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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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Top Ten Alternative Rock Artists

Top+Ten+Alternative+Rock+Artists

Alternative rock is one of the most complex genres of music. Encompassing aspects of indie rock, pop-rock, punk, psychedelia, and more, its composure is unbeatable. Here, in my opinion, are the top ten alternative rock artists to date:

10: GORILLAZ

(From left to right): Noodle, 2-D, Russel, and Murdoc – Image from Flickr

Established in 1998 in London, UK, musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett created this unusual band. The Gorillaz are classified as a “virtual band,” consisting of its four fictional characters: 2-D (vocals, keyboards), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums). Each “member” has its own backstory, talents and personality, which engage fans to a further extent. This unique approach to concealing the identity of the band members makes their music incredibly special. Their music reflects components of hip-hop and electronic, utilizing strange vocals and unique sequences of chords. Since collaborating with bands like Tame Impala, they’ve reached new heights in their success.

Song Recommendations: 

  1. Feel Good Inc, 
  2. DARE
  3. On Melancholy Hill

9: BEACH HOUSE

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally met in 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland and collaborated to create Beach House. Legrand on vocals and keyboard, and Scally on guitar and keyboard, they arose to the obstacle of composing and performing intricate songs with just two people. Their work has been described as “hypnotic dream pop,” as well as psychedelic and electronic. Despite only having two members in the band, the group is able to create complex, emotional music that surpasses many expectations. With very few songs that would be considered “joyful,” Beach House focuses on exploiting the more depressing side of music.Song Recommendations: 

  1. Master of None
  2. Pink Funeral
  3. Turtle Island

8: MODEST MOUSE

Image from Wikimedia Commons

An American rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, Isaac Brock [lead singer and guitarist] and the rest of the members are based in Portland, Oregon. In 1996, they released their first official album, initiating their debut as a recognized band and shaping the sound of late 90’s indie and alternative rock. Inspired by Pavement, The Pixies, and The Talking Heads, Modest Mouse incorporates many aspects of these bands’ styles to create sweet, and somber, notes. Their music lays emphasis on light-hearted topics that are packed with meaning and significance.

Song Recommendations: 

  1. Lampshades on Fire
  2. Float On
  3. The World at Large

7: THE CURE

Robert Smith, image from Wikimedia Commons

In 1976, four brilliant musicians (including lead singer Robert Smith) met at St. Wilfrid’s Catholic secondary school in Crawley, West Sussex (England) and established Easy Cure. When one of their members left the band, Easy Cure transformed to simply, The Cure, kickstarting their journey to fame. During the late 1970s and onwards, their music was considered ingenious and innovative. Many of their most popular songs are described to have melancholic, lovesick meanings, which are accompanied by intricate melodies. Already a fan favorite among many, The Cure set new expectations for bands during the late 1900s. With few groups amounting to their ingenuity at the time, their music encouraged the emergence of more contemporary alternative rock styles. On top of that, no singular song of theirs sounds the same, creating a more interesting variation throughout their albums.

Song Recommendations: 

  1. Friday I’m in Love
  2. Charlotte Sometimes
  3. Lovesong

6: TAME IMPALA

Image from Wikimedia Commons

A group of friends from Perth, Australia began collaborating to produce psychedelic tracks at home, and eventually expanded to a public audience. In 1999, lead vocalist and guitarist, Kevin Parker, founded the band. Along with him, Dominic Simper (guitar, synthesizer), Jay Watson (synthesizer, vocals, guitar), Cam Avery (bass guitar, vocals, synthesizer), and Julien Barbagallo (drums, vocals) added to the band’s achievements. Fans often call Tame Impala’s music psychedelic and groovy, with the perfect beat to dance to. Their live performances instill awe in the audience, from the colorful scene to the quality of sound. Each song they have released can easily be identified as their own, but none are quite like the last.

Song Recommendations: 

  1. It Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
  2. The Less I Know the Better
  3. Let it Happen

5: TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB:

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Alex Trimble (vocals, guitar), Kevin Baird (bass, vocals), Sam Halliday (guitar, vocals), and drummer Benjamin Thompson met in Bangor and Donaghadee, Northern Ireland in 2007. They established Two Door Cinema Club that year, choosing the name based on Halliday’s mispronunciation of a local cinema’s name, “Tudor Cinema.” The band is well known for their guitars, synths, vocal distortions, psychedelic undertones and excited feel. Poppy, loud and fast-moving, Two Door Cinema Club never fails to energize their crowd. They amaze the audience with their small group, capable of so much talent together, and as individuals.

Song Recommendations: 

  1. Gameshow
  2. What You Know
  3. I Can Talk

4: SPOON

Image from Flickr

Britt Daniel and Jim Eno established Spoon in October 1993 in Austin, Texas. The band consists of Daniel (vocals, guitar), Eno (drums), Alex Fischel (keyboards, guitar), Gerardo Larios (guitar, keyboards), and Ben Trokan (bass, keyboards). They released their debut album in 1996, immediately gaining traction in their careers. With vocals full of emotion and sardonic speech, along with beautiful melodies, Spoon manages to uplift their audience in a chill, nonchalant way. 

Song Recommendations: 

  1. Inside Out
  2. Do You
  3. I Summon You
  4. The Way We Get By

3: THE WAR ON DRUGS

Alex Granduciel, image from Tagesspiegel

Alex Granduciel (vocals, guitar) and Kurt Vile founded The War on Drugs  in 2005 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They recruited David Hartley (bass guitar), Robbie Bennett (keyboards), Charlie Hall (drums), Jon Natchez (saxophone, keyboards), Anthony LaMarca (guitar) and Eliza Hardy Jones (percussion, keyboards) as well. Three years later, they produced their first album. Critics typically describe The War on Drugs as having their own, unparalleled approach to creating guitar-forward, synth-layered songs. With an emphasis on rock and lead guitar, the band creates gloomy, yet uplifting, tunes. With Granduciel being the only true permanent member of the band, his listeners are in awe of his talent as a musician.

Song Recommendations: 

  1. Holding On
  2. Pain
  3. Nothing to Find

2: ARCADE FIRE

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Texan singer Win Butler and Montrealer Régine Chassagne established Arcade Fire in Montréal, Quebec in 2001, along with Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. In August 2003, Butler and Chassagne got married, kickstarting their careers. Using a large orchestral assortment of instruments in their work – the most prominent being a violin – Arcade Fire laces their songs with pop undertones and components of indie rock. No other band can offer what they do, and their approach to performing – considering their lighting, design, and color choices – is unmatched.

Song Recommendations:  

  1. The Suburbs
  2. Afterlife
  3. Wake Up
  4. Creature Comfort

1: MGMT (“MANAGEMENT”)

Andrew VanWyngarden, image from Wikimedia Commons

Artists Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser met at Wesleyan University and later founded MGMT in Middletown, Connecticut, in 2002. Their lineup consists of drummer Will Berman, bassist Simon O’Connor, and guitarist / keyboardist James Richardson. MGMT’s music is said to be a combination of psychedelic, indie, synth (electronically-generated sounds), and electronic pop / rock. The music is bizarre, alluring its listeners into an imaginary world. Brimming with unexpected twists and ambient noises, listeners are kept on their toes. With no other band sounding remotely like it, MGMT takes the cake for number one alternative rock band.

Song Recommendations: 

  1. When You Die
  2. Me & Michael
  3. Kids
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Stella Henretta
Stella Henretta, Staff Writer
 During the fall, junior Stella Henretta's committed to Varsity tennis, but switches gears to lacrosse during the spring. On weekends, Stella works as a coach at GLASA to help disabled athletes play tennis. She’s also a cashier at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s cafe, where she loves to take walks among the flowers after her shift. This school year, she hopes that through her cumulative experiences and knowledge, she will be successful in providing her readers with information about events happening both in and out of LFHS!
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  • M

    MGOct 24, 2023 at 7:51 am

    No Replacements, no R.E.M. ?

    Reply