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New wave of new wave
Stylistic origins New Wave
Punk rock
Mod revival
Cultural origins early 1990s, United Kingdom
Typical instruments Guitar - Bass - drums - Keyboards
Mainstream popularity mid 1990s, United Kingdom
Derivative forms Post-punk revival
Regional scenes
England - Scotland - Wales - Ireland
Other topics
Timeline of alternative rock

The New Wave of New Wave (NWONW) was a term coined by music journalists to describe a sub-genre of the British alternative rock scene in the early 90s, in which bands displayed punk, post-punk and new wave influences, particlularly from bands such as The Clash, Blondie, Wire, and The Stranglers.[1] The band generally played guitar-based rock music. The movement was short lived and several of the bands involved were later linked with the more commercially successful Britpop, which it immediately preceded, and the NWONW was described by John Harris of The Guardian as "Britpop without the good bits".[2] The NME played a major part in promoting and covering the genre, and promoted the On event, which featured many of the bands they had labelled NWONW.[3]

Record label Fierce Panda's first release, Shagging in the Streets, was a tribute to the scene, featuring S*M*A*S*H, Done Lying Down, These Animal Men, and others. Associated bands have included Elastica,[1] S*M*A*S*H,[4][1] Menswear,[5] Sleeper, Echobelly, Shed Seven,[4] These Animal Men,[4][6] and Compulsion.[3]

Robert Christgau identified the mid-1990s NWONW movement as the peak of a new wave revival that has continued on and off since, stating "1994 was the top of a curve we can't be certain we've reached the bottom of".[7]


  1. ^ a b c Childs, Peter & Storry, Mike (1999) Encyclopaedia of Contemporary British Culture, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415147262, p. 365
  2. ^ Harris, John (2006) "The new wave of old rubbish", The Guardian, 13 October 2006
  3. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2006) The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Oxford University Press
  4. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 965
  5. ^ Wolk, Douglas (1995) "Menswear - Nuisance, London", CMJ New Music Monthly, December 1995
  6. ^ Vazquez, Michael (1995) "These Animal men - (Come On, Join) The High Society Review", CMJ New Music Monthly, May 1995
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (1996) "How to Beat the Law of Averages", from Details, 1996


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