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1990s rock music is characterized by the emergence of several sub-genres, including grunge, alternative rock, Britpop, and post-grunge. Grunge music, which originated in Seattle, Washington, is often associated with heavy, distorted guitars, and angst-filled lyrics that speak to a sense of disillusionment with mainstream society. Alternative rock bands often explored more experimental sounds and incorporated elements of punk, metal, and folk into their music. Britpop, which emerged from the UK, is characterized by its melodic, guitar-driven sound and its nostalgic, romanticized themes.
Post-grunge, which emerged in the mid-1990s, combined the heavy, distorted guitars of grunge with a more accessible, radio-friendly sound. Many post-grunge bands also incorporated elements of alternative rock and hard rock into their music. Overall, 1990s rock music was marked by its diversity, experimentation, and the incorporation of a wide range of influences, from punk and metal to folk and pop.