The dawn of the 1990s stands not only for the end of the Cold War, open borders and the advent of globalization, but also for the return of raw guitar riffs.
Grunge, riot grrrl, crossover and nu metal in the US were mirrored by Britpop in the UK, and the Hamburger Schule in Germany.
Kurt Cobain’s suicide in April 1994 meant not only the end of Nirvana, but also the hopes of "Generation X". While the likes of Pearl Jam continued to churn out hit records, the careers of other grunge bands were over - but not the struggle against the male-dominated definition of white music. The riot grrrls was a movement that aimed to radically change feminist culture, and turn traditional gender roles on their heads. In Britain, Select magazine featured Suede frontman Brett Anderson against a Union Jack and the words "Yanks go Home!" - in the very same edition that coined a term for the new batch of self-assured homegrown talent: Britpop. Meanwhile Tocotronic, Marius Müller-Westernhagen, Die Ärzte and other acts in Germany bucked the trend towards singing in English, while at the same time taking a stance against neo-Nazis following a series of attacks on asylum-seeker homes.
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