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15 Most Hilariously Specific (And Often Terrible) Subgenres Of Music

By 08.02.12
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"Hey man, have you heard about this band Aardvark Jean Condominium? You haven't? You gotta, bro. What do they sound like? Well, they're a psychopop band with traces of dub, swamp blues, and freak folk. They're spearheading this new genre called Psychodubswampfolk. You probably haven't heard of it."

Where once popular music could be classified into a few distinct genres — with rock, country, hip-hop, and jazz being the big ones — now there are subgenres of subgenres. Take a look around Wikipedia and Pitchfork, and you'll see bands classified as blues shouter, truck-driving country, nu jazz, and horrorcore. And those aren't even hilarious enough to make this list of 15 of the most amusingly specific (and often terrible) genres of music. (I'm not including "joke" genres like rape gaze, which is a thing that actually happened. Sigh.)

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#15. New Wave of New Wave

Description: "British alt-rock, in which bands displayed punk, post-punk, and New Wave influences."
Examples: S*M*A*S*H, Done Lying Down, These Animal Men, and Elastica

#14. Livetronica

Description: "Electronica that blends such musical styles as rock, jazz, funk, and electronica."
Examples: Ozric Tentacles, Sound Tribe Sector 9, and Digital Dharma

#13. Folk metal

Description: "Fusion of heavy metal with traditional folk music."
Examples: SKYCLAD

#12. Happy hardcore

Description: "Typified by a very fast tempo, often coupled with solo vocals and sentimental lyrics."
Examples: Raver Baby, Moon Dance, Slammin Vinyl, and Hardcore Til I Die

#11. Epic doom

Description: "Metal with a heavy classical influence."
Examples: Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice, and Doomsword

#10. Nazi punk

Description: "Punk rock, but with lyrics that express hatred of Jews, homosexuals, communists, anarchists, anti-racists, and people who are not considered white."
Examples: The Dentists, Ethnic Cleansing, White Pride, and White Boss

#9. Chillwave

Description: "Heavy use of effects processing, synthesizers, looping, sampling, and heavily filtered vocals with simple melodic lines."
Examples: Com Truise, Keep Shelly In Athens, and Warm Ghost

#8. Nerdcore

Description: "Hip hop with themes and subject matter considered to be of general interest to nerds."
Examples: 2 Skinnee J's, Beefy, Schäffer the Darklord, and Optimus Rhyme

#7. Chap hop

Description: "Mixes hip hop with elements from the Chappist or steampunk subcultures and stereotypical English obsessions such as cricket, tea, and the weather."
Examples: Professor Elemental and Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer

#6. Unblack metal

Description: "Black metal sounding artists whose lyrics and imagery promote Christianity."
Examples: Armageddon Holocaust, Crimson Moonlight, Vaakevandring, and Sanctifica

#5. Wizard rock

Description: "Developed between 2002 and 2004...wizard rock bands are characterized by their humorous songs about the Harry Potter universe."
Examples: Harry and the Potters and Draco and the Malfoys

#4. Disco polo

Description: "Influenced by Ukrainian/Belarusian/Russian folk songs and italo disco."
Examples: Big Dance, Shazza, and Toples

#3. Crunkcore

Description: "Combines crunk hip-hop with elements of screamo."
Examples: Blood on the Dance Floor, Millionaires, Hollywood Undead, and I Set My Friends On Fire

#2. Lowercase

Description: "Extreme form of ambient minimalism in which very quiet sounds bookend long stretches of silence."
Examples: Steve Roden

#1. Nu metal

Description: "Elements of metal with other genres, including hip hop and grunge."
Examples: Linkin Park, Mudvayne, Godsmack, Disturbed, and Seether

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TAGScrunkcoregenreshilariously specific music genresMUSICpitchfork
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