Blister Pop: a bad name for a great genre

Over on the Rhapsody Editorial Music Blog, Justin Farrar coins a phrase to describe a particular strain of 80s punk: Blister Pop, a style that “fell in the cracks between post-punk, hardcore, power pop and Attractions-style pub rock.” This style thrived in the American Midwest, where punks still listened to Cheap Trick and the Who.

In the Midwest — pre-Internet, that is — there was no sealing yourself off from mainstream culture. There was no Lower East Side-type hipster bubble to hide inside, and so alterna-types in the middle of the country tended to mix everything together into one big stew. This is how you get Husker Du, a group that found a way to fuse insanely thrashy hardcore and 1960s-inspired pop.

The embedded playlist kicks off with our beloved Sinatras, which is what got our attention, and includes other “Blister Pop” songs by groups from all over the States including the Mice, Mission of Burma, Husker Du, the Embarrassment (whose album gave the genre its name), the Feelies, and lots more. Check it out. And if you can think of better name for this than “Blister Pop” share it in the comments.

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