For those who are familiar with it, Punk Rock is a popular style of music because it allows for more freedom than the mainstream genres. Lyrically, artists of this genre can express themselves without fear of being criticized for their radical ideas. Also, most punk rock bands are on independent, widely unknown labels. This is a benefit in that they do not have to worry about how their image or behavior affects the image of their label, as do artists on major labels such as Sony or Warner Brothers. Another advantage of punk rock is that the artists are free to musically try new things and explore new styles. Similarly, since the birth of Mtv is the 1980 s, pop music has seemed to move in a direction which favors pretty faces over talent, this is not true for punk rock.

Finally, many people would prefer the intimate setting of a punk rock show to the massive stadium concerts of a more mainstream artist. Because they are not seen on tv or played on the radio, punk rock bands rely on fans to share music they enjoy with other people and the relationship that is formed, and the appreciation from the bands, gives punk rock a whole new aspect that might not be enjoyed in other genres. We all saw how recently many pop or country artist who expressed unfavorable political views were condemned for voicing these opinions. However, artists like the Clash, Anti-flag, Propaghandi, Bad Religion, and others have been expressing political and social oppositions for years, free from media backlash. Controversy is the essence of punk rock. The movement was started by bands like the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols, in the late 1970's, with a conscious effort to go against the norm.

More than a musical style, punk rock is a vehicle for artists to express opinions, question authority, and challenge listeners to think for themselves. Since it's birth, punk rock has developed in multiple directions. Because they have so much creative freedom, artists continue to musically reinvent the genre. With more popular genres, there is pressure to write music that will sell the most records, leading artist to write music similar to that which has been popular in the past.

So many terrible carbon copied bands saturate the airwaves, manufactured by record labels trying to capitalize on trends and fads. Weary listeners may find relief in the fresh, ever changing punk rock scene. From the Pixies, to the Misfits, to Saves the Day, the punk rock genre offers a wide spectrum of musical and lyrical styles. Divided into countless sub-genres such as emo, hardcore, ska, pop-punk, etc. , punk rock offers music for every taste. When you look at the popular artists off today, you have to wonder how many of them would be famous if they were not so physically attractive.

It makes no sense that people would listen to someone's music because of the way they look, but that is the current trend. The pop music industry knows this, that is why they created Milli Vanilla in the Eighties, and why they manufacture boy bands today. Punk rock has not yet felt the wrath of the Mtv generation and still favors creativity and talent over tight bodies and skimpy outfits. However, punk rock music does have its sex appeal, apparent in the Distillers' Brody Armstrong, Vice Squad's Bek i Bondage, and Bouncing Souls' Greg Attonito.

Finally, the intimate settings of punk rock shows offers the intimacy and personal connections that over-crowded concerts can not. Smaller audiences allow for more interaction and more of a connection between artists and fans, without having to pay exorbitant amounts of money for front row tickets. Punk rock fans have the opportunity to witness the development of infant bands from their local scene as they gain world wide recognition. Also, without the benefit of radio and television this growth is facilitated almost entirely by the fans. The fans recognize this and feel a connection to the bands they helped make popular, and the bands recognize this and show the appreciation for their fans. Although other genres of music all have their advantages, punk rock music allows freedom that the other, more popular genres can not.

Whether or not you are a fan of this particular genre, you have to appreciate the musical creativity and refreshing lyrical freedom that punk rock offers. In the late 1980's and early 1990's many people thought this genre was dead, but it has continued to grow and develop in the underground scenes and the garages of aspiring musicians. Although these artists may never gain the recognition of the general public, or substantial financial gains, they continue to play the music that they love. Everyday another young person is enlightened to the world of punk rock music, ensuring that this genre will be around for years to come..