's Darker and Edgier
cousin (also a good deal more innovative in retrospect as well
). When punk began to have a defined sound about 1976/77, several bands decided to take the basic energy of punk (play your instruments yourself, regardless of technique, and don't copy others, Do It Yourself, start a record label), not indulge in rock clichés/posing (and that included spurning the Blues and the usual/Cliché
Rock music and, in some cases, chordal progression and even Punk Rock
itself) and experiment with more complex structures and rhythms, fusions with other genres
and/or more synthesizers. These included, but were not limited to, Dub, Krautrock
, and even Disco
. Some of these bands included Joy Division
, Gang of Four, The Fall
and Killing Joke
. Several other post-punk bands were formed from or after being part of regular punk bands; such as Magazine
, formed by Howard Devoto after leaving the Buzzcocks
, and Public Image Ltd.
, formed by John Lydon after leaving Sex Pistols
. Even The Clash
were inspired by its experimental nature at times (though they were far more conservative and "rockist" than the Post Punk bands, particularly considering their dismissal of the synthesizer).
It was mainly a British thing (most non-British bands failed to get much recognition), though in retrospective some American and Australian bands were well aware of the British scenes. Some of these included the American bands Pere Ubu (formed before the rise of Punk Rock
) and Mission Of Burma
, Australia's The Birthday Party, and of course U2
. An American offshoot was No Wave, which was more focused on an anti-rock approach (not much dissimilar to that of Public Image Ltd.
, in the sense of wanting to wipe out Rock music and start from scratch), musical extremism, and art dilettantism. This included James Chance, Mars, Lydia Lunch, Swans
, and several other bands, mostly from New York City
The important thing one has to notice about Post-Punk
is that, especially in retrospective, it's more a musical aesthetic than a genre with a set of rules.
Eventually, post-punk petered out when the original bands turned away from its sound (the Curtis-less Joy Division
became the synth-based New Order
; Talking Heads
became a new-wave pop band; The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and many other bands became goth pioneers, etc.) and went in several musical directions. One of these directions was the more heavily-stylized Goth Rock
was a huge inspiration for the Alternative Rock
of the 80's.
Recently, post-punk has had a bit of a revival in indie rock as of late, with bands such as Interpol, Modest Mouse, The Libertines and Franz Ferdinand
having commercial success. When people talk about more commercial, mainstream indie rock, or so-called "NME bands" (due to the magazine promoting these bands heavily), this is frequently the kind of thing they mean.
Also, a case could be made that almost all of these later bands missed the point of Post Punk, as Simon Reynolds claimed in his books "Rip It Up And Start Again" and "Totally Wired", since they, in the end, not only they didn't progress and evolved, but they went backwards and basically emulated their musical heroes and influences.
A list of major or influential post-punk bands and artists (in alphabetical order):
A shorter list of post-punk revival bands: