Shock Rock is, to put it simply, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rock music designed to shock and offend]]. Musicians often don theatrical costumes, and live show are frequently elaborate affairs, often with the image or performance being as important, if not moreso, than the music itself. As befitting its name, Shock Rock lyrics often consist of taboo subjects such as [[{{Gorn}} violence]], {{sex|IsEvil}}, [[ClusterFBomb obscenity]], [[RockMeAsmodeus blasphemy]], [[NightmareFuel horror]], [[NauseaFuel gross-out]], [[BondageIsBad S&M]], [[ILoveTheDead necrophilia]], {{bestiality|IsDepraved}}, and more recently, [[UnfortunateImplications political incorrectness]]. Despite the name, Shock Rock is less a music genre than it is a performance type, and as such can run the gamut from relatively mundane rock music to brutal extreme metal/punk in sound.

The roots of Shock Rock can be traced back for as long as rock music has been around, with singers such as Music/ElvisPresley, Music/LittleRichard, and Music/ScreamingJayHawkins combining sexually explicit (for the time) lyrics with risque/shocking performances that would frequently whip MoralGuardians into a tizzy. The genre itself, however, wouldn't come to prominence until the [[TheSeventies 1970's]] with the rise of GlamRock bands like Music/AliceCooper, Music/{{KISS}}, Music/TheStooges, and Music/DavidBowie, who, in addition to shocking lyrics, would put on elaborate performances and wear dark or effeminate costumes designed to provoke audiences. Later in the same decade, the first wave of PunkRock appeared. As Punk was, at its heart, subversive, it quickly developed its own brand of shock aesthetics (tattered clothes, outlandish hair, violent concerts, and offensive, anti-authoritarian lyrics) that was epitomized by bands such as Music/SexPistols and The Exploited.

In TheEighties, shock rock likely reached its zenith. HairMetal bands such as Music/{{WASP}}, Music/MotleyCrue, Music/TwistedSister, Music/{{Poison}}, and Music/GunsNRoses dominated the music scene with their extravagant performances/music videos, [[DudeLooksLikeALady heavily androgynous appearances]], and extreme SexDrugsAndRockNRoll lyrics and lifestyles. Less popular but just as notable were the underground shock rockers, which included bands from HardcorePunk (Music/TheDeadKennedys, Crass), PostPunk[=/=]AlternativeRock (Music/BigBlack, Music/KillingJoke, Music/TheCure), {{Industrial}} (Music/ThrobbingGristle, Music/SkinnyPuppy), and the more extreme forms of HeavyMetal (Music/{{Venom}}, Music/{{Slayer}}, Music/CelticFrost,[[Music/KingDiamond Mercyful Fate]]). The 1980's is also notable for the rise of three genres that would later play a large part in the future of the genre: DeathMetal (Music/{{Death}}, Music/MorbidAngel, Music/{{Sepultura}}, Possessed), VisualKei (Music/XJapan, Music/BuckTick, Music/SeikimaII), and {{Grindcore}} (Music/NapalmDeath, Music/{{Carcass}}, Terrorizer, Extreme Noise Terror).