The 40 Best Grunge Bands Ever

The first thing I considered in compiling a list of the best "grunge" bands, is what who do I consider to be "grunge" bands? Grunge is a sub genre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song dynamics and apathetic or angst-filled lyrics. Some of these might not fit the label completely, but I consider them all close enough to count as "grunge."

Second, I think outside of the top ten or so, you could shuffle some of these bands around a little in the ranking, at it wouldn't change much. Anyway, enjoy, and let me know what you think. Follow the links to see the bands perform on Youtube.

40. Seven Mary 3
39. Veruca Salt: Really grunge? Sort of.
38. Hole: Courtney Love…
37. Babes in Toyland
36. Willard
35. Truly
34. Blood Circus
33. The U-Men
32. The Fluid
31. Hammerbox
30. Paw (Read a review of the bad here)
29. Mono Men
28. Mother Love Bone
27. Skin Yard
26. Cat Butt: Best grunge name?
25. Gruntruck
24. The Nymphs
23. The Gits
22. 7 Year Bitch
21. Tad: Had more of a 1970s metal influence, compared to most grunge band's punk influence.
20. L7: Girl Rock.
19. Seaweed
18. My Sister's Machine
17. Love Battery
16. Malfunkshun
15. Fastbacks: Around before "grunge," sort of played big brother upcoming grunge bands.
14. Temple Of The Dog: Had members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, before they made it.
13. Mad Season: Had members of Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and Screaming Trees, before they made it.
12. Bush: A pretty derivative band, but you have to admit you love some of their songs from the 90’s.
11. Green River: These guys were "progenitors" of the scene.
10. The Melvins: They were a strong influence on the grunge scene, especially Nirvana, Soundgarden, Green River, and many other bands from Seattle.
09. Afghan Whigs
08. Dinosaur Jr. Their distinct sound is characterized by high gain, extensive use of feedback and distortion, and melodic guitar solos. They reunited in 2005.
07. Screaming TreesAnother godfather of grunge, they released 7 albums, before their official breakup in 2000.
06. Mudhoney: One of the founders of grunge, they helped inspire Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.
05. Stone Temple Pilots: Grunge imitators, or grunge inspired?
04. Alice in Chains: Some consider them to be more heavy metal, but I just consider them awesome.
03. Soundgarden: Chris Cornell, need I say more?
02. Pearl Jam: What does Pearl Jam mean? Well the bassist Ament proposed the name, "pearl", and they later settled on "Pearl Jam" after attending a concert by Neil Young, in which he extended his songs as improvisations of 15–20 minutes in length, a practice known as jamming.
01. Nirvana: An amazing band cut short, after the untimely death of Kurt Cobain.

Sources: 1 2 3 4


  1. amazing taste. long live grunge. you should have added Faith No More...amazing mix of funk and metal..and kinda grungy..or maybe its in there and i missed it. :D

  2. Smashing pumpkins?

  3. Missing Smashing pumpkins and candlebox

  4. Good list Nirvana definitely is #1

  5. In case anyone takes the descriptions after the bands name serious, Mad Season was formed as side project after the bands were mainstream. Not before.