This is a scatterplot I created listing 200 of the most popular rock bands today across multiple sub-genres and a visual representation of their relation to each other based on two qualitative variables: complexity and texture.
On the chart above, I mapped complexity on the x-axis, and texture on the y-axis. I ignored very extreme bands on both ends as I don’t believe they could represent “popular” rock music, and instead included the most extreme examples of what I would consider to be in the popular music sphere.
Complexity: Ranging from the “Simple” extreme (you’d just about fall asleep learning to play this on any instrument) to the “Complex” extreme (your brain would all but explode analyzing this song)
Texture: Ranging from the “Mellow” extreme (the softest, most peaceful tunes that could still be considered rock) to the “Heavy” extreme (thick, raw, metal layered with screaming vocals)
Let me know in the comments below if you want me to add some more of your favorite bands, or just if you think I grossly misrated somebody; more updates are coming!