What is a genre of music invented in Australia?

There are three genres that were invented in Australia:

  1. Pub Rock
  2. Bush Ballads
  3. Indiginous music

People around the world may be familiar with Pub Rock thanks to a little known band called AC/DC. They and many other rock bands were touring at a time when the live music scene revolved around the Aussie Pub. As a result, the music, and particularly the lyrics, reflected this.

Bush Ballads are the lesser known and more antiquated Aussie music style. Think of it as folk music written by people who loved sheep a bit too much. As a mix between love of rural Australia, folk music, country music, and oldy time-y nostalgia, the genre is less popular now than when gramophones were a thing. That isn’t to say that Bush Ballads had no influence, as Waltzing Matilda is regarded as the unofficial national anthem, and some songs have gained international audiences from cover versions (see Dr Hook example below).

Indiginous music as it stands today would generally be better referred to as fusion. This is because it combines traditional Indiginous musical styles and instruments and fuses them with other genres (rock, hip-hop, rap, country, etc). What makes it such an Australian genre is the cultural themes and lyrical content, which is very unique.

 This post originally appeared on Quora.

Song Dedications

Radio and Wedding DJs like to dedicate songs, but rarely do they get past the “This one goes out to all the ladies.” or “This one’s for all the lovers.” It seems odd to me that DJs don’t mix it up a bit and play some songs for more specific groups of people. For example:

This one is for everyone who loves kids.
Michael Jackson – Beat It – because Michael Jackson loved kids too.

This one is for anyone at home playing with rope.
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart – because rope lovers identify with the Joy Division front man.

This one is for those who are having a good day.
Dimmu Borgir – Burn In Hell (Twisted Sister cover) – because a DJ is never having a good day.

This one is for everyone arguing on the comments of Youtube.
Jackson 5 – ABC – because clearly no one commenting there have learnt them.

This one is for everyone driving slow.
The Beatles – Can’t Buy Me Love – because you aren’t buying love on the street.

This one is for the Westboro Baptist Church.
AC/DC – Highway to Hell – because that is exactly where this church belongs.

This one is for all the politicians.
Guns ‘n’ Roses – Get in the Ring – seriously, one round, no holds barred, no tap outs.

Terrible music I enjoy

Not all music can be as awesome as AC/DC or Steel Panther, some of it has to suck like Nickelback and *inset generic pop star name here*. The problem is that amongst all of that suck there is the occasional gem that rises above its mediocre origins and digs deep into my skull like a Ceti-Aal. So here is some of the music that is on my iPod despite how bad it is.

Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
This saccharine peppy pop song revels in its bouncy good-times vibe: how can you not enjoy it? Little known fact: Nine Inch Nails were created to counter the peppiness of this song. During my aspiring musician days (also known as my terrible poetry phase) I was actually trying to develop a cover version of this song that took all the peppy pop and blend it with my favourite dark-angst driven rock music. This would have been the music equivalent of dividing by zero.

Dragonforce – the entire Sonic Firestorm album
At some point you have to turn off Dragonforce to remove the copious build up of cheese from your ears. The insanely fast riffs, the power metal vocals, the lyrics inspired by too many fantasy novels, the video game inspired guitar sounds, all add up to something everyone should be embarrassed to listen to. Still rocks.

The Beatles – most of their career
She loves you…. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah… Need I say more? The Beatles are awesome, but you really have to cringe when you step back to look at some of the banal pop music they produced. Not to mention their drug phase which produced such gems as I Am The Walrus and Dude, Where’s My LSD? My favourite Beatle moment was the guitar duel between Clapton and Harrison over Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd. Now you’d battle to find two great musicians who wouldn’t just resort to a threesome.

Dream Evil – The Book of Heavy Metal
It is a good thing these guys don’t take themselves seriously, because otherwise the joke would be all on them. They absolutely rock, are made up of fantastic musicians from metal bands across Europe, and are doing the “we love metal” fandom with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Creed – Higher
A bunch of God botherers form a band and produce pretentious pop-rock albums swamped with FM-radio friendly rock-ballads. They should suck. Actually, they do. But in among the trash is this little gem. Now if only a decent band would cover it.

Bon Jovi – Wanted: Dead or Alive
The highest praise that can be heaped upon Bon Jovi is that they wrote a couple of songs that didn’t suck. Sam and Dean even cranked out a rendition of Wanted: Dead or Alive. The main thing is that the Northern Kings did a cover of this song so you don’t have to listen to Bon Jovi to enjoy this song.

Poison – Unskinny Bop and Nothing But a Good Time
If there was an iconic example of everything wrong with hair metal of the 80s, it was Poison. Before there were metrosexuals, there were hair metal-ers wearing eye-liner, lip gloss and getting their hair permed so that they could jump around on stage in crotch stuffed spandex pants. At least they knew how to party.

MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This
A guy I used to know was in a band that did a cover of this song. Before I heard them do their cover I couldn’t stand this song. After hearing it, I now don’t cringe when I see Hammer-time jokes on the internet.


Only if you feel the need for more aural abuse:

I Don’t Care For Cold Chisel

Sometimes I’ll be watching the news or listening to the radio and I will be reminded that I am on the fringe of society. It isn’t just the education, nor the largish brain, nor my desire to have standards, no it is the fact that apparently I’m un-Australian. You see, I don’t like Cold Chisel. To dislike Cold Chisel is un-Australian.

As a result I feel a little like Peter Griffin does about The Godfather.

Australians like to heap superlatives upon Cold Chisel and other “hard rock” bands. They like to hear them on the radio because it reminds them of the time they got drunk in that pub before drinking became illegal. Sorry, not illegal, the driving home afterwards part was what became illegal. Cold Chisel have come out of retirement to tour again, something that made all of the news channels. Why? It is a chance for Aussies to get in touch with their inner bogan.

For non-Aussies, a bogan is what you get when you cross flannelette shirts with mullets and cigarettes. Deep down there is a bogan inside every Australian just trying to get out.

Bogan

My inner bogan allows me to wear tracksuit pants around the house and feel unashamed to listen to AC/DC whilst playing air-guitar. Fortunately my inner bogan stops short of Cold Chisel fandom. That’s right, my inner bogan has class.

We have different terms for bogans all over the world: white trash, redneck, guido, hoser, skid, chav, ned, jejemon, scanger, ah beng, raggare, naco, dres, Paris Hilton; but we recognise the traits. Suffice to say, we all need to keep our inner bogan in check. If we don’t then the terrorists have won.