The musical and lyrical features of the punk rock, reflected in songs such as “Anarchy in the U.K.” by the Sex Pistols and “White Riot” by the Clash, distinguish this genre from the popular music of the period.
Therefore, the essential features of the punk musical aesthetics contribute to an understanding of the difference between the punk rock and the other popular rock music styles of the time such as the style of the Beatles. Significantly, “Anarchy in the U.K.,” the first single of the Sex Pistols, as well as “White Riot,” the first single of the Clash, divulges the crucial musical and lyrical features of the punk which, in turn, illustrate the distinction of the punk music to the popular music of the day. One notices the quality of fast and bare organization of music in them which reflects the style of the garage rock of the 1960s. The relatively shorter songs of “Anarchy in the U.K.” as well as “White Riot,” accompanied by stripped-down instrumentation also indicate the musical elements in the punk rock. These features set the punk rock bands apart from the popular music of the time and the decisive result of this music was undeniably far-reaching. As Frith and Horne suggest, “Punk rock was the ultimate art school music movement. It brought to a head fifteen years of questions about creativity in a mass medium, and tried to keep in play bohemian ideals of authenticity and Pop art ideals of artifice… It ushered popular music into postmodernism.” (Frith and Horne, 124) The short but passionate song of the “White Riot,” along with quality of its lyrics, which deals with the controversial issues of class and race, illustrates the musical aesthetics of the punk rock in common. The effect of these musical bands, unlike that of the other popular bands such as the Beatles, was visible in the cultural milieu of period.
Focusing on the musical elements in the punk rock music, it is illumining to