A Selection of the All-Time Silliest Genres in Music

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One of the guilty pleasures of music journalism is the opportunity to coin silly new genre names (like “moustache funk” — you heard it here first.) But while we’re all for such antics — and we get thoroughly tired of jaded old cynics looking at every new genre and wailing about how it’s all shit/it was better in their day/etc — we did bow our heads in wonder at the Guardian’s recent A-Z of new genres — there’s a heap of good music on there, but we have to admit that it took music’s taxonomic obsession to a whole new level. And it reminded us that occasionally, a new genre will come along that makes us giggle at the overwhelming silliness of it all. Like the ones after the jump, for instance — some are endearingly silly, some are plain old silly, and some are genuinely appalling. Yes, BrokenCYDE, we’re looking at you.

#seapunk

In fairness, our problem with #seapunk isn’t the music itself — some of it is OK, some of it is terrible, just like most other genres. No, it’s the name. If your genre name starts with a hashtag, we’re not exactly holding out hopes for its longevity. And hashtag or no hashtag, what does turquoise hair and a Little Mermaid obsession have to do with punk? Joe Strummer is spinning in his grave like a fucking dynamo.

Crunkcore

Rarely has a genre inspired as much rabid hatred as crunkcore, that unholy hybrid of screaming kiddies, cheesy trance synths, and identikit hip hop beats. It’s hard to argue that the hatred is anything but 100% justified, although we did have a chuckle at the wryly amusing title that BrokenCYDE gave their debut album — I’m Not a Fan, But the Kids Like It. Touché.

Donk

Get your copy of Fruity Loops, take a dance track, speed it up until it sounds like it’s been mainlined to a helium cylinder, and then add the most offensive squelchy pumping beat you can find. Congratulations: you’ve made a donk track. VICE ran one of its occasional worthwhile features on this trend a while back — we’re not entirely sure whether the genre, such as it is, is still a thing, but either way, it was definitely one of the silliest musical trends of recent years.

Grebo

It’s hard to believe, but there was a time in the late ’80s and early ’90s when sporting the kinda futuristic sci-fi homeless dude look pioneered by PWEI and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin was considered somehow socially acceptable. It was a dark time for everyone.

Viking metal

Look, we’re all for black metal, and we’re all for bands who reject genre tropes Satanism and a fondness for burning churches. But still, we have to say that the whole wearing-horned-helmets-and-claiming-to-be-descendants-of-Vikings thing is both a) ridiculous and b) hilariously homoerotic. (See also: Tolkien metal, pirate metal, wizard rock and Conan the Barbarian metal.)

Tumblrwave

We don’t care if this is Guardian-endorsed or not — we refuse to believe that there’s any such genre.

Hip hopera

If there was ever a sign that mainstream hip hop has disappeared once and for all up its own ass, it was surely the advent of the hip hopera — overblown concept albums/album cycles that rival the dark days of ’70s prog for pretentiousness and general silliness. This is the sort of thing that the likes of Yes and Rush (rightly) got slammed for — and even they never dared to do an adaptation of Carmen.

Celtic punk

Unless you live in Boston and/or are a leprechaun, this is right up there with crunkcore as the worst genre ever invented. Sure, the Pogues had their moments before Shane MacGowan disappeared forever into substance-fuelled creative oblivion — but for the love of god, their oeuvre really didn’t need to spawn an entire genre of fiddle-wielding imitators.

Flametal

Flamenco meets metal. Obviously.

Post-Internet

Yes, we get what Grimes was trying to say when she described her music as “post-internet” — that it draws on a dizzying variety of influences, a variety of sounds that preclude settling on any one style. But then, doesn’t that by definition make “post-internet” entirely meaningless as a genre descriptor? After all, the whole point of genres is to help someone find other music like a particular song/artist they happen to like, and “it sounds like a whole bunch of stuff” isn’t exactly the most helpful description of what someone’s music sounds like. Claire Boucher herself argued pretty much exactly this when she described Visions to Interview: “Because genres are sort of disappearing, people just use bands as reference points. And if I were to describe my sound, I’d just say it’s ‘modern.'”