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10 Alternative Bands That Switched Genres…and it Worked!

todaySeptember 1, 2021

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For fans of alternative music, following Jesea Lee on TikTok and Instagram is a must and his guest-heavy music countdown podcast, ‘The Distorted Ten,’ will keep you up to speed on all that’s happening in alt-rock right now because we all know it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything that’s coming out without some assistance.

His TikTok series ‘Bands That Switched Genres And it Worked’ has amassed over 25 million views, so what would be better than bringing a taste of this to all of our beloved readers at Loudwire? Okay, Jesea, take it away!

It has got to be so annoying to be an artist releasing music. You either put out the same stuff you always have and people complain “that it all sounds the same” or you evolve and switch things up and people lament that they “prefer the old stuff.” In my experience, the latter tends to make for better career longevity.

I post about alternative music everyday on my TikTok and Instagram and, each day, I get hundreds of comments telling me they prefer an artist or band before they changed up their sound.

Trust me — I get it. There’s plenty of bands I wish would just put out the same record over and over (seriously Thrice, please give me Artist In The Ambulance 2.0).

We can debate forever on whether or not their old stuff is better, but the fact remains, here are 10 Alternative Bands That Switched Genres… And It Worked!

1. BRING ME THE HORIZON

Imagine this: You’re at a Bring Me The Horizon concert (whenever those happen regularly again) because you heard this catchy rock track at your gym…

“Teardrops” (Hard Rock – 2020)

…and then the band is like, “Hey, who wants to hear some old stuff?!” And all of a sudden, the mood shifts — people seem to be a little more aggressive as they circle around your area. And then they play this…

“Pray for Plagues” (Death Metal – 2006)

2. PANIC! AT THE DISCO

Right, right… most of the band quit and it’s actually just Brendon! at the Disco. Har har… let’s move on. The group started right out of the gate as one of the biggest emo/pop-punk bands in the world, often being confused with Fall Out Boy because of the vocal delivery (I mean, just take notice of how exaggerated Urie’s vocals were in the early days…)

“I Write Sins Not Tragedies” ( Emo/Pop-Punk – 2005)

Fast forward and Panic! essentially operates as a moniker for Urie’s theatrical, cabaret pop.

“High Hopes” (Pop – 2018)

3. FALL OUT BOY

Speaking of Fall Out Boy, the legitimate kings of whacky, way too long song titles that are synonymous with emo music in the early 2000s and widely regarded as one of the best bands of the Chicago basement punk scene…

“Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today” (Emo/Pop Punk – 2003)

However, don’t expect to see them at any basement shows anytime soon, as the band primarily makes Super Bowl Halftime Show music now.

“Centuries” (Arena Pop – 2014)

4. PARAMORE

Hayley Williams shies away from some of the early Paramore lyrics, as they are not inline with her views today. Most notably the “slut-shaming” lyrics in their breakout pop punk hit…

“Misery Business” (Pop-Punk – 2007)

Before going on a hiatus, their last few releases had shifted gears to a more dancey, positive sound. Hayley is now releasing indie/alt pop music on her own, but has been hinting at new Paramore music.

“Hard Times” (Pop – 2017)

5. BLACK VEIL BRIDES

There was a time when listening to Black Veil Brides made you edgy and something your parents might worry about.

“Knives & Pens” (Goth/Post-Hardcore – 2009)

Now you’re basically listening to millennial Mötley Crüe.

“Scarlet Cross” (Glam/Hard Rock – 2021)

6. FALLING IN REVERSE

The first Falling In Reverse album really just felt like Escape The Fate 2.0 (and it was awesome).

”The Drug in Me is You (Scene/Post-Hardcore – 2011)

Still being awesome, Ronnie Radke now embraces more of the hip-hop aspect that he’s always tinkered with earlier in his career. Also, fun fact, they use the same courtroom in both videos.

“Popular Monster” (Rap Metal/Hard Rock – 2020)

7. PVRIS

I saw this band open for A Skylit Drive. The Paramore comparisons were made ad nauseam.

”The Heartless” (Emo/Post-Hardcore – 2012)

As cool as I thought they were back then, I did not expect the absolute glow up when Lynn Gunn shifted gears and became a star.

“Hallucinations” (Alt Pop – 2020)

8. 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER

In the early days, 5 Seconds of Summer had a hard time just proving they were a real band. Most people thought they were a boy band that didn’t play any instruments, but in reality, they just harnessed the mall punk sound.

“Out of my Limit” (Pop Punk – 2012)

Then they switched to making music that fits with literally any Netflix Original drama series about sex or murder conspiracies.

“Youngblood” (Alt Pop – 2018)

9. SUGAR RAY

Did you know Sugar Ray was originally a punk band? That sentence just sounds weird.

“Mean Machine” (Punk – 1995)

After their debut album failed to produce a hit, the band released their record Floored in 1997, which for the most part, stuck to their nu-metal/punk sound…except for this song which ended up changing everything.

“Fly” (Reggae Pop – 1997)

10. MACHINE GUN KELLY

Saving the best for last. Honestly, MGK was the artist that sparked the idea for this article. I’m from Cleveland, so I’ve been familiar with him for a long time. I wasn’t a GIANT fan or anything, but was happy to see success for a local musician.

“Wild Boy” (2012 – Rap)

Then, holy fuck, he dropped his 2020 album Tickets To My Downfall and made pop-punk “cool” again. A lot of people say he’s fake or his music isn’t really pop-punk, but you can’t deny that he’s brought an incredible amount of attention to the alternative music scene…and his bank account.

“Bloody Valentine” (Nu-Punk/Pop Punk – 2020)

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