In the last couple of years, British rock music has really come into it’s own, producing some high quality acts which have broken into the mainstream in the UK and started gaining coverage in other countries. In this article I’m going to pin point which are the best acts to have come out of the UK in the last 2 years, to try and give you, the readers, new artists to listen to which you may not have heard of and so I can prove that the current world rock scene isn’t being completely dominated by the very popular American rock bands.
First up in Enter Shikari, one of the UK’s most popular dance bands, in their own genre which they’ve dubbed ‘electrocore’ and have built up a reputation for having an extremely energetic live show and for recreating their album sound phenomenally well in a live setting. They featured on this year’s Warped Tour as well as having ventured around the European festival circuit extensively. Starting off with a more guitar based sound, their 2007 album ‘Take To The Skies’ featured screamed vocals, thrashed guitars and some synth but not enough for them to be classed as a full dance band. Their 2009 album, ‘Common Dreads’ completed their transition to electrocore, with synths being the main element featured and the vocals being heavily distorted with post-production effects. Having shared the stage with Pendulum, The Prodigy, Linkin Park and due to share it with 30 Seconds to Mars, it is without doubt that I say Enter Shikari are one of the UK’s fastest growing bands and it could be any day now that we see them explode onto the US circuit as a full force.
You can buy Enter Shikari’s latest album, Common Dreads here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/common-dreads/id315640421
Another band that many British people would consider a big act in the UK is Biffy Clyro, a Scottish Alt-Rock group who have recently exploded onto the British rock scene with their 2009 album ‘Only Revolutions’. Biffy Clyro started out producing extremely unstructured rock, which sounded more like jams than anything else, before progressing to more melodic and simple structures on 2007 album ‘Puzzle’. Mainstream success really started with the release of the first single from ‘Only Revolutions’ which was ‘Mountains’, a ballad with rock marbled throughout as such it appealed to both national radio stations, which gave it significant playtime, as well as hardcore Biffy Clyro fans, who appreciated the progression. ‘Only Revolutions’ is by far their most successful album to date, spawning no less than 6 singles, being certified gold in the UK (signifying 100,000+ sales) and winning the 2010 Mercury Prize for Best Album. This summer they featured on the bills of several US festivals as well as extensively appearing at many UK and European festivals. Biffy Clyro are another band who are surely on the verge of breaking into the US, I find it astonishing that with so much success across the pond that the Americans haven’t quite caught on yet.
You can buy Biffy Clyro’s latest album, Only Revolutions, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/only-revolutions/id384241289
Now onto some bands who are perhaps more unknown and have only recently started coming into their own in the UK.
First up is Kids in Glass Houses, a pop-punk band from Wales who have just recently broken into the UK mainstream, thanks to their 2010 album ‘Dirt’. Although probably quite a stereotypical band in many people’s eyes, their stage presence, charisma and ability allows them to stand out alongside more established pop-punk crossover acts and providing them with comparisons to veterans of the genre such as The All American Rejects and Good Charlotte as well as more recent acts such as All Time Low and You Me At Six. Having shared the stage with acts such as Lostprophets, Fall Out Boy, Paramore and New Found Glory, they are certainly no strangers to the American scene but are yet to find a major opportunity to make headway. I’d personally look at for them on next year’s Warped Tour as they seem prime candidates to appeal to the young teens of the US. Despite seemingly being lost in a sea of similar bands, particularly in the UK, KIGH would have an opportunity to bring a unique sound to the American concert circuit, given the chance.
You can buy Kids In Glass Houses’ latest album, Dirt, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dirt-special-edition/id361154793
Another band who are just making inroads into the mainstream territory is Young Guns. Having only released their first EP last summer and their first album, ‘All Our Kings Are Dead’ in July this year, they are probably the newest band that features in this article. Their mainstream success in the UK is no doubt, in a small part, thanks to Kerrang!, The UK music publication who have embraced them, supported them tremendously through their magazine as well as inviting them to join the Kerrang Relentless Tour 2010 (there’s a live review of this gig in the Informer! Archives.) which really opened them up to many people, which probably helped their album to accelerate to #43 on the UK charts, quite an achievement for the debut album of a pretty unknown alternative rock/post-hardcore band. Now they have a full headline tour set up for this Winter and it would come as no surprise to me, once again, if they became part of the expanding British contingent on Warped Tour.
You can buy Young Guns’ latest album, All Our Kings Are Dead, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/all-our-kings-are-dead/id380292206
And finally, I’d like to apologise for my absence, I will now be resuming service as normal, with 1 article per month.