Top Ten Modern Rock Bands!

This is my personal opinion on which 10 bands are currently the best ones out there. This list was tough to make due to the fact that it needs to include bands that are not too old to be considered “modern”, even if they still make music; I had to exclude bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2,  Primus, REM, etc. I also excluded bands that are recent but no longer create music, such as Audioslave, Nirvana, Oasis, RATM, etc.

This list will change in some days, months, or years, because everyday I discover new music. But even though I’m a bit of a music geek, the number of bands to listen to nowadays is huge, there are too many choices and not enough time, but if you have any suggestions, go ahead! I’m always open to new musicians, new bands, new sounds, new genres, because I love discovering music, but preferably good music!

Honourable mentions : 311, Weezer, Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, Lenny Kravitz, Incubus, System Of A Down, Korn, Coldplay, Paramore, Rise Against, Bloc Party, The Offspring, Blink-182, Green Day, Soundgarden, The xx, The Black Keys, Jamiroquai.

Let’s start!

10. KASABIAN

Kasabian are an English rock band formed in Leicester in 1997. The band’s original members were vocalist Tom Meighan, guitarist and backing vocalist Sergio Pizzorno, and bassist Chris Edwards. The band’s line-up was completed by Jay Mehler in 2006, replacing guitarist Christopher Karloff, and drummer Ian Matthews in 2004 after a string of session drummers. Kasabian have released four studio albums – Kasabian (2004), Empire (2006), West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009), and Velociraptor! (2011).

These guys create such simple but amazing music. You won’t find any breathtaking music or any complex compositions but you will still find a unique sound created from cool guitar riffs, cool bass lines and cool drum beats, mixed with a variety of modern and futuristic effects. Kasabian isn’t too chill, or too loud, it’s perfect to listen everywhere, any time with anybody. You won’t fall asleep with their music but you also won’t feel like your head is exploding. Their sound is very easy to appreciate even though it isn’t anywhere close to pop or club songs, but close to one of the most modern rock sounds nowadays. Plus, they kick-ass live.

Must-listen to songs : Underdog, Vlad The Impaler, Shoot The Runner, Club Foot, Fire, Processed Beats, Days Are Forgotten, Where Did All The Love Go?

9.THE KILLERS

The Killers are an American rock band that was formed in 2001, by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards) and Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums, percussion) would complete the current line-up of the band in 2002. The group has released three studio albums, Hot Fuss (2004), Sam’s Town (2006) and Day & Age (2008) with a fourth titled Battle Born, set to be released in late 2012. They have also released one compilation album, Sawdust (2007) and one live album and DVD titled Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009). To date, the band has sold over 6 million albums in the United States, over 5 million albums in the United Kingdom, and over 15 million worldwide.

Who doesn’t love The Killers? They definitely are one of the best bands out there. Every single of their songs is fun to listen to and I believe this is due to their pop but still rock-focused sound. Listening to them fills me with joy and energy, they make me feel more alive and they’re always able to cheer me up. Brandon Flowers’ voice combined with the indie-alternative-pop rock sound gives a perfect result. Dave Keuning does a great work with the guitar. A lot of simplicity, style, modernity and pure awesomeness!

Must-listen to songs : When You Were Young, Mr Brightside, For Reasons Unknown, Spaceman, Human, Read My Mind, Shadowplay(a great Joy Division cover)

8.KINGS OF LEON

Kings of Leon are an American rock band that originate in Talihina, Oklahoma but formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999. The band is composed of brothers Anthony Caleb Followill (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ivan Nathan Followill (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Michael Jared Followill (bass guitar, backing vocals), with their cousin Cameron Matthew Followill ( lead guitar, backing vocals). Kings of Leon achieved initial success in the United Kingdom with a total of nine Top 40 singles, two BRIT Awards in 2008, and all three of the band’s albums at the time peaking in the top five of the UK Albums Chart. Their third album, Because of the Times, also reached the No. 1 spot. After the release of Only by the Night in September 2008 the band achieved chart success in the United States. The band’s fifth album, Come Around Sundown, was released on October 18, 2010.

This band knows how to rock, without making too much noise. Three brothers and their cousin combine their musical talents and create astonishing southern rock, I honestly didn’t think southern rock could get this good. The Kings Of Leon mostly only use their instruments for their music with little effects; this is one of the things I love about them, the small and rarely used effects, compared to most bands of today, create a very natural rock sound. When I want to chill, be calm or clear my head, Kings Of Leon are one of my first choices. But sometimes I get lost because of the power of their music’s emotion…

Must-listen to songs : Sex On Fire, Use Somebody, Manhattan, Notion, Radioactive, Pyro, Closer, Back Down South, I Want You, Revelry

7.FOO FIGHTERS

Foo Fighters is an American alternative rock band formed in Seattle in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the death of Kurt Cobain and the resulting dissolution of his previous band. Prior to the release of the Foo Fighters’ 1995 debut album Foo Fighters, which featured Grohl as the only official member, Grohl recruited bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith, both formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate, as well as fellow Nirvana touring bandmate Pat Smear as guitarist to complete the lineup. Goldsmith quit during the recording of the group’s second album, The Colour and the Shape (1997) when most of the drum parts were re-recorded by Grohl himself. Smear’s departure followed soon afterward. They were replaced by Taylor Hawkins and Franz Stahl, respectively, although Stahl was fired before the recording of the group’s third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999).The band briefly continued as a trio until Chris Shiflett joined as the band’s lead guitarist after the completion of There Is Nothing Left to Lose. The band released its fourth album, One by One, in 2002. The group followed that release with the two-disc In Your Honor (2005), which was split between acoustic songs and heavier material. Foo Fighters released its sixth album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, in 2007. In 2010, it was confirmed that Smear had officially rejoined the band after touring with the Foo Fighters as an unofficial member between 2006 and 2009. The band’s seventh studio album, Wasting Light, was released in 2011.

The Foo Fighters are heavier than the previous bands, but I love how they still keep smooth and melodic sections in their songs hard rock songs, that’s what I call modern. The shifting between the quiet verses and the loud choruses for this band is easy and greatly succeeded. They were influenced by one of best bands, Nirvana, but they clearly developed their own awesome style. Also, there’s Dave Grohl, one of the best rock-stars out there, a true legend. His technique of making the guitar riffs sound as rhythmic as possible by assigning different drum parts to different strings on the guitar, is genius. They show a lot of dynamism when they play and their acoustic sessions are pretty good. What else can I say, their songs can get energetic and powerful, but melancholic and calm as well. I’m never tired of listening to their explosive music, I hope they keep up the good work !

Must-listen to songs : The Pretender, Everlong, Wheels, Walk, Rope, Learn To Fly, Best Of You, Big Me, These Days

6.THE STROKES

The Strokes are an American garage rock, post-punk, indie rockband from New York, formed in 1998, consisting of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar, backing vocals), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar, backing vocals), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums and percussion). Upon the release of their debut album Is This It in 2001, the group met much critical acclaim. Since then, the band has maintained a large fan base all over the world, most notably in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Brazil and Australia. A number of members have embarked on a variety of side projects, although a fourth album, entitled Angles, was released on March 22, 2011. They are one of the most prominent indie-rock bands to hail from the US at the dawn of the 21st century and helped start the garage rock revival movement.

When I hear the words “indie rock”, The Strokes are one of the first bands that pop out in my head.They, and especially Julian Casablancas, are very talented and they are one of my favourite bands. Julian Casablancas’ voice suits the their style perfectly. The two combined guitars create a sense of completeness to their music, it’s amazing how the guitarists trade their places as lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist, the solos are great! The bass lines are never boring, Nikolai Fraiture is very distinctive. Finally, the drum beats are very accurate and admirative. They altogether create a sound that I could observe and listen to for hours. They’re downright cool.

Must-listen to songs : Last Night, Reptillia, Jukebox, Taken For A Fool, Someday, Is This It, Under Cover Of Darkness, Automatic Stop, You Only Live Once

5.ARCTIC MONKEYS

Arctic Monkeys are an English indie rock band. Formed in 2002 in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield, the band currently consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, lead/rhythm guitar), Jamie Cook (rhythm/lead guitar), Nick O’Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Matt Helders (drums, backing vocals). Former members include Andy Nicholson (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Glyn Jones (lead vocals, rhythm guitar). The band have released four studio albums: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006), Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007), Humbug (2009) and Suck It and See (2011), as well as one live album At the Apollo (2008). The band’s debut album became the fastest-selling debut album in British music history, surpassing Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, and still holds that title.

This list can’t exclude The Arctic Monkeys! They are mostly influenced by indie rock and over the years they have musically expanded and their sound has altered with each album, creating a style that is difficult to describe, a style that I love. It’s fun to listen to Alex Turner’s intricate and often fastly-delivered lyrics, it’s even better to listen to Matt Helders’ rapid and explosive drum beats, but the best is to listen to the raw and crunchy riffs. The result is an aggressive and uptempo sound that I would enjoy listening to everytime I’m in action(rarely). I love the guitar riffs and never get tired of playing them on my guitar, they’re pure ear pleasure, simple and cool. They’re still young and I’m impatient to see how their next songs and how they will develop(which they will surely do). ps. I’m not a big fan of psychedelic rock, but they’re pretty good at it.

Must-listen to songs : Fluorescent Adolescent, Teddy Picker, Fake Tales Of San Fransico, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, When The Sun Goes Down, Crying Lightning, Brianstorm, R U Mine

4.QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

Queens of the Stone Age is an American rock band from Palm Desert, California, United States, formed in 1997. The band’s line-up includes founding member Josh Homme (lead vocals, guitar), alongside longtime members Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, backing vocals), Joey Castillo (drums, percussion), and Michael Shuman (bass guitar, backing vocals), who were joined by Dean Fertita (keyboards, guitar, lap steel) in 2007. The band have released five studio albums : Queens of the Stone Age (1998), Rated R (2000), Songs for the Deaf (2002), Lullabies to Paralyze (2005) and Era Vulgaris (2007). Formed after the dissolution of Homme’s previous band, Kyuss,Queens of the Stone Age developed a style of riff-oriented, heavy rock music.

The Queens Of The Stone Age have to be my favourite modern hard rock group. But it isn’t just hard rock, there’s alternative rock, art rock, desert rock, psychedelic rock and more. Each of their songs are different, but most of them have that unique and amazing distorted guitar sound, a secret formula that the members refuse to give out. Josh Homme, a.k.a. the Ginger Elvis, is a genius and a talented musician, he can rock n roll so easily and his, often melodic, voice suits perfectly the band’s style. I love the solid, repetitive and robot-like guitar riffs and the precise and tight drum beats. They mostly play classic head-bangin’ and loud rock, but then they play those chill songs to listen to in a field under the sun.. One good memory I have with the Queens Of The Stone Age : when I was listening to them non stop while killing zombies in Call of Duty, the game got a lot more enjoyable!I haven’t seen them play live, and I really need too, I can’t imagine how awesome it has to be.

Must-listen to songs : 3’s and 7’s, Little Sister, No One Knows, Go With The Flow, Sick Sick Sick, Go With The Flow, Into The Hollow, If Only, Make It Wit Chu

3.BIFFY CLYRO

Biffy Clyro are a Scottish rock band that formed in 1995, in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshirecomprising Simon Neil (guitar, lead vocals), James Johnston (bass, vocals) and Ben Johnston (drums, vocals). Currently signed to 14th Floor Records, they have released five studio albums, two of which, Puzzle (2007) and Only Revolutions (2009) reached the top five in the UK Album Charts. After their first three albums, the band expanded their following significantly with the release of their fourth, Puzzle in 2007 creating more mainstream songs with simpler rhythms and distancing themselves from their more unusual dissonant style that was present in the previous three albums : Blackened Sky (2002), The Vertigo Of Bliss (2003), Infinity Land (2004).

We’re now at the top 3 modern rock bands, and yes, though Biffy Clyro aren’t YET that big, they still deserve the third place. Simon Neil and the Johnstons form an amazing trio and create beautiful and addicting music. It’s cool how the three of them dance/headbang to their songs, how they rock out on their instruments, how they unite their voices and sing together (each one at different parts of a song or althogether), how they perform shirtless to show their rock n roll spirit… Their style went from aggressive to something more mellow, a lot of people dislike that but not I. I love Biffy Clyro’s old stuff, but the new stuff is even better, sure, it’s more mainstream music, but it’s still “different” mainstream, it’s their old style evolved to a new awesome and more unique style, and it’s one of the reasons they got more famous. To me, Biffy Clyro is like a mixture of Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age, in other words, perfect. I just saw them in Rock A Field 2012 and even though it was raining the whole time, I enjoyed every second of their performance. They are really kind, Simon Neil said they would come back in Luxembourg (when it’s not raining).Mon’ the Biffy!

Must-listen to songs : Mountains, That Golden Rule, Many Of Horror, Machines, God And Satan, Bubbles, The Captain, Living Is A Problem, Who’s Got A Match?, Born On A Horse, Booooom Blast & Ruin, Glitter And Trauma, 57, A Whole Child Ago, Questions And Answers, Eradicate The Doubt, Could Of Stink, Whorses, Liberate The Illiberate, Justboy

2.RADIOHEAD

Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums, percussion) and Ed O’Brien (guitar, backing vocals). Radiohead released their debut single “Creep” in 1992. The song was initially unsuccessful, but it became a worldwide hit several months after the release of their debut album, Pablo Honey (1993). Radiohead’s popularity rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). Radiohead’s third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled them to greater international fame. Featuring an expansive sound and themes of modern alienation, OK Computer is often acclaimed as one of the landmark records of the 1990s. Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) marked an evolution in Radiohead’s musical style, as the group incorporated experimental electronic music, Krautrock and jazz influences. Kid A, though somewhat polarizing at the time of its release, is now frequently recognized as one of the most important albums of the 2000s. Hail to the Thief (2003), a mix of piano and guitar driven rock, electronics and lyrics inspired by war, was the band’s final album for their major record label, EMI. Radiohead self-released their seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), as a digital download for which customers could set their own price, and later in physical form to critical and chart success. Radiohead’s eighth album, The King of Limbs (2011), was an exploration of rhythm and quieter textures, which the band released independently.

Number 2 : Radiohead, one of the most talented bands in rock history. These five multi-instrumentalists don’t care what instrument they play, all they care about is to unite all their musical knowledge and power and create masterpieces and works of art. They also don’t care about money, fame or pride, all they care about is the beauty of music. I can get completely lost in their mind-blowing songs whilst listening to them or playing them on my guitar… Their style is truly unique and combines elements from classic music, jazz, alternative rock, electronica, ambient music and experimental rock. Not only they’re one of the best modern rock bands, but also one of the most modern of them, their modernity is clearly outstanding. Thom Yorke’s singing is beautiful and emotional, his guitar and piano playing is simple but good enough, Jonny Greenwood’s multi-instrumentalism is amazing and valuable, his guitar playing can go from clear and soft arpeggios to raw, aggressive and distorted solos. Colin Greenwood’s presence is insignificant but his performance is essential and always heard, Phil Selway’s drumming can go from repetitive to complex and is always 100% precise and solid, Ed O’Brien’s backing vocals and guitar playing give to the band a sense of completeness and perfectness. Their songs sound beautiful, whether they’re simple or complex, calm or loud, acoustic or electronic, relaxing or energetic, raw or processed… I love them because they are different, they’re hard to like, but once you like them, there is no escape.

Must-listen to songs : Paranoid Android, Karma Police, 15 Step, Kid A, Everything In It’s Right Place, Lotus Flower, Idioteque, High And Dry, Codey, 2+2=5, There There, Separator, Jigsaw Falling Into Place, Street Spirit, Go To Sleep, Just, Where I End And You Begin, All I Need, Reckoner, Bodysnatchers, Wolf At The Door, Pyramid Song, No Surprises, Let Down, Fake Plastic Trees

1.MUSE

Muse are an English rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The band consists of school friends Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals, lead guitar, piano, keyboards, keytar), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass, vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica) and Dominic Howard (drums, percussion, synthesisers, sampling, harmtar). After the release of their 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations, keyboardist and percussionist Morgan Nicholls has performed live with the band. Muse are known for their energetic and extravagant live performances  and their fusion of many music genres, including space rock, progressive rock, alternative rock, heavy metal, classical music and electronica. Muse have released five studio albums: Showbiz (1999), Origin of Symmetry (2001), Absolution (2003), Black Holes and Revelations (2006), and The Resistance (2009). They have also issued three live albums, Hullabaloo Soundtrack (2002), which is also a compilation of B-sides, Absolution Tour (2005), and HAARP (2008), which documents the band’s performance at Wembley Stadium in 2007. A sixth studio album entitled The 2nd Lawis set for release in September 2012.

It was hard for me to decide whether Muse or Radiohead would get the first place on this list but finally, here we are, number 1 modern rock band : MUSE.

I have been listening to Muse for a long time, I have played nearly every one of their songs, and I still haven’t had enough of them. They are one of the biggest bands nowadays. Their style is one of the most interesting styles ever, they can play anything and still sound awesome. They mix space rock with progressive rock, alternative rock with heavy metal, symphonic rock with hard rock, and even classical music with electronica. They are different enough to rock out with classical music which they transform to distorted guitar riffs, rapid bass lines and drum beats. Then, there’s the fact that there’s only three of them, three men that produce a sound equal to the sound of 10 musicians. The highlight : Matthew Bellamy, he is a musical genius, he can play guitar like a guitar hero or play piano like a piano prodigy and still sing like a god, his riffs and his solos are unique, not always technical, but always different, always full of emotion. I love the depth and weight of Chris Wolstenholme’s bass lines, and the power of Dom Howard’s drumming. They have talent and they always use it to experiment and create new sounds that define modern rock. Then, they unleash those sounds in an outstanding, “energetic and extravagant” form during their live performances. It’s amazing how they can sound and perform better in their live shows than in their studio versions. They are three extraordinary modern musicians and they give life to the band that future parents will advise to their children as the 21st century’s best rock band.

Must-listen to songs : All of them, including the B-sides!

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29 thoughts on “Top Ten Modern Rock Bands!

  1. i don’t know about the bands in 3rd and 4th position. i think this is the best modern rock band list. but im not a fan of the Arctic monkeys. and otherwise this list is good. and i listened to a lot of linkin park thinking that they’re the only rock band.

  2. Nice list, only real rock list upon the 10 first google gave me
    No linkin park shit
    I would put the black keys the 10 tho

  3. Avenged sevenfold and three days grace plzzz….
    Linkin park fans ur embarrassing urselves… They were kickass back in the day but nw dey are making some weird music…

  4. if your going to include Radiohead and Foo Fighters then the RHCP should be considered as modern. Their best album was in 2006.

    And i cannot understand anyone excluding The White Stripes? Is it because they broke up? Becuase to me they are the most influential rock band we’ve seen since Nirvana.

    Beside TWS, I like most of the list. but i would also drop kasabian and biffy clyro to add one of these…
    Modest Mouse
    Interpol
    Coldplay
    Arcade Fire
    or The Black Keys

  5. Gotta say that this is overall pretty good list although I disagree on some. Queens of the Stone Age is my favourite. I’m happy that on the list aren’t “rock” bands like Linkin Park, Green Day etc.

  6. This is the Worst ranking ever. The real ranking :
    1. Linkin Park
    2. Bullet For My Valentine
    3. Green Day

  7. How on earth could you possibly put Muse ahead of Radiohead? I do not understand. Completely agreed with this list up until then. Also what do you think of the black keys?

  8. Green Day? they kind of plod – albeit melodically – with rather simplistic offerings compared to the rest of this cracking list – while having cultivated an image and a following that is more brash and rocky. In a sense, Muse are the new Rush! (If you haven’t heard Rush’s R30, its a 3-man how-do-they-do-it feast that will draw you in..). I hoped after hearing their track “Shatter”, that the band Feeder would produce more offerings that could steer them into this kind of list but most of their better work is too tame & lyrical.

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