March 03, 2014 Slideshows » Blogs

20 great British bands Detroit should know about 

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OF 20
Biffy Clyro
A Scottish alt-rock band formed in '95, Biffy really found it's feet by the time 2003's The Vertigo of Bliss came along. Still, the song "57" from the debut album remains the band's gem. It's on Youtube.
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
In the early '90s, English indie rock meant the Wonder Stuff, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Pop Will Eat Itself, and Carter. Check out "The Only Living Boy in New Cross" or "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere."
Groop Dogdrill
"You turn me on, you sexy thing," sings Groop Dogdrill on the song "Lovely Skin," which would be a classic if more people knew it. Rough, tough and dirty, Groop Dogdrill was dead before it had a chance to live.
How the hell Gun didn't have a string of top 10 hits on both sides of the Atlantic remains a mystery. These guys had a tight, edgy hard rock sound that pleased the casual radio rock fan and connoisseurs alike. Check out the frankly massive "Don't Say It's Over."
A real "blink and you miss 'em" band, this one. Novocaine was volatile and dangerous, but also capable of creating some beautiful, touching and desperate music. Listen to "Frustration No. 10" and you'll get it.
Queen Adreena
Katie Jane Garside and Crispin Gray had already had a mini hit with the band Daisy Chainsaw and the song "Love Your Money" when they put together Queen Adreena and ducked the spotlight as much as possible. A far deeper, authentic band, "Pretty Like Drugs" is one of their many gems.
Rachel Stamp
Glammy, brash, colorful and sexy, Rachel Stamp were pulling in huge crowds at the beginning of the millennium, but they couldn't convert those numbers into record sales thanks, in part, to an apathetic UK press. Check out "My Sweet Rose."
Raging Speedhorn
Filthy hardcore-fueled metal from a band that could be found drunk and collapsed in UK pubs 7 nights a week during their heyday. "The Gush" is the song to look for, and also check out Viking Skull, a rock n roll band featuring most of the same people.
Stunning prog metal from a band known for rapid-fire vocals and faster riffs. Check out "Death of a Dead Day."
Silver Sun
Kind of a British Weezer, Silver Sun had a couple of great albums, some big singles, and then they were gone. "I'll See You Around" will show you what a loss that is.
Out of the ashes of the awesome reggae rock band Dub War came awesome reggae rock band Skindred (they lost a guitarist or something). Both bands are worth hunting down - look for Dub War's "Strike It" and Skindred's "Kill the Power."
Skunk Anansie
Singer Skin was and is one of the finest front-women in rock n roll, while Ace remains one of music's nice guys and a great guitarist. They blended genres with beautiful abandon, and came out with a hard-hitting sound, Check out "Little Baby Swastikkka."
These Bradford boys were truly bonkers. Basically a rock n roll band, Terrorvision were really just out to have fun. Check out the spaghetti western-themed ode to a transsexual "Josephine."
The Crocketts
This band later morphed into the Crimea, but the magic was gone. Davey McManus seemed unhinged, capable of going mental at the drop of a hat. Crazy, folky punk rock. Listen to "Will You Still Care?"
The Wildhearts
Perhaps the best rock 'n' roll band from anywhere in the past 30 years, Wildhearts frontman Ginger also has a solo career that needs more attention on this side of the Atlantic. You can literally listen to anything by the Wildies and Ginger,and it'll be wonderful.
3 Colours Red
You know a band is English when it inserts a "u" into the word "colour." These power-poppers didn't last too long because the band members didn't really get along. Still, songs like "Sunny in England" are worth revisiting.
The 80's Matchbox B-Line Disaster
A bit Cramps, a bit Ramones, all fucking crazy. This is a band that refused to be classified. Listen to "Psychosis Safari."
Alex Kane is a Chicago native now living in LA, but for most of the 2000's he fronted this glam-punk-power pop outfit in England. Damn, they even played the Donington Festival. "Hey Let's Get it On" is an amazing song, but the cover of "Good Vibrations" is also worth checking out.
Northern Irish band Ash reached festival-headlining heights at one point with a scuzzy alt-rock sound that should have done better over here, given the chance. "Kung-Fu" is the highlight of a killer debut album.
The Beekeepers
Not to be confused with the Detroit band called Beekeepers, the Brit version was (and sometimes is) a pop-punk band from Derby. "Killer Cure" is a song that will ear worm you all day. You're welcome.
Biffy Clyro
A Scottish alt-rock band formed in '95, Biffy really found it's feet by the time 2003's The Vertigo of Bliss came along. Still, the song "57" from the debut album remains the band's gem. It's on Youtube.

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