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"I think the grunge-lite movement came not from bands so much as record labels. I think the record labels said, 'Hmm... Let's have more of that. Let's find bands who we can encourage to write songs that have a little bit of angst and a whole lot of melody and create something that's not challenging, it's not confrontational, and that the mainstream can just wholeheartedly embrace.'"
Jon Weiderhorn, Metal Evolution episode 7, "Grunge"

Post-grunge is a derivative of Grunge music that became popular in the late '90s. The genre is primarily marked by its use of the apathetic, droning vocals, downtuned guitars and Hard Rock/Punk aesthetics commonly associated with Grunge, but removing the more unusual qualities and less commercially-friendly influences from Hardcore Punk and Noise Rock that original grunge artists such as Soundgarden and the Melvins were known for, in addition to much more mid-tempo songs. In other words, taking, running-with and exploiting the more commercially viable qualities of Grunge while heavily watering down its oddity and offending harshness. Yeah, this genre doesn't go over well with the underground music scene. Its popularity has occasionally caused it to receive blame for Alternative Rock becoming more banal and losing its experimental qualities, as the genre's existence lead to the numerous less glossy bands previously snatched up by major labels after Nirvana's breakthrough being unceremoniously dumpednote .

The genre has been known to use the more traditional rock structures often rejected by their predecessors in Grunge, modernized with straightforward, brooding lyrics. In this sense, the movement could be considered (ironically) the Spiritual Successor to Hair Metal, whose pop beats and polished production brought heavy rock to a widespread audience (Post-grunge is also well known for its "soul-searching" ballads). Ironically, many post-grunge bands take more influence from Poison, Cinderella and Whitesnake than Nirvana; post-grunge players generally think of the old grunge-greats as idols/heroes rather than true influences, with more of an interest in stylistic emulation over artistic aspiration (the subtle difference between a direct or indirect influence from grunge can affect how well-received a post-grunge band is, both critically and to their audience). Post-Grunge tends to focus more on conventional lyrical structure than the music itself, often the opposite stance of early grunge artists. Though the genre is rooted primarily in Alternative Rock, make no mistake, post-grunge was tailor-made for the mainstream, and is what helped Alternative become rooted as 'Mainstream' music. note  In essence, it took no influence from what Grunge was, but took every influence from what Grunge became; a commercial darling.

The rise of Post-grunge has gone to dominate and even embed itself in the standardly recognized sound of Hard Rock as most people can hear, creating the assumption that post-grunge is, along with Pop Punk and mainstream Emo, the only form of modern rock. This has had the flip-side effect of some of the more straight-forward, contemporary rock groups note  being lumped in with post-grunge, despite largely having no alternative qualities in their musicnote . There is a bit of cross-over involved as well: Saliva, Shinedown, 3 Doors Down and Daughtry like to dabble in/pay tribute to "regular" hard rock when they can, adding to this confusion. It seems the only way to escape this is to play very old-fashioned retro-rock, such as Garage Rock revival, new Blues Rock, neo-psychedelia, traditional-metal revival, or modernized Power Pop.

After dominating mainstream rock music in the late '90s and '00s, post-grunge eventually wore out its welcome in The New '10s. Few new bands are playing post-grunge anymore, largely moving onto straightforward Alternative Rock or Pop Rock. The post-grunge bands that didn't sing about Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll are still charting well on Mainstream Rock radio (usually because they added elements of other genres into their music), but everyone else retain cult followings at best or are Condemned by History at worst.

Bands typified as Post-grunge:

First-wave Post-grunge:

New Millennium style post-grunge:

Post-Grunge / Alt-Metal crossover:

Some post-grunge bands take more after tool and Alice in Chains than Pearl Jam or Nirvana, while some like to add a heavier edge to their sound as not to be lumped with their softer post-grunge contemporaries while maintaining their alternative status. Thus, the overlap with Alternative Metal was inevitable. Note that all or most post-grunge bands fall under the Hard Rock umbrella (a genre related to alt-metal and Heavy Metal}), but post-grunge bands with similarities to metal aren't necessarily an example of alt-metal. Given their similar pop-leanings, normally when a post-grunge band makes their sound heavier they become nu-metal rather than pure alt-metal; achieving the sound of alt-metal requires a distinctly guitar-driven, alternative rock approach with less of the aggression, rap elements and simplicity associated with nu-metalnote . In other words, bands like Papa Roach, who practiced more standard-fare nu-metal early in their career only to switch to post-grunge later, wouldn't be an example of post-grunge/alt-metal crossover. Post-grunge/alt-metal crossover bands melodically tend to follow more in line with classic grunge, Alternative Rock and NWOBHM. They are generally much more acclaimed and respected than regular post-grunge. These include:

Here's a way to pass the time: count how many of these bands: