Glam rock has always been one of the more colourful alternative styles. Evolving from traditionally darker and more masculine styles such as goth and punk, glam rock offered glitter, colour, and androgynous style in spades! But what is glam rock? Where did it come from? Is it still relevant to the alternative scene? We’ll answer all of your glam rock related questions and more in our glam rock style guide!
What Is Glam Rock?
First made popular in the early 70s, glam rock was characterised by its iconic sense of fashion just as much as its sound. Famous for its predominantly male-centric bands and their eccentric, feminine sense of style, glam rock brought all the hard-hitting volume loved by rock fans and brought a healthy dose of glitter and mayhem along for the ride.
While glam rock had a distinct look and style, a large part of glam rock was the attitude. Glam rock musicians created larger than life characters that they played out in a theatrical way – think about Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust, one of the pioneers of glam rock, and later in the glam rock movement, Alice Cooper. Both presented these huge personalities with a distinct look and performance style that played into androgynous style and a heavy rock sound.
What Does Glam Rock Sound Like?
Glam rock sought to stand out from the mainstream rock tunes of the 60s – rock might have been a rebellion, but glam rock was a “rebellion against the rebellion” according to Robert Palmer. The sound of glam rock relied on heavy guitars and a hard-rock feel, drawing on punk influences and big personas.
Bands and artists such as David Bowie KISS, Def Leppard and Motley Crue are among some of the biggest acts commonly known as being pioneers of glam rock, but artists such as Queen, Elton John and Alice Cooper all contributed to the glam rock movement that continued from the early 70s right throughout the 80s.
What Does Glam Rock Look Like?
The main appeal of glam rock was in its androgyny. The concept of men wearing flamboyant and feminine clothing was still a shock to the mainstream in the 70s, but led by musicians such as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, the rock scene began to welcome the glam rock look with even the most staunchly ‘masculine’ fans growing their hair long and wearing makeup.
From platform boots to feather boas, the glam rock look invited in all kinds of larger than life looks that clashed colours and prints then covered them all in glitter. Some of the more common styles and patterns you’d find on the glam rock scene included:
What Is Classic Glam Rock Style?
The ‘classic glam’ era ran throughout the 60s and 70s – the fashion side of glam rock had started to seep into the mainstream via bands such as Led Zeppelin and T.Rex, but it wasn’t until the 70s that David Bowie created his Ziggy Stardust persona and rang in the classic glam rock era. His theatrical performances as Ziggy Stardust, combined with his fashion choices which included androgynous clothing, glittery boots and bold patterns, inspired other bands and artists to get bolder with their looks too. From the New York Dolls to Sweet, classic glam rock set itself apart from the traditionally masculine rock that had been popular in the 60s.
What Is Post Glam Rock Style?
While we might associate glam rock with bands such as KISS and Motley Crue, it wasn’t actually until the 80s and the post glam rock style that these bands became famous. These bands paid homage to their glam rock predecessors, but went much bolder again with their looks to create offshoots such as glam metal, heavy metal and hair metal. Men’s hairstyles got bigger and more backcombed, the androgyny of the 70s leaped into cross dressing and gender bending territory, the music became heavier and the style with it, loading on studs, spikes and tons of makeup.
What Is New Era Glam Rock Style?
Glam rock faded back underground after the 80s, but many alternative fans and musicians were still taking note and drawing inspiration from the glam rock musicians of the 70s and 80s. Lady Gaga has often credited David Bowie as her fashion inspiration, and rock bands such as Black Veil Brides incorporate glam rock style into their look for a blend of goth, punk and glam.
Is Glam Rock Still Alive?
Glam rock bands who are still performing such as KISS and Guns n Roses still play heavily into the glam rock look, plus bands who idolise (and parody!) the glam rock style such as Steel Panther are keeping the glam rock look alive even today.
How Can I Get The Glam Rock Look?
Glam rock is all about creating a loud statement with your clothing to back up your loud personality – so make sure you take patterns and prints, clash ‘em together and go for a more is more approach! Anything that strikes you as colourful and flamboyant but with a punk edge should serve any glam rock look, and make sure you get experimental with the hair and makeup too! Check out our punk fashion collection as a base, then rummage around in our cosmetics collection to complete your look.
While most folks would assume that World Goth Day would be right in the middle of spooky season later in the year, it’s actually much earlier in the calendar than you might think! We’re here to give you the lowdown on everything to do with World Goth Day so you can celebrate in style…
What Is World Goth Day?
World Goth Day is one of the most important dates in our calendars! If you’re wondering what it is, well it’s pretty self-explanatory – it’s a day when fans of all things gothic, from music to fashion and more, come together to celebrate the goth scene as a whole and make themselves known to the rest of the world!
When Is World Goth Day?
Originating in the UK in 2009, World Goth Day falls on May 22nd every year and is now celebrated internationally. It began as ‘Goth Day’ – a day when BBC Radio 6 gave some much-needed airtime to music from different subcultures, including some of the best goth musicians out there. Goth DJs Cruel Britannia and Martin OldGoth loved the idea so much, they decided to keep the tradition going every year since.
Who Celebrates World Goth Day?
The goth scene is made up of tons of different forms of gothic expression that deserve to be seen and heard, so it’s not just music that’s celebrated on World Goth Day. All aspects of the goth subculture are celebrated, from gothic fashion to music and art, with members of the goth community hosting gothic fashion shows (featuring some of our favourite brands at Attitude Clothing, might we add), art exhibitions featuring work from some of the best gothic artists around, and of course some rockin’ gigs that showcase gothic musicians from big-time bands to newbies making their mark on the goth scene.
How To Celebrate World Goth Day
So how do you get involved? Well, first of all, there are some great events going on around the UK that you can take part in, from London to Newcastle – check out the World Goth Day site for more info. If you can’t get down to join in one of those events – why not start your own! Take over the local radio, shout about World Goth Day from the rooftops, and of course show off your gothic style on the streets – that’s where we can help.
Many of the event hosts in the UK and Australia have taken on a big-hearted approach to World Goth Day by raising money for charities close to the community, including the Sophie Lancaster Foundation – a charity that aims to stop prejudice against subcultures. A highly worthy cause, in our opinion.
While World Goth Day 2020 might be a little different, we’re sure that the gothic brains behind the operation are going to bring World Goth Day online for a global celebration right from the comfort of your living rooms!
What To Wear For World Goth Day
We’re sure you already have a wardrobe packed full of your favourite gothic clothing – but why not treat yourself to something new just for World Goth Day? All of our favourite gothic clothing picks are waiting for you in our very own Gothic Clothing Collection, perfect for flaunting your gothic style to the world on the 22nd!
We love a good Christmas playlist here at Attitude Clothing, but of course we like to put our alternative twist on the occasion! Alternative Christmas Songs are one of the best ways to kick off the season. There are so many to choose from, but we’ve put together an easy to browse list of our favourites to get you started this Christmas! From pop punk heroes Blink-182 to the legend himself Corey Taylor, there’s something for every alternative music fan right here at Attitude Clothing. Turn up the volume and get into the festive spirit!
1. The Darkness: Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
Released: December 2003
Festive Fact: This song was tipped to reach number one in the official UK singles chart, but was beaten at the last minute by a cover of “Mad World”. Their battle for Christmas number one is considered one of the closest in recent years.
Our Favourite Lyric: “Don’t let the bells end Christmas time, just let them ring in peace.”
2. Corey Taylor – X-M@$
Released: December 2010
Festive Fact: Corey recorded this single for The Teenage Cancer Trust. Though the song makes it sound as though Corey isn’t a fan of Christmas, he took to YouTube to clarify that he enjoys Christmas as it means he gets to see his extended family. He actually just finds the frustration of people who don’t like Christmas hilarious.
Our Favourite Lyric: “Fa la la la la go fuck yourself!”
3. Reuben – Christmas Is Awesome
Released: December 2007
Festive Fact: This single was written as a semi-serious attempt at the Christmas number one spot. While the video was a huge success on YouTube with over 100,000 hits on the first day, an error in the VPL registration of the track led to its tragic disqualification from entry into the UK charts.
Our Favourite Lyric: “We’re sorry about all of that “Nailed to a cross” business”
4. Blink 182 – Won’t Be Home For Christmas
Festive Fact: Despite its widespread popularity, the single was only charted number one in Canada and stayed there for 5 weeks. No other Blink-182 song ever made it to number one in Canada.
Our Favourite Lyric: “Oh god I hate these Satan’s helpers”
5. My Chemical Romance – All I Want for Christmas Is You
Festive Fact: The Mariah Carey classic was covered by Gerard Way and the members of My Chemical Romance for the LA based alternative radio show Kevin & Bean on KROQ-FM.
6. The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
Festive Fact: This single was featured in the film soundtrack for Christmas With The Kranks and was covered by Joey Ramone on his second posthumous album Ya Know?
Our Favourite Lyric: “Snowball fighting, it’s so exciting baby”
7. August Burns Red – Carol of the Bells
Festive Fact: An openly Christian band, this single was recorded for an album from The X Series, a collection of compilation albums by BEC Recordings which choose artists exclusively signed to Christian rock labels.
8. Twisted Sister – Heavy Metal Christmas
Festive Fact: This song featured on the album A Twisted Christmas, which was the seventh and final studio album by Twisted Sister. The entire album takes classic rock riffs from bands such as AC/DC, Thin Lizzy & Black Sabbath, and gives them a festive twist.
Our Favourite Lyric: “Twelve silver crosses, Eleven black mascaras, Ten pairs of platforms, Nine tattered t-shirts, Eight pentagrams, Seven leather jackets, Six cans of hairspray, Five skull earrings, Four quarts of Jack, Three studded belts, Two pairs of spandex pants, And a tattoo of Ozzy…”
9. Small Town Titans – You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch
Festive Fact: Small Town Titans decided to do something different for the holidays, so arranged this dark, bluesy, sinister version of “You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch”
Our Favourite Lyric: ALL OF THEM
10. Weezer: We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Festive Fact: Originally recorded for an Apple iOS mobile game, Weezer’s pop-punk version of a holiday favourite is a short and sweet punked-up alternative that’s a must for any punks Christmas playlist.
11. The Smashing Pumpkins: Christmastime
Festive Fact: Christmastime was released on the alt scene’s premier seasonal charity compilation, A Very Special Christmas 3 and recorded at the same time as The Smashing Pumpkins’ fourth album, Adore
Our Favourite Lyric: “And secretly, the gifts you hide, the fun awaits for you inside”
12. No Doubt: Oi To The World
Festive Fact: Ska might be lost to the alternative scene of days gone by, but what better time of year for a throwback than Christmas? Oi To The World was created as the skinhead’s solution to a Christmas Carol and appeared on the B-side to ‘Happy Now?’ from the Tragic Kingdom album.
Our Favourite Lyric: “If God came down on Christmas Day, I know exactly what He’d say, He’d say Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins, and Oi to the world and everybody wins!”
13. Def Leppard: We All Need Christmas
Festive Fact: It’s easy to think that Def Leppard tracks already have some miles behind them, but this festive track was released only in 2018! Good to know they still have it in them.
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘Follow your heart, and let love lead, this Christmas’
14. Chris Cornell With Eleven: Ave Maria
Festive Fact: Featured on the very same compilation album as The Smashing Pumpkins’ Christmastime, Chris Cornell’s cover of the classic carol Ave Maria is a bittersweet reminder of this late alt legend’s enduring talent.
15. Eels: Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
Festive Fact: B-sides really do hold some seasonal treasures, with this holiday gem being found on the B side to ‘Cancer For The Cure’ on Eels’ Electro-Shock Blues album.
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘There’s a yuletide groove waitin’ for you to move’
16. Amy Winehouse: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Festive Fact: An incredible live recording of one of our favourite seasonal pop songs for the BBC Radio 2 Christmas special, The Gospel According To Christmas
17. The Killers: Don’t Shoot Me Santa
Festive Fact: One of the edgier titles for one of the six annual Christmas songs The Killers’ produced between 2006-2011, this one was a charity release raising money to help in the fight against AIDS.
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘Oh, Santa, I’ve been killing just for fun Well, the party is over kid Because I, because I got a bullet in my gun’
18. Queen: A Winter’s Tale
Festive Fact: The psychedelic vibe in this Queen Christmas song is made all the more beautiful when you realise that the record was released posthumously after Freddie Mercury’s death.
19. David Bowie & Bing Crosby: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy
Festive Fact: While many mistake this hugely successful festive duet as an original, it’s actually a cover of a track first performed by the Trapp Family Singers in 1951.
20. Beck: The Little Drum Machine Boy
Festive Fact: Appearing on the Just Say Noel album, this seven-minute dive into robotic funk was released just a few months after the hugely successful Odelay album.
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘That’s the Beeyatch Holiday robot funk’
21. Tom Petty: Christmas All Over Again
Festive Fact: This Tom Petty festive track appeared on the predecessor to A Very Special Christmas 3, the double-platinum compilation A Very Special Christmas 2
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘Now let’s see, I want a new Rickenbacker guitar Two Fender bassmans Chuck Berry songbooks, xylophone’
22. Bon Jovi: Please Come Home For Christmas
Festive Fact: A cover of the original Charles Brown version, this A Very Special Christmas 2 release actually made it into the top 10 in the UK and Ireland.
23. Grateful Dead: Run Rudolph Run
Festive Fact: One of many covers of Chuck Berry’s original rock n roll Christmas classic, this version was sung live at Madison Square Garden in New York while the youngest original member of the group ‘Pigpen’ was still alive.
24. The Kinks: Father Christmas
Festive Fact: Part festive tune, part social commentary, this holiday contribution from The Kinks packs a punch.
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘Father Christmas, give us some money We got no time for your silly toys Father Christmas, please hand it over We’ll beat you up so don’t make us annoyed’
25. Pearl Jam: Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time)
Festive Fact: This very early track from Pearl Jam ended up being rerecorded live for their compilation album Pearl Jam 20 in 2011.
26. The Pogues (feat. Kirsty MacColl): Fairytale Of New York
Festive Fact: At this point it’s basically mainstream, but its alternative roots absolutely earn Fairytale of New York a place on any alternative Christmas playlist – even if it was recorded in the height of summer!
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘Happy Christmas your arse I pray God it’s our last’
27. Low: Just Like Christmas
Festive Fact: In a break from their usual slow alt-pop vibe, Low recorded a Christmas EP that crammed in a ton of Christmas spirit as a special gift to their fans.
28. The Fall: Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Festive Fact: Mark E Smith might be the last person you’d expect to release a Christmas album, and yet The Fall released more than one in their time!
29. Cheap Trick: I Wish It Was Christmas Today
Festive Fact: Originally performed by The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, this modern festival classic was performed on Saturday Night Live by Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz and Chris Kattan.
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘All I know is that Santa Claus Don’t care about breaking or applying laws’
30. Poly Styrene: Black Christmas
Festive Fact: A truly dark Christmas release, Black Christmas was inspired by the killing spree of a man dressed as Santa Claus in LA. On a more festive note, Poly Styrene wrote the song in collaboration with her daughter, Celeste.
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘I’m dreaming of a black black Christmas Black smoke glows against a midnight sky’
31. Phoenix: Alone On Christmas Day
Festive Fact: Phoenix requested that they be allowed to cover Beach Boys’ Mike Love’s song for Bill Murray’s A Very Murray Christmas and actually features Bill Murray on the track.
32. AC/DC Mistress For Christmas
Festive Fact: Angus Young explained that the song was written about Donald Trump and thinks it’s the funniest song on the album The Razors Edge.
33. Run-D.M.C: Christmas In Hollis
Festive Fact: Christmas In Hollis is a track from the very first A Very Special Christmas album – the band actually refused the song when first offered to them!
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘My name’s d.m.c. with the mic in my hand And I’m chilling and coolin just like a snowman’
34. Jimmy Eat World: 12.23.95
Festive Fact: This Christmas tune featured on the album Clarity which is often hailed as one of the best emo records of all time.
35. Loose Tapestries: Can’t Wait For Christmas
Festive Fact: Hold out through Noel Fielding’s Christmas themed nonsense for a brilliant rap from the one and only Idris Elba halfway through the track
Our Favourite Lyric: ‘And my wife is a walnut, She’s a Christmas walnut’
Spooky season has arrived! Whether you’re the type that celebrates Halloween all autumn, the whole month of October, or even just on October 31st, we know that having a good Halloween playlist is half the fun.
We’ve put together our top 35 Halloween playlist picks perfect for getting yourself in the Halloween spirit or creating that spooky Halloween party atmosphere. If you’re planning a Halloween party playlist or simply don’t have the time to trawl through Halloween playlist YouTube yourself, check out our ultimate Halloween playlist here at Attitude Clothing.
1. Thriller – Michael Jackson
Regardless of what kind of music you’re into, you can’t have a Halloween playlist without Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s the OG Halloween tune that comes with its very own spine-chilling dance that makes it perfect for parties – plus it features horror legend Vincent Price if it wasn’t already iconic enough.
2. Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett
A holiday favourite since the 60s, the graveyard smash Monster Mash is one of several novelty Halloween songs in this list that just can’t be missed off your Halloween playlist.
3. The Time Warp – Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast
Performed hundreds of times on film and stage, the Rocky Horror Picture Show has a cult following for fans of the alternative and out of this world. The Time Warp is one of the most famous songs from the musical, and is a party favourite for all seasons! Combine the iconic dance with the weird and almost supernatural horror vibe of Rocky Horror makes The Time Warp a must-have for your Halloween party playlist.
4. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
Written from the point of view of a serial killer and with character such as Alice Cooper and Hannibal Lecter in mind, Psycho Killer has appeared on slasher TV and film soundtracks ever since!
5. I Was A Teenage Werewolf – The Cramps
Inspired by the 50s movie of the same name, I Was A Teenage Werewolf is one of many songs by The Cramps that references classic horror movie titles. The perfect Halloween playlist pick for fans of punk and classic horror movies!
6. Feed My Frankenstein – Alice Cooper
The Alice Cooper song Feed my Frankenstein is famed for its appearance in 1992’s Wayne’s World where Alice is seen performing the track live on stage. Featuring guest appearances from Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Nikki Sixx, and Elvira, Feed My Frankenstein is a star-studded Halloween themed affair.
7. Dragula – Rob Zombie
One of Rob Zombie’s most recognisable songs. Opening with a line from Horror Hotel spoken by Christopher Lee, Dragula’s horror roots run deep by drawing inspiration from the drag racer from The Munsters, “DRAG-U-LA” and even features the Munster Koach in the music video!
8. Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
Sympathy for the Devil is a legend of rock that has a history cemented in alternative pop culture and spooky incidents. When The Rolling Stones first released the track, there was a tremendous backlash from people who thought they were black magicians worshipping the devil, but audiences actually celebrated this flirtation with the dark side to Mick Jagger’s surprise.
At the Altamont Speedway Free Festival in the 60s, it was rumoured that concert-goer Meredith Hunter was killed whilethe Stones played Sympathy for the Devil, and at the studio where the band were recording the song for the 1968 film of the same name a huge fire started as they played which caused huge amounts of damage to the studio and their equipment.
Guns N’ Roses bravely took the song on in 1994 to be featured in the closing credits for Interview With A Vampire – but this too was ill fated as it caused an incident that would see Slash leave the band; he’s since said that Sympathy for the Devil is “the sound of the band breaking up.” – play either version at your Halloween party at your own peril!
9. People Are Strange – The Doors
Famously covered by the band Echo & The Bunnymen for the soundtrack of The Lost Boys – while it’s been covered plenty of times since, it’s often the Echo & The Bunnymen and version and The Doors original that stand the test of time. An anthem for outsiders, People Are Strange is a great Halloween hit for your playlist.
10. Bark At The Moon – Ozzy Osbourne
While Bark at the Moon may seem like a werewolf song on the surface, the music video has many more supernatural delights. The Bark at the Moon music video depicts Ozzy Osbourne as a Jekyll & Hyde character, appearing as a mad scientist who takes a potion that transforms him into the werewolf seen on the album cover before he’s committed to a mental asylum at the end of the video. Spooky stuff!
11. Living Dead Girl – Rob Zombie
Another Rob Zombie track packed full of horror movie references and appearing on many horror and thriller films since, Living Dead Girl has more than earned its right to appear on any Halloween playlist. Samples from films on the track include Lady Frankenstein Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left and Daughters of Darkness, while Rob Zombie also references Vincent Price’s villain in Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and the 1974 film Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS. Living Dead Girl appears in Bride of Chucky and the remake of Psycho as well as The Crow: Salvation Soundtrack in 2000.
12. Ghost Town – The Specials
Offering a bleak but realistic view of Britain in the 80s, The Specials’ Ghost Town transforms Britain into a ghost town worthy of the spookiest and most haunting settings. Although not strictly Halloween themed, the title and ghostly sound effects are enough to tip in into Halloween playlist territory!
13. Bat Out of Hell – Meatloaf
The 9:52 epic Bat Out of Hell has inspired a TV series and a musical in its name and has been honoured with the official “Classic Song” title for its enduring appeal. Inspired by Hitchcock’s Psycho and following the tragic journey of a biker in love which ends in a fatal crash, Bat Out of Hell may only have a tenuous link to Halloween with its title and imagery, but it’s sure to be a people pleaser at any Halloween party.
14. Welcome To My Nightmare – Alice Cooper
The title track to one of Alice Cooper’s most successful albums, Welcome To My Nightmare is a staple of many a Halloween playlist. The shock rock legend even performed this spooky song on The Muppet Show!
15. The Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden
Another devil-centric song to cause outrage amongst religious groups, The Number of the Beast quickly became one of Iron Maiden’s most popular songs thanks to the controversy stirred up through protests and organised burning of the album. Inspired by a nightmare band-founder and bassist Steve Harris had after watching the sequel to The Omen, The Number of the Beast opens with a reading from The Book of Revelations by actor Barry Clayton for extra spook-factor.
16. Highway To Hell – AC/DC
A great party tune which would be one of the last lead singer Bon Scott wrote before his death, Highway To Hell fits in with the Halloween theme while just being a good song to get everyone in the party mood.
17. Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix
Packed full of voodoo symbolism, Jimi Henrdix’s Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is hailed as one of the greatest pieces of guitar work ever recorded.
18. Fear of the Dark – Iron Maiden
Halloween is a time of facing your fears and phobias – according to lead singer Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris wrote Fear of the Dark about his own literal fear of the dark!
19. Ghostbusters – Theme Song
Written by Ray Parker Jr as the theme for the 1984 film, Ghostbusters swiftly became much more than a theme tune. Covered by artists such as Run-D.M.C, The Rasmus and Fall Out Boy over the years, Ghostbusters has become a staple of Halloween parties and pop culture at large.
20. This Is Halloween – Marylin Manson Cover
Written by Danny Elfman for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, This Is Halloween is a classic Disney song that celebrations all things Halloween. Still featured in Disney parades today, This Is Halloween is great for Halloween lovers of all ages, but if you’re looking for a slightly darker take on the original, we can’t recommend the Marylin Manson cover enough. Recorded for a special edition of the film’s soundtrack called Nightmare Revisited, Manson appears along a huge range of alternative artists to cover the soundtrack in full.
21. Kidnap The Sandy Claws – Korn Cover
Another track from the Nightmare Revisited that we just couldn’t miss is Korn’s cover of Kidnap The Sandy Claws. It might live in that uncertain place between being a Halloween song and being a Christmas song, but we’ll take any excuse to listen to this killer cover.
22. I Put A Spell On You – Hocus Pocus Cast
Many will argue that no-one can do I Put A Spell On You better than Nina Simone, not even Marilyn Manson himself, but those people haven’t seen Hocus Pocus. Fans of the film will understand just how brilliant this cover of I Put A Spell On You is and why it’s a must for any Halloween playlist.
23. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Though a seemingly innocent song about eternal love according to songwriter Buck Dharma, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper has some spooky undertones. Many believe that the song is actually about a murder-suicide pact, and the cover art certainly points to a strong connection with mysticism. Whether it was intended to have a creepy undertone or not, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper has appeared in spooky settings such as the movie Halloween and in the intro of Stephen King’s novel The Stand.
24. Zombie – The Cranberries
A protest song written about IRA bombings, the title and metaphor of a zombie throughout the song mean that The Cranberries’ Zombie has appeared on many a Halloween playlist throughout the years – and rightly so! Regardless of the real meaning, it’s a great song that’s stood the test of time all year round, but especially at Halloween.
If the sound of the Cranberries isn’t up your street, why not take on this heavy metal cover of Zombie from Bad Wolves performed in Dolores’ honour instead?
25. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bad Moon Rising is a song about the impending apocalypse (though often interpreted as a song about a werewolf) that has appeared on a huge range of horror movies and TV shows from An American Werewolf in London to Twilight Zone: The Movie, Supernatural, Teen Wolf and The Walking Dead.
26. Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The music video for Heads Will Roll is what gives the song a true Halloween edge. Directed by Richard Ayoade, the music video sees the band perform for a dancing werewolf who then transforms before killing the band and audience – in the gory conclusion, Karen O continues to sing despite her head being severed from her body.
27. Disturbia – Rhianna
Okay most of us wouldn’t describe Rhianna as alternative, but the killer music video to Disturbia has given the song a reputation for being a Halloween favourite among the mainstream, so we thought we’d give it a mention. Beginning in a surreal, circus-like torture chamer, Rhianna appears in a prison, a gas chamber and covered in tarantulas. A departure from the norm for pop stars, Disturbia is worth adding to your Halloween playlist for the creepy video alone.
28. The Addams Family – Theme Song
Everyone’s favourite spooky family The Addams Family have become as iconic as their theme tune. Played on harpsichord and featuring the famous finger-snaps, The Addams Family theme song has appeared across pop culture from The Simpsons to Elvira over the years making it an instantly recognisable Halloween tune.
29. Hells Bells – AC/DC
The first track on the Back In Black album following the death of Bon Scott, Hells Bells begins with a haunting bell slowly tolling before the band kicks in with another Halloween party favourite.
30. Red Right Hand – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
A signature song from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the title is heavily influenced by John Milton’s Paradise Lost in which the red right hand is referred to as the vengeful hand of God. While the song may reflect on power from above rather than below, the threat in the song is palpable scoring in an appearance in the first three films of the Scream franchise and films such as Hellboy and Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant long before the Peaky Blinders picked it up as their theme song.
31. Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus
Often considered the first gothic rock record, who can resist the disturbing sounds of Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead? Though horror movie star Bela Lugosi died 23 years before Bauhaus would write the song in his name, it mourns the death of this horror film star who did so much to establish the image of the modern vampire in his 1931 appearance in Dracula. Hugely influential on goth culture, Bela Lugosi’s Dead has appeared in numerous films and tv shows from The Hunter to Supernatural and American Horror Story: Hotel to name a few.
32. Tear You Apart – She Wants Revenge
Speaking of American Horror Story: Hotel – this scene featuring the song Tear You Apart has become one of the most iconic from the American Horror Story series. Introducing Lady Gaga’s character The Countess and her lover Donovan played by Matt Bomer, the song has become synonymous with the sexy vampire vibe ever since.
33. Mr. Crowley – Ozzy Osbourne
Inspired by the infamous Aleister Crowley and a deck of tarot cards, the song Mr. Crowley is packed full of occultist symbolism. Starting with a haunting keyboard solo and featuring one of the best known heavy metal guitar solos. A classic heavy metal song with a seriously occult influence, you can’t miss it off you Halloween playlist.
34. Tainted Love – Marilyn Manson
We all love the Soft Cell original, but Marilyn Manson’s version of Tainted Love is an unmissable alternative take on the 80s pop hit. Manson’s version became a top 5 hit in tons of countries across the world and even won a number of Kerrang! Awards for the single and accompanying music video. If the original didn’t have enough scary stalker vibes for you, Manson’s version certainly will.
35. Blood – My Chemical Romance
Released as a hidden track on the special edition of The Black Parade, Blood is a short but sweet track about vampiric bloodlust that starts at 1:30 on the 14th track of the album. It’s a hidden gem that’s more than worthy of a spot on your Halloween playlist!
Honestly, this list could go on forever – but if you’re making a must-have Halloween mix with an alternative music twist, we think that these tracks are a great place to start!
Anything we’ve missed off that you think we should add to our Halloween playlist? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to pick up your perfect Halloween wardrobe here at Attitude Clothing.
Festival season is upon us! Whichever alternative music festival you’re heading to this year, there are a few basic festival tips that apply to all the possible festival experiences you could be faced with this summer.
We’re pretty clued up when it comes to not only surviving festivals but getting the very best out of them! Whether you’re a seasoned festival pro or a festival newbie, read up on our top festival tips for festival season 2019 and enjoy your alternative festival experience to the fullest!
1. Stay Hydrated
Yeah we know, it seems like a pretty obvious point, but when you’re knocking back your tenth beer of the day of you’ve spent most of the afternoon stood out in the sunshine near the Jagermeister tent, drinking water can be the furthest thing from your mind. Even if it’s a bit of a cloudy day, you still need to drink plenty of water to counteract the dehydrating effect of your boozing and to avoid nasty business such as sunstroke on hotter days.
Try to prepare for this ahead of time so you don’t get caught out not knowing where to get water from in a pinch. Can you bring your own water bottle into the venue? Are there water fountains you can refill a water bottle you purchase at the festival arena? Carrying rehydration sachets in your festival kit can also be a smart idea in case you do forget to keep up your water intake throughout the day.
2. Bring the Right Bag
Knowing which bag to bring to a festival can be a real agony. We recommend leaving your bigger backpack at the tent and investing in a medium to small sized bag to bring with you to the arena every day. Think of a bag big enough to hold your purse or wallet, your ID, and any medication or hygiene miniatures (thank you tiny hand gels!) you might need during the day when you’re a good walk away from the bulk of your supplies in your tent.
We’ve got tons of women’s alternative bags for you to choose from in our collection at Attitude Clothing – so look carefully for a bag that you can keep in sight at all times to avoid pickpockets (absolutely no backpacks if you can help it!), that’s big enough to carry the bare essentials, but also that’s small enough to not be a strain for those long days at the arena. Plus, make sure to check up on any bag size restrictions the festival may have!
3. Prepare for All Weathers
While we always pray to the old gods and new that the weather will be sunny while we’re at a festival, it’s not always the case. You need to prepare for both good and bad weather – you’re literally at the mercy of the elements out there and as metal as that sounds, it’s not as fun when you catch a cold on the second day or you’re sporting horrific sunburn.
Bring a mixture of clothes from long and short sleeved tops to shorts and jeans, and make sure you bring layers such as hoodies & sweatshirts so you can cool down during the day or cosy up at night if needs be. Sunglasses are also a must-bring item, and make sure that you bring plenty of changes of socks and underwear in case you get caught in a downpour and need to change.
4. Stay Comfortable
Speaking of clothing, it’s all well and good to plan out some dramatic alternative looks for a festival, but after several hours stood up in a muddy field you’re going to want comfort over everything else. Lucky for you, we’ve got tons of alternative womenswear that not only looks good, but feels good to wear too! Take a look through our festival collection too and discover comfortable alternative festival clothing that still looks killer.
5. Plan for The Worst!
You’ve got to think about some worst-case scenarios before you get stuck into the festival experience. Yeah, we’re not the biggest fans of organised fun either, but before you really get into the freewheeling spirit, having some basics planned out in case of an emergency is going to help you ease your mind and have a better festival experience! Make yourself familiar with where the medical tents are in case things get a little wild in the mosh pit or you’re suddenly not feeling so good.
Aside from injury and illness, sometimes its best to plan for the bigger emergencies too. You saw what happened at Fyre festival, right? Make sure that you know how to get to and from the festival and have a couple of backup plans in case you need to high tail it out of there for any reason. Plan for the smaller things too – what happens if you get separated from your mates or if you’ve lost your money? Taking the time to plan for these eventualities will save you some precious time and headaches if they do happen!
6. Get in the Festival Spirit
Most importantly, get in the festival spirit! Things are going to be a little more free and easy at a festival, so get used to sharing drinks, spending time in crowds and joining with a real community spirit. You’ll find that at most alternative festivals, everyone’s there to get along and make some cool memories, so be open to chatting to those in the tent next to you, helping each other out if you fall in the pit and generally being good to each other!
Feeling more prepared? Good! If you’re looking for more festival must-haves, you’re sure to find them right here at Attitude Clothing.
Here at Attitude Clothing, we take all kinds of alternative subcultures under our wing. Alternative style isn’t just limited to the seriously spooky, other music and fashion subcultures such as Rockabilly also have a niche but passionate following that pride themselves on standing out from the crowd and celebrating the alternative spirit of railing against mainstream culture.
We’re taking a closer look at all things Rockabilly – including where Rockabilly came from, what Rockabilly looks and sounds like, and how you can get the Rockabilly style for yourself!
What Is Rockabilly?
Dating all the way back to the 1950s, Rockabilly was one of the first instances of rock n roll music in the US. Rockabilly blended elements of country music such as bluegrass, and rhythm and blues to create a unique sound that brought about its own culture of music and fashion. Once referred to as “hillbilly music”, Rockabilly got its name from blending the hillbilly slur with the rock element of rock n roll.
What Does Rockabilly Sound Like?
Rockabilly is most often described as a blend of country sounds such as bluegrass, and rock n roll sounds such as rhythm and blues. This results in music with a strong rhythm, special sound effects such as delay (tape echo) and a distinctive vocal twang that emphasised the US South Western accent.
Country stars such as Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley are credited with the popularisation of Rockabilly, and although Rockabilly waned in popularity beyond the 50s, the 70s saw a huge revival with bands such as Queen creating rockabilly-inspired music. This Rockabilly influence continues even today with artists such as the Black Keys and White Stripes borrowing heavily from Rockabilly sounds.
What Does Rockabilly Look Like?
Although many of the musical pioneers of Rockabilly were male, when we think about Rockabilly style we immediately think about women’s Rockabilly fashion. Rockabilly is a pretty quintessential 1950s style that features styled fringes, swing dresses, halternecks and heels. There’s a huge cultural movement around women’s Rockabilly style that promotes body positivity and an inclusive vibe that resonates with many women on the alternative scene.
How To Dress Rockabilly: Gal’s Edition
So how to get the Rockabilly look? When it comes to women’s Rockabilly clothing, there are a few key pieces you need to pay attention to:
One of our favourite Rockabilly brands here at Attitude Clothing is Hell Bunny. Specialising in 1950s era clothing, Hell Bunny know exactly how to turn a Rockabilly look, and have plenty of plus sizes available for curvy 50s fashionistas. Bordello Shoes also come highly recommended for a flavour of 1950s inspired footwear.
How To Dress Rockabilly: Guy’s Edition
Guys looking to get the Rockabilly look are probably going to have an easier time. The idea is to take country influences and pair them with classic rock n roll gear. You’ll want to pick up men’s Rockabilly clothing such as:
Alternative brands such as Dead Threads have a great range of short sleeved shirts that’ll do the trick, and we love Urban Classics for a good pair of slim fit men’s jeans. Make sure that your creepers have a 1950s vibe to them, you’re looking for a pair that could be mistaken for vintage men’s shoes so features such as patent and laces are going to help you achieve the look. TUK Shoes have a great range of men’s creepers to choose from and there are definitely some 1950s styles in there!
How To Get Rockabilly Hair
While some of the most popular men’s and women’s hairstyles of the 50s made their way into Rockabilly, the 1940s are actually the biggest influence on Rockabilly hair. Bettie Bangs, Victory Rolls and Pin Curls all reign supreme on the Rockabilly scene, so it’s useful for you to know how to achieve each of these styles!
How To Rock a Rockabilly Fringe
Let’s start with Bettie Bangs. This popular Rockabilly fringe style was first made famous by pin-up model Bettie Page. Bettie Bangs form a straight line across the middle of your forehead above the brow line – giving you plenty of room to style those razor sharp 50s eyebrows!
First, grab the following supplies:
Next, follow these instructions:
Section off the front layer of your hair with a comb – this section should start from a third of the way back from the crown of your head.
Make sure that the section you’ve separated out is thick enough, thin Bettie Bangs don’t work!
Pin back any hair that’s not in the section you’re working with so it’s not in the way
Dampen the section you want to cut, but remember that your hair looks a little longer when it’s wet
Using sharp scissors, cut the section straight across your forehead, around 2 inches above your eyebrows
Blowdry the section to check the length when dry, if they need to be shorter you can always repeat steps 4 and 5 again to take off a little more length!
How To Style Victory Rolls
First becoming popular in the 1940s but holding their popularity throughout the 50s and the Rockabilly movement, Victory Rolls are another Rockabilly hairstyle that has endured throughout the decades. Victory Rolls look a little tricky, but with practice you’ll be rolling with the best of them in no time.
First, grab the following supplies:
Brush & Comb
Next, follow these instructions:
Section out your hair and set it in the hot rollers
Once cool, tease or brush the curls to add some thickness – particularly on the side(s) of your head that you want to style the victory rolls
Comb out the two hair sections that you’ll use to create the victor rolls and hairspray them
One at a time, hold the section up and loop it in the natural direction of the curl. Roll all the way to the base of the section then pin the insides down to the crown of your head
Tame any flyaways with a comb and hairspray the rolls firmly into place
How To Style Pin Curls
Pin curls can be pretty time consuming, but you can achieve a gorgeous head of vintage curls if you follow these easy steps.
First, grab the following supplies:
Next, follow these instructions:
Wash your hair and let it dry enough so that it’s still damp
Take the first small section of hair and comb it through
Using your thumbs and forefingers, curl the section tightly back towards your head
Pin the curl into place by applying the pin diagonally
If you have thick hair that you struggle to hold in place, add another pin in a criss-cross
Repeat until your whole head is curled
Sleep on your curls to let them set overnight
Take out the hairpins in the morning and gently comb through the curls
How To Style a Rockabilly Bandana
Lots of rockabilly hairstyles feature bandanas as a hair accessory. There are a few different ways you can use a bandana to achieve a rockabilly hairstyle, but the most popular way is to help you style an updo.
First, grab the following supplies:
Next, follow these instructions:
Twist the back of your hair and pin it up roughly with bobby pins (you won’t see this later so no need for a super neat job)
Lay your bandana flat out
Fold it into a triangle
Fold the triangle part over
Fold the bandana in half again
Wrap the bandana around your head with the loose ends on top of your head
Tie the loose ends in a double knot
Men’s Rockabilly Hairstyles
The most popular rockabilly hairstyle for men is the ‘greaser’ look. Greasers were a working-class male subculture in the 1950s named after their slicked back hairstyles. With a little more height, this slicked back look can also be turned into a classic 1950s men’s pompadour – perfect for those with a little more length to their hair. To achieve the greaser look, all you’ll really need is a good comb, a tub of pomade and the right haircut!
How To Do Rockabilly Makeup
Rockabilly makeup comes down to two key things:
Makeup wasn’t super experimental back in the 50s, and this distinctive style was all the rage. Women often used powder to set a smooth foundation and added a light blush as their canvas before drawing on a classic vintage cat eye with eyeliner and a coat of mascara.
Eyebrows were often natural, but with such a close lens on our eyebrows nowadays it’s worth investing in an eyebrow wax and powder set to create extra definition to your natural shape.
To finish off the look, red lipstick was the order of the day in the 50s, so indulge in whichever shade of red suits you best!
How To Dance Rockabilly
We’re not going to pretend that we’re experts at rockabilly dance – it’s a fine art that’s not often practised in the mainstream nowadays! There are plenty of dance classes that can help you learn how to dance rockabilly style – but why not get inspired by watching this authentic 1950s rockabilly dancing?
What Is Gothabilly?
As with plenty of other subcultures, Rockabilly hasn’t been immune to evolving over the years. Gothabilly is a great blend of both gothic clothing and classic Rockabilly fashion, resulting in a dark cocktail that looks like an all black Rockabilly wardrobe paired with black Bettie Bangs and a slick cat eye.
What Is Psychobilly?
Referring more to differentiation in music style rather than fashion, Psychobilly is the result of combining classic rock n roll with a much more punk feel. The psychobilly fashion takes on a little more of a dark edge, drawing on horror and punk influences as opposed to more mainstream 1950s nostalgia.
Love Rockabilly? Tag us in some of your favourite looks on Instagram (@attitude_clothing) and don’t forget to top up your wardrobe with our collections of Rockabilly clothing and Psychobilly clothing!
Out there in the mainstream world, the alternative scene can look like a confusing mix of black clothing and loud music. From their outsider’s perspective, it can be hard to understand the nuances that define each alternative subculture. While some subcultures like pastel goth or rockabilly have stand-out features that make them clearly separate from the umbrella of ‘goth’, other subcultures such as emo can get lumped in with a generalist ‘goth’ term.
To give the mainstream a break, we can kind of understand why. For those that aren’t directly involved in the alternative scene, emo could easily be mistaken for goth going through a wild teenage phase. There are some similarities, but there are also many differences if you choose to look more closely.
In case you’re a mainstreamer looking to get a peek behind the goth vs emo curtain, or you’re an alternative fashion lover that wants to make sure they’re getting their alternative basics right, we’ve taken a deep dive into whether goth and emo are the same thing…
Before we get into similarities and comparisons – let’s take a look at some un-nuanced definitions of that ‘goth’ and ‘emo’ mean, look like, and sound like at their core.
How Is Goth Defined?
No matter what your customary Google tells you, goth in this context does not relate to the Germanic tribe who invaded the Roman Empire – thanks for trying though Urban Dictionary and Merriam-Webster. We’re sure that many of the goths we’re referring to think that this tribe are absolute badasses, but when we talk about ‘goth’ here, we’re referring to the music and fashion subculture.
Goth in this context is defined as a person who listens to gothic music (from Bauhaus to Marilyn Manson) and dresses in gothic fashion (black, black, Victorian-influenced, black, punk-influenced, black).
Because of goth’s affiliation and fascination with Victorian horror, pagan worship and ancient magic (spelling may vary), it’s often thought that goth was the original alternative subculture, but in fact, goth music culture primarily arose out of one of the other pillars of the alternative community – the punk movement.
When Did Goth Start?
The goth culture began right here in the UK in the early 1980s – bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Damned were creating a gothic rock sound that was directly influenced by their punk predecessors. Some argue that goth started in the late 70s when The Damned first broke the scene, but it wasn’t until things snowballed in the early 80s that the term goth was coined by the media.
What Was Goth Like In The 80s?
Influenced by dark theatrics, tragic romanticism and anything morbid, morose or even taboo, gothic culture became the distinctive sound of reverb, woeful lyrics and an all-black uniform that drew inspiration from the Victorian era of penny shockers and the punk scene it hailed from.
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Teens across the UK and the US seized this cultural movement and by the 90s began to make it their own. Dressed in their uniforms of boots, backcombed hair and thick black eyeliner, paired with a mandatory all-black wardrobe, the goth scene took on a life of its own and paved the way for future gothic subcultures.
How Did Goth Develop?
The classic 80s goth was eventually left behind as styles and trends developed. The late 90s and early 00s saw the goth scene produce musicians such as Marilyn Manson, Emilie Autumn and The Dresden Dolls – all of whom brought their unique gothic flavour. By this time, goth had become an umbrella term in the media for subcultures including nu-metal, post-punk and cybergoth. The lines between what was ‘goth’ and what wasn’t became blurred, and eventually the term ‘alternative’ began to circulate as a catch-all for these subcultures.
What Does Goth Look Like Now?
As with much popular culture nowadays, goths tend to turn to the gothic pioneers of the past for their gothic music fixes and influences and can take their pick from years of gothic style and fashion to create their own unique styles. Some may argue that the era of the classic goth is fading away in lieu of other subcultures from pastel goth to health goth and beyond, but with gothic clothing at the centre of alternative Instagram culture and so many alternative wardrobes, we can’t see the original spirit of goth culture leaving us any time soon.
One such subculture that developed as a result of goth’s rise in popularity was emo. The definition of emo largely comes down to defining the music, which places great emphasis on emotional lyrics, expressive visuals and a confessional tone. Reading like the angsty diary of a teenager, it’s no surprise that the emo charge was primarily led by a younger audience grappling with the feelings that emo music portrayed.
Visually, the emo fashion took cues from gothic clothing but pushed its way into a more mainstream streetwear style that plays into the idea of ‘geek chic’ – typically geeky t-shirts were paired with v neck jumpers and tighter than tight skinny jeans, with glasses, black dyed hair and a super-long side fringe also ranking as emo must-haves.
How Did Emo Start?
While emo was simmering away in the 90s, by the early 00s emo ripped straight through the alternative scene and all the way into the mainstream. While a handful of alternative musicians had made it into the mainstream, this was the biggest wave of alt music to make a cultural impact with consumers that otherwise wouldn’t have engaged with the alternative scene. Bands such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco were all counted among the most famous emo bands to come out of this era of alternative music, standing on the shoulders of early adopters of the emo sound such as Dashboard Confessional, Weezer and Jimmy Eat World.
How Did Emo Develop?
Emo branched out almost as soon as it became a defined subculture. One of the most successful offshoots of emo was screamo. The sound of screamo was much more aggressive, taking on frantic beats and hair raising vocals that kept the screamo scene largely underground. Bands such as Thrice, Poison the Well and Alexisonfire were all staples of the screamo scene, keeping a more alternative vibe to the emo subculture that was otherwise becoming more and more mainstream.
Why Was Emo So Controversial?
Emo had a pretty big PR problem. Because a lot of the lyrics dealt with themes of mental health and emotional distress, the music got a bad reputation for playing a part in creating a culture of depression – the worst accusations suggesting that emo music encouraged and glamorised self-harm and suicide. Bands that would have typically been labelled as emo railed against the term in order to disassociate themselves from the darker side of emo culture and media-bias. It’s this connotation that ultimately led to emo being discouraged, causing many to fall out of love with a subculture that had once created a huge sense of community – especially on online platforms such as MySpace.
What Does Emo Look Like Now?
As the scene moved on, emo moved back underground with its offshoots like screamo. It wasn’t until the mid to late 2010s that it reared its head again, this time being heavily sampled by hip hop artists from MC Lars as early as 2004 to Lil Peep and XXXTentacion enjoying much more recent success – a success that was to be short-lived as both artists tragically died not long after peaking in the mainstream music charts.
The Key Similarities of Goth & Emo
The key similarities between goth and emo include:
Romantic themes – both deal with themes of romance such as unrequited love in their music and both talk about the object of their affections in a reverential way that makes their crush seem otherworldly or unattainable.
Black-based fashion – both feature black heavily in their colour palettes. However, goth clothing takes this to an extreme whereas emo encourages pairing bold colours such as red, purple and green with a black base colour.
Dramatic makeup – both use eyeliner and other bold makeup looks to create their distinctive styles. As with clothing, goth makeup tends to be very black and white whereas emo experiments more with bold colours.
Association with death – both have an undeserved reputation for inciting violence and glamorising death in mainstream media, but even this association with death has distinctive nuances. Emo was accused of promoting self-harm, whereas goth was accused of promoting harm to others.
The Key Differences Between Goth & Emo
The key differences between goth and emo include:
Musical origins – goth developed from the punk scene and bears many similarities to punk music, whereas emo strived for a much more mainstream appeal that took on a pop sound
Style influences – gothic clothing takes inspiration from Victorian fashion and punk style, whereas emo clothing is much more pedestrian and accessible by the mainstream. Some would argue that the popularity of kawaii clothing has taken the place of the cute but deadly vibe that began with emo.
Longevity – goth has long been a subculture on the alternative scene and has remained in a semi-mainstream light for many years. Emo enjoyed greater mainstream success, but only for a relatively short period of time before it was pushed back underground. Bands disassociating with the emo subculture meant that a lot of the culture’s pioneers are now redefined in the alternative umbrella or have changed their sound to appeal to other subcultures.
Are Goth and Emo the Same Thing?
No. While there are certainly similarities between the two due to the emergence of emo from the origins of gothic culture, there are key differences to be found even in the similarities between the two that define emo as a separate alternative subculture in its own right – though both fall under the ‘alternative’ umbrella.
No matter how you identify, if you’re a part of the alternative scene we’re sure to stock alternative fashion that’ll keep you feeling part of your community all year round. Take a look at our alternative menswear and alternative womenswear collections to get inspired with Attitude Clothing.
It’s easy to assume that gothic music is sad – it’s the way that the media and public opinion has portrayed gothic artists for years thanks to the often minor tones of the music and its accompanying all black everything fashion.
Despairing parents would bemoan their children taking part in gothic culture for fear of falling in with a ‘bad crowd’, elderly women would be found clutching their pearls at the sight of a goth on the street, and news sources everywhere were intent for many years on creating an association between gothic music and poor mental health in teens.
While much of the gothic genre is based on emotions of sadness and introspective feelings, we wanted to investigate whether there were any glimmers of hope to be found in the midst of the dark landscape. Are gothic lyrics really that sad? Or do they actually point to deeper emotions that help people untangle their minds far beyond their teenage years?
When we think about gothic music, a whole range of names come to mind, but we were curious about whether gothic lyrics were as ‘sad’ as public opinion would make them out to be, so it made sense that we look at some of the most popular, more mainstream gothic artists from recent times; gothic rock symphonists Evanescence, gothic metal pioneers Cradle of Filth, industrial goth legends Nine Inch Nails, gothic emo revolutionaries My Chemical Romance, and the pale emperor himself Marilyn Manson.
In many ways the results weren’t surprising, with many lyrics taking on a darker tone and emotion, but is ‘sad’ really the best way to describe them? We’re not so sure. Let’s take a closer look at what we found about some of the best selling albums by our chosen gothic musicians…
We were sure that our first band Evanescence would leave us feeling down in the dumps - Amy Lee’s haunting voice and the symphonic minor tones of the band were sure to be our downfall in this humble quest to find the positive side of gothic music.
In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby
I lie inside myself for hours
And watch my purple sky fly over me
It was to our surprise, then, that the most common theme in Fallen’s lyrics were coded as positive; a huge 30% of lyrics could be construed as happy or upbeat. Who knew? If we take a closer look at Evanescence’s lyrics, we can see plenty of lyrics that deal with feelings of depression for sure, but there’s also plenty of love and support to be found in there too.
I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you
I have to be with you to live, to breathe
You're taking over me
Whether dealing with romantic love or love between friends, listening to Evanescence is like enveloping yourself in an ethereal and slightly melancholic embrace; Fallen is no exception to this, offering moments of true support while whisking the listener through a symphonic dreamscape.
Hold on to me, love
You know I can't stay long
All I wanted to say was
"I love you and I'm not afraid"
We have to admit that the overall sound of Evanescence could leave you feeling a little sad and wistful, but on a purely lyrical basis, you won’t find a gothic band more intent on expressing love through their unique lens.
Cradle of Filth: Dusk... and Her Embrace
Black metallers Cradle of Filth have always been heavily influenced by wider gothic culture, with their lyrics bearing the marks of a lyricist inspired by gothic literature, poetry & mythology since their conception in the early nineties.
Lucretia is my love in vein,
when thy tears bleed sweeter,
thank the midsummer rain?
Playing heavily on satanic themes to increase their on stage shock value, it seems only natural that in their most popular album Dusk...and Her Embrace almost a quarter of the lyrics can be categorised as inspiring evil. However, more surprisingly, a huge 23% of the album’s lyrics included connotations of sex and love, suggesting that the band are perhaps disguising warm and fuzzy feelings at the core of their surface level darkness.
From grace I fell in love with her.
In fact, many of their songs revolve around either unrequited or unattainable love, and while the lyrics reveal a certain heartbreak around this theme, overall the album reads as a collection of gothic love poetry rather than a journey into dark depression.
And love, a wanton thing, can plunge on burnt black wings,
to hang amid the thorns in scarlet, like velvet worn,
about the clouded moon, who wanes in solitude.
The lovelorn overtones of Dusk...and Her Embrace position this album as a poetic collection that delves into a gothic setting to express these emotions. It doesn’t leave us feeling sad, but strikes us as a great break-up or secret-crush album for the average yearning goth. Wistful, perhaps, but more literary than sad in our opinion.
Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral
The early nineties also saw the release of NIN’s album The Downward Spiral which quickly became one of the most influential albums of the time. Nine Inch Nails are known for the controversial confrontation of uncomfortable themes, with depression and struggles with mental health certainly being one of them.
I am the voice inside your head
I am the lover in your bed
I am the sex that you provide
I am the hate you try to hide
However, this isn’t to say that Nine Inch Nails’ music is ‘sad’. While a just under a quarter of their lyrics deal with themes of depression, many of their songs in fact evoke a feeling of anger towards depression and a call for action against it. Violence is, in fact, the most prevalent theme of The Downward Spiral, with feelings of sexual love standing out amongst the violent imagery.
I wanna fuck you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God
Nine Inch Nails are more likely to make you go out and start a fight or call your ex for a no holds barred night of, er, passion, than make you cry. Our conclusion? Not sad in the slightest.
My Chemical Romance: Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Jump ahead to the noughties, when My Chemical Romance were swiftly becoming a huge success on the alternative scene. Often associated with the rise in emo culture, MCR were leading a new age of teenagers in their quest for powerful music that resonated with their newfound experiences and turbulent emotions.
If you marry me, would you bury me?
Would you carry me to the end?
While a sizeable 37% of the lyrics featured in their second album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge relate to negative feelings, they were equally matched with a more positive spin that once again related primarily to feelings of love, but also feelings of rebellious anarchy and firm friendship.
And well I, I won't go down by myself
But, I'll go down with my friends
My Chemical Romance can rarely be accused of evoking a sad mood, in fact, with many of their lyrics that do deal with depression or death finding themselves intertwined in the next line with a tongue in cheek quip or gender fluid imagery.
Well, don't I look pretty walking down the street
In the best damn dress I own?
The band’s association with emo culture is perhaps its downfall in being labelled as a ‘sad band’, but that’s a result of the overall failure to understand emo culture in the first place; the emo subculture deals with more emotional subjects, but this isn’t to say that they’re sad or depressing, only more openly expressive.
MCR may lend a few notes from emo culture and the gothic catalogue of dark imagery, but many of their songs are, at their core, about going out and partying with friends to get through the rough emotional times they’re describing together - and there’s nothing sad or depressing about that in the slightest.
So far, so un-depressing...
Marilyn Manson: Antichrist Superstar
The king of controversy himself, Marilyn Manson has never shied away from shock horror, winning over the hearts of the gothic community in the process. Open about his Satanist leanings and chaotic, narcotic-driven lifestyle, it follows that notions of evil were most prevalent in the album Antichrist Superstar (26% of lyrics coded this way), but rather than being depressing, many lyrics revealed an almost celebratory emotion alongside violent imagery and heavy drug use.
I'll be your lover, I'll be forever
I'll be tomorrow, I am anything when I'm high
Manson’s lyrics are, in their own twisted way, quite romantic. In amongst the chaos and the controversial overtones, he positions himself as the adoring or heartbroken lover in his narrative. You’d be forgiven for missing these lyrics, however, as they’re often swiftly followed by another violent image.
You eat up my heart and all the little parts
Your star is so sharp, it leaves me jagged holes
We don’t think that Marilyn has ever left us feeling sad. Disturbed? Sure. Horrified? You bet. Sad? That’s just not his vibe.
So, can any of the lyrics in these gothic albums really be considered sad? We’d say there’s a decent argument against it. While they nearly all deal with heartbreak or unrequited love, the moods and emotions in response to this vary from feelings of anger, images of both sexual love and romantic love, and most importantly an uplifting and upbeat call for both anarchy and camaraderie.
The themes that this music deals with doesn’t work to depress the listener, but rather offers them a relatable outlet and fantastical escape for processing difficult emotions, making listening to gothic music an almost therapeutic act. This serves to prove once again that media spin and snap judgements about the negative impact and influence that gothic music and culture has over mental wellbeing is nothing more than scaremongering about a subculture they understand very little about.
Ultimately, the media can do nothing to dissuade the gothic and alternative youth from connecting with gothic music and finding strength and solidarity in the lyrics, despite the depressed public image. You can paint a goth as a sad person, but it’s clear to us that they’re one of the most emotionally open and well-adjusted subcultures out there.
Think about the grunge scene and you’ll probably conjure up an image of Kurt Cobain in the 90s, baggy jeans, striped jumpers and noisy angst. You wouldn’t be completely wrong, but there was a lot more to the grunge scene than Nirvana. There’s a serious appetite for grunge on the alternative scene at the moment, particularly the fashion, but before you pillage our grunge collection, why not take a minute to learn about what the grunge movement was, how it got started, and why it remains such an important part of the alternative scene?
What Is Grunge?
Grunge is often known as the ‘Seattle Sound’, on account of the ‘big four’ contributors to the genre all hailing from the northwest city. The term is pretty synonymous with bands of the 80s and 90s from this area of America, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney and Screaming Trees. Effectively, grunge is a particular sound, and a particular look, tied to a particular genre of music, just like many of the popular subcultures on the alternative scene!
If for some reason you’d never listened to any of these bands (what have you been doing??), you’d be able to pick out the grunge sound from a crowd by looking out for high levels of distortion, heavy feedback, fuzz effects, and a fusion of punk and metal influences set against a ream of angsty lyrics. Get thee to Spotify immediately and start listening if you haven’t before, while fleeting, the grunge genre went on to influence some of our favourite bands on the alternative music scene so it’s a key part of your alternative music education!
What Does Grunge Look Like?
Grunge fashion was formed by accident. The combat boots worn by grunge musicians were simply the most sensible choice of footwear for rainy Seattle, threadbare and out of shape charity shop finds were the most affordable clothing available for the poor and struggling artists. From authenticity grew a new fashion trend, with flannel shirts, wool ski hats, combat boots and greasy hair hitting catwalks and appearing in high street shops.
Whereas the punk musicians of previous years were all about making an anti-fashion statement, this new ears of grunge-influenced musicians were simply fashion-neutral, making do with what they could afford – until grunge fashion itself became an unaffordable fashion statement.
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How Did Grunge Form?
Grunge began with the alternative bands of the 80s, bands like The Melvins and Soundgarden kickstarted the grunge sound in 1983 and 1984, with bands like Green River and Screaming Trees following shortly after. By 1986, C/Z Records released an album called Deep Six which is often credited as the first time that grunge was distributed. With the addition of Alice in Chains to the scene in 1987, grunge had solidified as a genre, developing from a propensity for these bands to refer to themselves in a self-deprecating way as ‘grungy’ and ‘grimy’. Sub Pop Records saw an opportunity to market these bands under the umbrella term of ‘grunge’, and soon nearly all Seattle based bands were being lumped under the easily marketable genre.
What Happened to Grunge?
By the time Nirvana started gaining popularity in 1990, grunge as a movement itself had started to die out, but in an effort to continue the profitable Seattle subgenre, they too were tied into the term grunge. However, the term grunge had begun to backfire. Anyone who was anyone on this music scene would label those using the term grunge as a poseur, suddenly grunge was a dirty word in every sense.
In 1991, Nirvana had gained a number one spot on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, closely followed by Pearl Jam. The term grunge had been transformed from a joke among musicians to a marketable genre and was now a permanent subgenre of alternative music that could easily be characterised by its distinct look and sound, forever linked to the northwest musicians of the 80s and 90s.
How Do We Remember Grunge Today?
Grunge was a pretty shortlived subculture, but the waves of 1990s nostalgia in recent years mean that grunge is once again becoming a permanent part of the alternative scene. The induction of Nirvana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame really gave rise to this resurgence, and while the music is largely being left where it was, grunge fashion is being picked up by new generations of alternative fashion lovers.
Our grunge collection at Attitude Clothing offers you access to some of the best nostalgic grunge fashion, featuring the iconic workboots, baggy sweatshirts and distressed jeans that the grunge scene was known for back in the day! If you’re wanting to hop on the grunge trend, you can check out grunge womenswear, grunge menswear, grunge women’s footwear and even grunge accessories here at Attitude Clothing. May the spirit of grunge live on in our hearts and wardrobes for many years to come.
You may remember that not so long ago, the mainstream were turning their noses up at alternative fashion. That’s what made us so…alternative! Anything deemed a little too gothic, too punk, too downright weird was shunned by mainstream festival goers who were busy dancing about in a pair of daisy dukes and a flower crown.
Well well well, look how the tables have turned. It seems that in 2018, the alternative look is in for a change. The mainstream started catching up with us last year (remember seeing a ton of metal band tees on the high street?) and this year they’re coming for our festival fashions.
You know what that means folks, time to get hell of a lot weirder. Anything they can do, we can do better, and whether you’re attending a mainstream festival this year or you’re headed to a heavy metal mecca, there’s definitely room for us to head even further in the alternative direction and show them what we’re really about.
It’s not entirely unsurprising that the mainstream have turned to alternative fashion for their festival looks – it’s not the first time we’ve seen alternative style on the high street. Every now and again, the mainstream want to indulge in their goth phase. Look at Taylor Swift!
Our guess is that mainstream fashion has rolled back around to its angsty teen years and they’ll be back in their flower crowns soon enough, but it does make sense that it’s festival fashion that’s bridged the gap between the mainstream and the alternative.
Traditionally, festivals are a place where we can all let loose from our day to day wardrobes and get a little more ‘boho’ with our style. They’re a place where fashion can really begin to blur the lines with costume, and with fashion of all kinds looking to go bigger and better every year, it was only a matter of time before mainstream fashion started to be charmed by the shock factor of the occult.
Not all alternative fashion is guts and gore, though. We may have to admit that there’s some crossover from our side too – items like body & face stones, tinted sunglasses and quirky rain macs have long been staples of both festival fashion cultures, we just take them a little (a lot) further. Whereas mainstream festival fashion feels naughty for wearing something in a leopard print, us seasonal alternative festival pros know that more is more – we layer it up to the max whether we’re going for black on black or in your face clashing colours and prints.
Just take a look at some of these festival clothing combos, perfectly suited to ripping the alternative trend back out of the arms of the mainstream…
Gothic Gal Festival Style
Gothic Guy Festival Style
Kawaii Festival Style
We’ve got a ton of festival fashion and clothing in our festival collection at Attitude Clothing that’ll take the mainstream view of alternative fashion from ‘why not’ to ‘wtf’ in no time. Back to just the way we like it.