7 Underrated Rock Albums That Defined the Noughties
One thing comes to mind when you think of bands from the first decade of the new millennium. Indie bands that started with ‘The’. But the decade offered more musical delights than just indie. Here are seven underrated rock albums that defined the noughties.
7. At the Drive-in – Relationship of Command (2000)
The noughties rock albums were partly defined by a healthy post-hardcore scene. One of the pioneers of the scene were At the Drive-in. The American quintet saw in the new millennium with their third album, Relationship of Command. Ironically, the band split twelve months after the release of this album. They were riding a wave of success and acclaim, but exhaustion caused them to call it quits. Although they have reformed in recent years, this album was one of the best. Their first two efforts may have defined that aggressive post-hardcore sound they are known for. But this release showed that they were more than a one-trick pony. It was also the album that influenced a slew of post-hardcore bands in their wake.
6. Taking Back Sunday – Where You Want to Be (2004)
Where You Want to Be was the second album from American rockers Taking Back Sunday. Formed in New York in 1999, they have released seven albums to date. Where You Want to Be was the band’s second release from 2004. Their debut two years earlier gained good reviews and created a buzz for the band. This effort brought the band into a more mainstream route, but without losing their edge. It was 2006’s major-label follow-up that propelled them into the stratosphere but forget that. Where You Want to Be is stuffed full of edgy yet melodic anthems that feature vocals from both heaven and hell. Standout tracks such as A Decade Under the Influence and The Union showcase that meeting of styles perfectly. This album defined the alt-rock-hardcore scene of the 2000s. It was also one of the best-selling independent releases of the year.
5. System of a Down – Steal This Album! (2002)
Often considered as a collection of B-sides that never made it on to Toxicity, Steal This Album! is a cracker. It is true that the songs were unfinished works from the Toxicity sessions, but they are musical gems. There’s no doubt that Toxicity transported System of a Down to dizzy heights. And that regular airplay on MTV helped hugely as Chop Suey became a massive hit. But Steal This Album! snuck in the back door a year later and features the band at their best.
There are still political themes running through the songs, as you would expect. But the brilliance of the songwriting really shines through. Innervision and I-E-A-I-E-I-O are beautifully bonkers. It’s like they took Toxicity and raised the crazy factor by a thousand. Yes, the former is more well-known and successful. But Steal This Album! showcases what System of a Down do best – make music that batters, inspires, confuses, but ultimately leaves a huge grin on your face. The album that defined the band.
4. Blink-182 – Blink-182 (2003)
This was the fifth album from the pop-punk titans. It was 1999’s Enema of the State and 2001’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket that made Blink-182 one of the biggest pop-punk bands on the planet. MTV and radio had played the songs constantly for a few years and the albums influenced many an outfit in their wake. It was 2003’s self-titled effort that really saw the band evolve into mature songwriters. There are so many gems to pick, but Miss You and Always are obvious examples. Gone is the toilet humour, and it is the clever, experimental and mature songwriting. They still have that sharp melodic edge and superb vocal interplays that are inexplicably Blink. Give it another listen and it shows a band at the peak of their creativity.
3. The Hives – Tyrannosaurus Hives (2004)
Tyrannosaurus Hives was the third offering from Swedish garage rockers The Hives. Known for their smart stage suits and glistening hair, their brand of raucous rock hit the big time with 2000’s Veni Vidi Vicious. That album gave us Hate to Say I Told You So and received universal acclaim from critics. This follow-up from 2004 is an even better album in my opinion. It still has that bouncing scratchy sound that the band are known for, but with a constant flow of dance floor anthems. Walk Idiot Walk and A Little More for A Little You are sun-kissed rock gems. This is a noughties offering that rises above all the other indie rock bands albums from this decade. Quality, timeless songs that remind you of the good times.
2. Radiohead – Hail to the Thief (2003)
Radiohead is a band that often divides opinion. Hail to the Thief was the sixth offering from the Oxfordshire-based experimentalists. It was the late 90s that brought the band critical acclaim and success. Mostly due to the success of OK Computer. Hail to the Thief took the bands musical experimentation on to the next leave. Dabbling with orchestral sequences with synths it creates quite the aural experience. Lyrically, Thom Yorke is addressing the so-called war on terror with titles like A Wolf at the Door and We Suck Young Blood. There is a lot of electronic tinkering on this album and any more would probably send it into self-absorbed twaddle. But with this album, they’ve nailed it to perfection.
1. The Black Keys – Attack & Release (2008)
Hailing from Ohio in the US, The Black Keys have been on the scene since 2001. Attack & Release was the band’s fifth album and released in 2008. Interestingly, this was the first album they recorded in a professional studio with an outside producer. It’s certainly has a polish to it that makes it stand out. Not only that, but it also has some rather brilliant garage rock songs on it. I Got Mine in particular makes you want to pour a Jack Daniels. In a decade that was littered with sound-a-like indie bands, The Black Keys wound up the decade with something rather special. It’s an album that takes a few listens but when you get it, you really get it.
That’s our list of seven underrated rock albums of the noughties. Did we miss any? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Read about musicians who nearly died on stage HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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