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Garage rock

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Garage rock (sometimes called '60s punk or garage punk) is a raw and energetic style of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s, most notably in the United States and Canada, and has experienced various revivals in the last several decades. The style is characterized by basic chord structures played on electric guitars and other instruments, sometimes distorted through a fuzzbox, as well as often unsophisticated and occasionally aggressive lyrics and delivery. The term "garage rock" derives from the perception that groups were often made up of young amateurs who rehearsed in the family garage, although many were professional.

In the US and Canada, surf rock—and later the Beatles and other beat groups of the British Invasion—motivated thousands of young people to form bands between 1963 and 1968. Hundreds of acts produced regional hits, and some had national hits, usually played on AM radio stations. With the advent of psychedelia, a number of garage bands incorporated exotic elements into the genre's primitive stylistic framework, but after 1968, as more sophisticated forms of rock music came to dominate the marketplace, garage rock records largely disappeared from national and regional charts, and the movement faded. Though generally associated with North America, other countries in the 1960s developed similar grass-roots rock movements that have sometimes been characterized as variants of garage rock.

During the 1960s garage rock was not recognized as a distinct genre and had no specific name, but critical hindsight in the early 1970s—and particularly the release of the 1972 compilation album Nuggets—did much to define and memorialize the style. Between 1971 and 1973 certain rock critics began to retroactively identify the music as a genre and for several years used the term "punk rock" to describe it, making it the first form of music to bear the description, predating the more familiar use of the term appropriated by the later punk rock movement of the mid- to late-1970s that it influenced. The term "garage rock" came into use at the beginning of the 1980s and eventually gained favor amongst devotees. The genre has also been referred to as "'60s punk", "garage punk", or "proto-punk".

In the early to mid-1980s, several revival scenes emerged featuring acts that consciously attempted to replicate the look and sound of 1960s garage bands. Later in the decade, a louder, more contemporary garage subgenre developed that combined garage rock with modern punk rock and other influences, sometimes using the garage punk label originally and otherwise associated with 1960s garage bands. In the 2000s, a wave of garage-influenced acts associated with the post-punk revival emerged, and some achieved commercial success. Garage rock continues to appeal to musicians and audiences who prefer a "back to basics" or "do-it-yourself" musical approach.

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