Sunday, October 17, 2004

Guide to Cool Contemporary Rock

Here is a guide to notable releases in the '00s by a selection of up-and-coming rock bands. What these groups have in common -- besides hype -- is a rejection of the evolving grunge/nu-metal/emo aesthetic of the '90s in favor of older styles from the '60s, '70s and '80s: garage, punk, new wave, and postpunk (and Southern rock in one case!). For purposes of comparison, I've also included ratings for three suddenly resurgent '80s bands: Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth and The Cure.

Exceptional, possibly great (time will tell)
Drive-By Truckers, Decoration Day
The Hives, Veni, Vidi, Vicious
Interpol, Turn On the Bright Lights
Mission of Burma, OnOffOn
The White Stripes, Elephant

Enjoyable and entertaining
The Cure, The Cure
Drive-By Truckers, Southern Rock Opera
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
The Hives, Tyrannosaurus Hives
Interpol, Antics
The New Pornographers, Electric Version
Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse
The Stills, Logic Will Break Your Heart
The Strokes, Is This It
The Strokes, Room on Fire
The White Stripes, White Blood Cells
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell

Forgettable or annoying
Hot Hot Heat, Make Up the Breakdown
The Rapture, Echoes
Spoon, Kill the Moonlight
Stellastarr*, Stellastarr*
The Vines, Highly Evolved

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