This American hardcore punk band from Washington D.C. are one of the pioneers of the hardcore punk music genre and deserve much more credit than just being a band. Having been formed in the 1980’s, they have influenced numerous bands and continue to kick ass more than any other band of their time. This band comprised of Ian Mackaye, Lyle Preslar, Brian Baker, Jeff Nelson and Steve Hansgen, they have laid the groundwork for so many artists.
Apart of the emerging New York hardcore scene at the time, they lead the way so that more bands in the hardcore scene could emerge. It was their song “Straight Edge” that became the eventually basis of the straight edge movement. They established that DIY (Do it Yourself) ethic for concert promotion and having put themselves in the scene. Even though they disbanded three years later they have left a mark upon the music scene. They are iconic to say the least.
Recommended Listening: “Think Again”
This band is legendary as they are mysterious. This post-hardcore band was formed in Washington D.C in 1987. The band consisted of Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto, Joe Lally and Brendan Canty. Fugazi are known for being DIY and contempt towards how the music industry works.
They have been on hiatus since 2003 but they have been so influential, gone on worldwide tours, and continue to get critical acclaim that it’s hard not to put them on this list. A lot of people look over Fugazi’s accomplishments but it’s due to what they have done and who they have influenced that makes them absolutely amazing. In 2014, Fugazi released their First Demo with fourteen tracks and it’s their first album since 2001. Here’s hoping they come back.
Recommended Listening: “Do you Like Me”
Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers are a famous rock band hailing from Blackwood in Wales. It consists of James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore. They got their start in 1986 and since then have gone on to produce numerous hits and amazing albums such as “The Holy Bible”.
However the mystery of the disappearance of Richey Edwards still continue to baffle fans. Richey Edwards disappeared from the band one morning in 1995 when they were supposed to go on tour, since then the band has never replaced Richey and continues to be influenced by him.
All the lyrics to their 2009 album Journal for Plague Lovers, was written by Richey Edwards. Since then Richey has been declared dead by his family (in 2008) but fans still continue to have conspiracy theories as to what happened to him. Their last album, Futurology, came out in 2014 and continues to inspire musicians and their fans around the world.
Recommended Listening: “The Masses Against the Classes”
The Ocean Blue
The Ocean Blue were an indie pop band from Hershey Pennsylvania. They formed in 1986 and they originally consisted of David Schelzel, Steve Lau, Bobby Mittan and Rob Minnig. Both Steve and Rob have left and have been replaced by Oed Ronne, Peter Anderson.
Their sound is described as “Jangly guitar-based modern rock” and they are known for their covers of New Order and The Smiths during their encores. They have been recently touring across the States and releasing new material.
Most recently, they have released Ultramarine and Waterworks in 2013 and in 2014 under Korda Records with tracks “Sad Night, Where is the Morning?” being the lead single from Ultramarine. Their influences include The Smiths, R.E.M, Echo & The Bunnymen, amongst many others. This band continues to be underappreciated yet be one of the hidden gems in music.
Recommended Listening: “Sublime”
Mudhoney is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington. They formed in the year of 1988 and continue to be a band to this day. They have influenced many of the bands during the Grunge era (including Nirvana) and continue to release music under Sub Pop (label).
This band consists of Mark Arm, Steve Turner, Guy Maddison and Dan Peters. The original bassist, Matt Lukin left the band in 1999. They have released nine studio albums and continue to be overlooked in the rock music industry, even though their influence is significant to the Grunge scene. Their most recent album came out in 2013 called Vanishing Point and they have opened up for Pearl Jam during their 20th Anniversary Tour.
Recommended Listening: “Suck You Dry”
Tears for Fears
This band hails from Somerset, England and was founded in 1981 by Roland Orzabel and Curt Smith. They were initially associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early 1980’s but later branched out into mainstream rock.
They are well known for their singles “Shout” and “Everybody wants to Rule the World” coming from their second album, which became a platinum selling album, Songs from the Big Chair (1985). They have gone on to win multiple awards and continue to tour to this day. They recently played North America in 2015, and will start playing the United Kingdom in 2016. A new album is in the works as well.
Recommended Listening: “Sowing the Seeds of Love”
Soundgarden are synonymous with Seattle, Washington and grunge music. It’s where this band was formed. In 1984, Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Hiro Yamamoto and Matt Cameron became Soundgarden. When Yamamoto left in 1990, it was Ben Shepherd that came in and became the permanent replacement later member of the band.
Soundgarden are known as one of the forefathers bands in the creation of grunge but the band did not receive success until the early 1990’s when the grunge boom out of Seattle happened. Soundgarden’s biggest success was in 1994 with the album Superunknown that had the hit singles “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman”.
In 1997, this band went on hiatus and finally came back in 2010 with their album being released in 2012 Animal Kingdom. They are currently working on new material and are in the studio. Their legacy continues and as of 2012, have sold more than 22 million records worldwide. Here’s hoping for some new stuff from Soundgarden soon.
Recommended Listening: “Burden In My Hand”
This band is known for that classic song, “Fade Into You”. The last full lineup of this band before they announced another hiatus consisted of Hope Sandoval, David Roback, Suki Ewers, Keith Mitchell, Colm Ó Cíosóig, Josh Yenne.
They hail generally from California and from the region of Santa Monica. Initially this American band was formed in 1989 from the group Opal and hit it big with “Fade Into You”. Roback is known as the composer of the majority of the band’s material while Sandoval is known as the lyricist.
They most recently were touring and playing shows in 2012, playing some major festivals and they haven’t played anywhere since 2000. Their most recent studio album, Seasons of Your Day was released in 2013. However in December of 2014, the band posted a clip of a previous unreleased track on their official Facebook account. Here’s hoping to a comeback.
Recommended Listening: “Fade Into You”
The Pixies are one of those bands that people seem to dismiss from this list. But they have influenced bands such as Nirvana, Radiohead, The Stokes, Blur and Weezer, among others.
This alternative band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986. Currently consisting of Black Francis, Joey Santiago, David Lovering and Paz Lenchantin. Former bassist, Kim Deal left the band in 2013 to continue on solo work. The group disbanded back in 1993 and formed back in 2004 after a long hiatus, and not a moment too soon.
They released their latest album in 2014, Indie Cindy, having released their last studio album in 1991. It was due to Steve Albini’s work on The Pixies’ first album that inspired Nirvana, and especially Kurt Cobain, to work with Steve who later produced Nirvana’s 1993 In Utero at the request of Kurt. Due to The Pixies’ lyrics and their influences, this band deserves much more credit than what they receive.
Recommended Listening: “Velouria”
Massive Attack is a legendary band from Bristol, England that formed during the year of 1988. Known as a Trip Hop band and consisting of Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall and former member Andy Vowles. Although everyone knows this band due to their massive single “Teardrop”, which was the opening theme song to a little show called House M.D., which propelled the band even further.
“Teardrop” came from their 1998 album, Mezzaine, and catapulted them into being rock stars. Even though the band has been through hardships including drug offences for Robert leading him not to be able to fly, the band still remained successful.
They have released five studio albums, five EP’s and numerous singles. Their most recent work, an EP that was released January of this year called Ritual Spirit and it is their first piece of work in over six years. Not only are they talented as hell but the complexity of every song takes you beyond the song itself.
Recommended Listening: “Teardrop” and “Ritual Spirit”.
Violent Femmes are back. What, they are? Yes, they are and finally. Remember “Blister In the Sun”? Violent Femmes started out back in 1980 and are an American alternative rock band from Milwaukee Wisconsin. The current lineup consists of Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie. They have had numerous drummers but Victor DeLorenzo is the drummer that has been in and out of the band since the beginning. Following by drummers Guy Hoffman and Brian Viglione.
The Violent Femmes have released eight studio albums with the ninth one, We Can Do Anything, being released in the spring of this year (March 4, 2016). They are one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the 1980’s and have sold over 9 million albums as of 2005. Yet a lot of people do not know this band and don’t even know the name of the band but they do know that one song. Violent Femmes are one of the most underrated bands due to that reason and have talent beyond just “Blister In The Sun”.
Recommended Listening: “American Music”
Depeche Mode are an English band from Essex. Formed in 1980 and currently consisting of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher. Their former band mate, Vince Clarke, left soon after starting the band in 1982 and Alan Wilder was added.
In 1995, Wilder left the band to pursue other endeavors, including side projects. Even though the band has gone through some serious demons, this includes Gahan’s near-fatal drug abuse, Gore’s alcoholism and seizures and Fletcher’s depression, the band managed to stay together.
Since their debut album, Speak and Spell to their most current record Delta Machine that came out in 2013, Depeche Mode has been unstoppable. With tracks such as “People are People”, “Personal Jesus”, “Barrel of a Gun”, “Precious” among many others, Depeche Mode have been simply amazing. They are one of the most popular and famous electronic bands and also are ranked as on of the greatest artists of all time. They continue to rock and tour around the world.
Recommended Listening: “Personal Jesus”
Goo Goo Dolls
If you have watched the movie “City of Angels” with Nicholas Cage or have gone to a wedding recently, you may have heard this song. Yes that song being “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls.
This American rock band was formed in 1986 and comes from Buffalo, New York, just across the border. They are currently consisting of John Rzeznik and Robby Takac, in addition to touring musicians to fill in for their former band member Mike Malinin who left in 2013.
Even though they are known for their albums Dizzy Up Girl and Gutterflower they continue to tour and produce music. John also has worked upon the Disney movie, Treasure Planet. Their next album is coming out this year and is called Boxes. It is being released on May 6, 2016.
Recommended Listening: “Iris”
You can say what you want about Gwen Stefani, but you can’t deny that No Doubt is influential to the music industry and their fans. Forming back in 1986 and from the sunny city of Anaheim, California, No Doubt will always be something that is different.
Consisting of the main members, Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young, plus numerous other members in and out during the starting of the band, No Doubt continues to be a force to be reckoned with.
With albums such as Tragic Kingdom, Return of Saturn and Rock Steady this band should continue to be kick ass. However continue hiatuses have plagued this band, but they are back and touring, here’s hoping for a tour north of the boarder.
Recommended Listening: “Spiderwebs” and “Don’t Speak”
Remember “Zombie”? This legendary Irish rock band hails from Limerick and was formed in 1989. The band consists of Dolores O’Riordan, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan, and Fergal Lawler. Even though they are labeled under Alternative rock, they are also associated with Indie, Post-punk, Irish folk and Pop Rock elements in their music.
The Cranberries rose to international fame in the early 90’s due to their first two albums. To date this band has sold more than forty million albums worldwide and have had eight top 20 singles on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. This band went on hiatus for six years and came back in 2010. The released their most recent album, Roses, was released in 2012. They still continue to tour to this date.
Recommended Listening: “Linger”