Of all the subgenres to have come and gone in rock music, grunge seemed to die a pretty ugly death. With the death of Kurt Cobain hanging like a shroud across the rest of the scene, it was time for the genre to be read its last rites and regroup into something else. That didn't mean that that style suddenly went away overnight or anything.
Coming up in the wake of the Cobain era of rock, you had millions of post grunge outfits starting that took the basis of grunge and tried to take it a little bit further. For most purists, this was the biggest sellout you could have asked for, with bands that felt more like boy bands than actual musicians with something to say. If you throw out everything that was labelled post grunge though, you're still living a bunch of classic material on the table.
In a post 1994 world, the sounds of grunge were still ruling the airwaves, and these records were definitely a sign that the genre could thrive well past the shadow of what the old guard from Seattle had started. Even as the first wave died off, you also had the old school grunge leaders shedding their skin and making something better than what had come before. Post grunge might get a bad rep these days, but there's a lot more to dissect than just the Nickelbacks of the world.
10. Leave a Whisper - Shinedown
As grunge fumbled its way into the next decade, the entire scene started to look a whole lot different. Along with the many different derivative bands trying to sound like a second rate Soundgarden, there was also the incoming realm of butt rock, having been started by the likes of Creed and rising to prominence with Puddle of Mudd. Right before things got too hectic though, Shinedown's first record felt like grunge built for the arena.
Being a much more rootsy band than the original grunge acts at the time, Brent Smith had a lot more gusto behind his delivery. Whereas people like Kurt Cobain were just pushing the most out of their voice every night, you could tell that this was a guy trained to belt to the rafters, especially when going for the long sustained notes on songs like 45.
Before you even get to the disaffected lyrics on here, the music is also a bit of a left turn than what we were used to at the time, like the ethereal melodies that come up on something like Lost in the Crowd and the hints of what was to come with their cover of Simple Man that appeared as part of the bonus tracks. We were definitely a long way away from the Sound of Madness, but this is a nice glimpse of what would happen if grunge music was given that kind of old school rock and roll swagger.