Although grunge came of age at the beginning of the 1990s, the rock subculture actually had its roots in the mid 1980s in Seattle, as an underground rock music style that mixed punk and heavy metal. It broke worldwide thanks largely to Nirvana, and flared briefly before burning out in the middle of the 1990s, but remains an iconic chapter in rock history.
The early grunge movement coalesced around Seattle independent record label Sub Pop in the late 1980s, and began commercially releasing singles and LPs by the groups.
This movement was not actually lead by Nirvana as many have said when they released "Nevermind" in September of 1991 but actually went back to other Seattle bands like Melvins and Mudhoney. It was due in large part to Nirvana and Pearl Jam that the movement came to the forefront of mainstream success.
Grunge is generally characterized by a sludgy guitar sound that uses a high level of distortion, fuzz and feedback effects. Grunge fuses elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal.
The style and the look of the called 'grunge' did not evolve out of a conscious attempt to create an appealing fashion.
Other important bands are Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, The Melvins, Green River, Screaming Trees, Sound Garden, L7, Seven Mary 3, Bush, The vines, Hole, The Gits, Tad, Mother love Bone, Skin Yard, Mad Season, Temple of the Dog, Fastbacks, Smashing Pumpkins and 7 Year Bitch.