10 Musical Genres That Should Never, Ever Be Revived


Of all the press releases that landed in Flavorwire’s inbox over the long weekend, this was surely the strangest: an announcement proclaiming the return of the entirely unlamented Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the dire neo-swing band that was briefly famous in the late 1990s for the song “Zoot Suit Riot.” It’s mildly terrifying to think that they still exist in 2013, as is the thought of their genre making some sort of post-millennial comeback. It’s such a chastening thought, in fact, that it got us thinking about other potential genre revivals against which we should be forever vigilant. Such as this lot, for example…


Considering how much Kurt Cobain loathed the fame and adulation showered upon his own band, you can only imagine the depths of hatred he would have harbored for the latter-day jocks who jacked his style and sound, shearing both of any measure of subtlety or meaning and using the resultant pseudo-grunge bilge to catapult themselves to global stardom. (See here for a convenient summary of the genre’s post-Nirvana devolution.) Given that there’s a full-fledged grunge revival happening these days, we can only hope neo-grunge doesn’t eventually spawn neo-Puddle of Mudd.

UK garage

No, seriously, I lived through this the first time around. In London. And if I hear the crowd say “bo selecta” once more, I am going to find Craig David and insert his mic somewhere anatomically revolutionary.

Nü metal

In fairness to Jonathan Davis, who was genuinely working out all sorts of terrible childhood issues on record, his band’s idea of combining the visceral power of metal with hip hop and electronic influences led to all sorts of dreadful things happening to the world of music. Specifically, it was a short step from Follow the Leader to Linkin Park and Limp fucking Bizkit, the likes of whom should never, ever walk the earth again.

Third-wave ska

Look, I have nothing against ska in its original form — The Skatalites, Desmond Dekker and various other Jamaican luminaries aren’t to blame for what happened to the music they created. Similarly, second-wave ska — i.e., the English version — gave us great bands like The Specials, so much so that it can largely be forgiven for also spawning Madness. No, I’m talking about godawful, deliberately dorkish ska-punk bans like Reel Big Fish and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who are proof that there are certain things that Californians should never be allowed to do. Speaking of which…

Pop punk

This genre never really went away, but it’s declined in popularity in recent years, thank god. While it’s not entirely beyond redemption, it’s been responsible for so many sins over the years — from Alien Ant Farm to New Found Glory to Simple Plan and Sum 41 and god only knows how many others — that it’s time to let it lie for good. (As an aside: I have no recollection of including NOFX in the feature linked above, and may have been drunk while writing it.)

Acid jazz

Also known as the music that everyone played at house parties in the late 1990s and 2000s when they were trying to prove that they were more sophisticated than your average house-party-throwin’ kinda person. It was a dark time for everyone.

Coastal lifestyle jams

Like, dude, this is just, like, just, so, like, chill. What? No, I don’t know how you spell “Donovan” either, dude.


The influence of commercial trance has long since seeped its way into many different corners of popular music, a process cataloged by various critics (cf. Tom Ewing’s excellent article for the Guardian a couple of years back, for instance). This is all very well, so long as the original beast doesn’t rear its ugly head again — even the surrogate presence of Alice Deejay in popular music is nigh on intolerable, let alone the idea of somebody making another “Better Off Alone.”


The first rule of Internet microgenres is: they are dead when MTV makes documentaries about them and/or The New York Times writes articles about them. It was fun while it lasted, eh? (See also: witch house.)

Phil Collins

The continuing hip hop-led renaissance of Phil Collins is one of the great mystifying trends of modern music. Lest we forget, while the ’80s weren’t the complete cultural desert that some might lead you to believe, they were still pretty fucking awful, and one of the prime reasons why was the shadow that this dreadful homunculus and his gated snare cast over just about everything. No, we will not say “Sussudio.” NEVER AGAIN.