Retro to Relevant: Dad Rock’s New Era Here for Father’s Day

Almost Father’s Day, and how better to commemorate than to play the perfect dad rock mix to your kids’s dismay on your next road trip?

Made recently by Regtransfers, the private number plate company, the nostalgic yet modern Spotify mix “Ultimate Dad Rock Driving Playlist for Father’s Day” could surprise a lot of people. Before we get into the new music that will surprise younger Dads, let’s define “Dad Rock”.

Older generations—especially fathers—have traditionally referred to music they like as “dad rock”. Usually including guitars, actual drumming, and a basic rock vibe, it is traditional rock music.

Usually criticising the music of the one before it, every generation finds their own likes to be the next “dad rock.” Previously thought of as edgy and provocative, one finds appreciation in what was.

Choosing “dad rock” as a badge of distinction, many fathers—including even grandfathers—indicate songs with timeless appeal. Dad rock CD and playlist popularity reveals a rising respect of this musical genre.

But a new generation of “Dad Rock” will accompany a new age of Dads, which will make some of the Dads already present feel ancient! These are some of the worst songs that now go under “Dad Rock.”

Dad Rock

Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)” can seem too modern for dad rock even if it has been around for more than 20 years. The mix contains Green Day’s “American Idiot” and Blur’s “Song 2,” which highlight dad rock classics of early 2000s.

Should you be enjoying Oasis’ “Morning Glory” or Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ “Can’t Stop,” you may be surprised to learn that these songs are now termed dad rock. Other surprising choices highlight how dad rock’s limits have stretched: “Oh My God” by Kaiser Chiefs and “Stupid Girl” from Garbage.

The dad rock hall of fame include both The Fratellis’ 2000s anthems “Chelsea Dagger” and Blink-182’s “All the Small Things”. Along with Alien Ant Farm’s “Smooth Criminal” and Sum 41’s “In Too Deep,” which highlight how early 2000s were turning moments for what is now known as dad rock,

More recently, the standards have been modified by musicians such as The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me” and the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly”. Not missed are the modern dad rock tunes “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” from Fall Out Boy and “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy),” from The Offspring.

The funny addition is “The Girl All The Bad Guys Want” from Bowling for Soup; Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a timeless classic. Linkin Park’s “Numb” demonstrates how dad rock territory has evolved from nu-metal and finishes the evening.

Originally, “dad rock” was a lighthearted joke at the music selections of older generations, particularly fathers who refused to let go of their beloved 1970s and 1980s bands. Imagine a dad in old tour t-shirts and frayed jeans telling everyone who would pay attention, “They just don’t make music like they used to.”

Early in the 2000s, online forums and music journalists who defined vintage rock songs older men still listened to helped the moniker “Dad Rock” become well-known. It was a play on the theory that, once you reach a particular age—usually around 20—your musical tastes freeze in time. The “Dad Rock” dialogue in the 2000s was dominated by musicians such The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Eagles.

Still, the meaning of the term evolved with time. Many people began to see a badge of pride from what started as a somewhat unpleasant name. Dads started to embrace the concept and brazenly don their “dad rock” medal-like title. These were, after all, the songs that characterised their early years, provided the music for their wild years, and ultimately served as a peaceful backdrop for family life.

The open nature of “Dad rock” appeals in part. It spans more than one genre or historical period. Starting with “60s and ’70s classic rock, it now incorporates “80s heavy metal, ’90s grunge, and even early 2000s punk.” Basically, if you are old enough to have children, the music you grew up with is now recognised as “dad rock.” Every generation sets new objectives for us to aim towards.

a man and two children in a car

Remember the song you used to blast over the early 2000s speakers of your Ford Fiesta? Though it seems like a recent memory, it’s really “Dad Rock,” which might make you feel a little older than you would have expected—but what if you embrace it?

The greatest part is they cannot moan for one day; why not use your driving time on Father’s Day to educate your family about what Dad listened to?

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