WHY PUNK WILL BE BACK IN 2022
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking about what we’re likely to see from music in 2022, and there’s one thing that keeps coming back to me: punk.
There are all sorts of little pieces coming together to show that punk and hard rock music may well be making a comeback. It’ll have a different form than it has done before, as genres often do when they come and go out of style, but it’ll no doubt at its heart have rebellious punk spirit.
So, why do I have a feeling it’ll be back? And how exactly will it be different to before?
The rise in commercial pop
At the heart of punk and hard rock music is the rebellion against the mainstream commercialization of music.
Something we’ve seen in 2020/2021 is the return of real pop music to the forefront of the industry, and apps like TikTok are really pushing this. People want songs to be as catchy and commercial as possible so they trend on there. This is the type of music creation and consumption that causes other artists that feel like they’re more ‘real’ or above the ‘trends’ to feel the need to rebel.
Included in this is the way a lot of music that’s popular at the moment is created almost solely via computer, whereas punk rock is usually a far more physical and live process.
The resurgence of the 2010s
If you’re anywhere on TikTok or Instagram right now, you’ll see that people are reminiscing about the late 2000s and early 2010s, its emo aesthetic, and the music that came along with it. The music that was big around this time was pop-punk and rock, with artists that shaped a generation of teens like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, My Chemical Romance and Arctic Monkeys
A lot of new artists, even those belonging to other genres, are now are crediting rock bands from this era in their work and Travis Barker, the drummer of Blink 182, seems to be collaborating with half the music industry right now.
Instagram’s trend predictions, and predictions from many others, are predicting that maximalism will be in in a big way next year both in fashion and art. Minimalism has been doing the rounds for the past couple of years but next year is all about big and bold, and this also happens to be part of the punk and rock aesthetic from eras gone by. It’s all about bold self-expression, and if that's what fashion will be doing too, then it makes sense for punk to resurge in music too.
Live music is back
Hopefully, next year will see live music back and better than ever and punk and rock are genres that do especially well live, arguably better than recordings.
Because of the way rock and punk go against conventional commercial ways of getting their music heard, doing the live rounds and building themselves up by gigs are a staple for edgier bands, and maybe we’ll see some rise up this way.
At the heart of punk rock is anti-establishmentism and political commentary. With all sorts of political nightmares taking place over the last few years, you can see that Gen Z are getting more riled up by injustices than ever before. We've already seen social commentary at the heart of genres like rap and grime at the forefront of the music industry, but it seems like political rock is due for a rejunivation, and 2022 is the perfect time for this to happen.
What will this rock and punk look like?
Will it be exactly like the punk of the 70s or even the pop-punk of the 2000s?
In some ways yes and some ways no. It’s more than likely that the form of punk that comes will be mixing with unexpected genres like trap and rap, which it has already started doing over the last year. It’ll also clump together with other hard rock genres like grime and metal, to form an all-compassing ‘harder’ realm of music.
If punk does come back, it’s likely to come in two different ways:
What SoundCloud rappers are to rap
This has already begun, with Machine Gun Kelly, and social media stars like Lil Huddy, Jaden, Nessa all taking to. These are the people that love the aesthetic and the sound of punk and pop-punk, but are, at the end of the day, aiming to be just as commercial as the pop music that’s released alongside them.
It would also be easy to argue Yunglud fits into this category. Although clearly more involved with punk music and the attitude that comes with it, he’s controversial as the background he portrays himself to have isn’t a reality.
Although there isn’t anything wrong with this, especially if the music is good, it might get criticism for being disingenuous.
The bands who come through from the ground up that fit the older definition of punk
This will see bands who feel closer to the original 70s and 80s punk that started it all. The ones that come up through the live scene and market themselves as both fresh and retro. It would make sense for this to be focused on the UK, but could easily spread across the globe.
If this is your kind of thing, then see artists like Shame, Cassyette (who ventures further into metal) and Kid Kapichi.