of that generation. Songs like God Save the Queen, White Man (In Hammersmith Palais), and Blitzkrieg Bop perfectly exemplify the rebellion, socially and politically, that occurred during this decade.
In the 1980s metal music was on the rise. However, as a response to the mainstream complacency of glam rock and hair metal new genres and styles emerged. However, out of all the sub-genres to rise up out of the counterculture movement of the 80s thrash metal was definitely the biggest to emerge. Bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer have all paved the way for aggression and rebellion within teenagers for the entirety of the 80s and early 90s. Songs such as For Whom the Bell Tolls, Madhouse, In My Darkest Hour, and War Ensemble all played a part in bringing this niche underground movement to the forefront of the music industry.
In the 90s, while metal was still dominating the mainstream, it was soon replaced by a new alternative sound. Grunge came to the forefront as the underground culture to dominate the 90s. From bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and even Hole all pioneered this explosive new sound that attacked the mainstream, and ironically would later be a part of the mainstream. However, despite this, songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit, Man in a Box, Black Hole Sun, Jeremy, and Violet have all played a part in bringing socially suppressed teens out of their shells and allowed them to rage against the system which to them promoted normality and complacency.
Although music itself has definitely evolved over several generations and continues to this day to transform, the teens and youth of the past certainly learn to express themselves through music in whatever era. While, our seniors, who will be graduating this year, may be forced into normality and complacency due to their job, academics, campus or even those who surround them, it should be noted that no matter what - music can absolutely bring about liberation and a metamorphosis for anyone.