Since we’re giving away tickets to see [lastfm]Muse[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Linkin Park[/lastfm] in Australia all week long, I figured we could take this Aussy theme a step further and make a list of the continents’ top 10 bands.
Besides cool accents, kangaroos and cricket, Australia’s actually pretty good in the music department too. Four generations of music, including bands like [lastfm]The Living End [/lastfm]and [lastfm]Jet[/lastfm] and other shades of rock from the land down under await.
10. [lastfm]30 Odd Foot of Grunts[/lastfm] Russell Crowe and The Ordinary Fear of God*
Oh yeah, and Russel Crowe’s in here too. The polarizing star established this Australian rock band in the 80’s, originally named Roman Antix, well before his Roman antics as “Maximus” in Gladiator. If you thought Russell Crowe could use a little more femininity in his performances, watch 30 Odd Grunt’s video for “The Weight of a Man.”
*Sorry Russell…we’re still recovering from the Smokeout Festival…
9. [lastfm]Tonight Alive[/lastfm]
These Sydney bred pop-rockers are constantly compared to the US rock band and KROQ favorites [lastfm]Paramore[/lastfm]. If you’re a fan, I urge you to take a listen. It won’t take long to hear the resemblance. Tonight Alive have yet to really break out in the US, but their youth and energy could change that.
8. [lastfm]Men at Work[/lastfm]
There are a rare and special selection of songs that can save a dying party at any moments notice, “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, “The Seed (2.0)” by the Roots, and “Down Under” by Men at Work. It’s that flute riff I’m telling you. The 80’s rock band remains to be the only from Australia to hold the #1 song and #1 album in the US at the same time.
7. [lastfm]The Vines[/lastfm]
Labeled one of the “The” bands of the early 2000’s; a la [lastfm]The White Stripes[/lastfm], [lastfm]The Hives[/lastfm], and [lastfm]The Strokes[/lastfm], The Vines have released three albums since their 2002 breakthrough Highly Evolved. The initial success has fleeted the Sydney natives as of late, but a new album is expected to drop in 2011.
6. [lastfm]The Living End[/lastfm]
The punk influenced rock band out of Melbourne broke out in the early 90’s with their single “Prisoner of Society,” a track that still lives through KROQ request lines and playlists. The Living End sites [lastfm]Green Day[/lastfm] as a monster influence for their decision to go more punk than rockabilly.
Silverchair might be Australia’s most decorated band, having won a record 21 Australian Recording Industry Awards since their debut album Frogstomp 15 years ago. Silverchair have commonly been associated with grunge-gods [lastfm]Nirvana[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Pearl Jam[/lastfm].
Shaggy-haired rock monsters Wolfmother dominated 2005 with a stream of singles, including “Joker and the Thief,” “Woman,” and “Mind’s Eye.” Listening to Wolfmother is like taking a bite out of the heavier side of 70’s rock, echoing bands like [lastfm]Black Sabbath[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Led Zeppelin[/lastfm].
The gents from Melbourne have sold nearly 4 million albums worldwide, with 3.5 million banking off their debut. Singles like “Cold Hard Bitch,” and “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” rock and feel just as good as they did 7 years ago. Having been influenced by legendary rock bands such as [lastfm]The Who [/lastfm]and [lastfm]The Beatles[/lastfm], Jet have done pretty good themselves, even touring with bands like [lastfm]The Rolling Stones [/lastfm]and [lastfm]Oasis[/lastfm].
Michael Hutchence was the man during the prime of the 80’s. Ladies fantasized about him, and men tried to emulate his unbridled cool. Unfortunately Hutchence kicked the bucket far too soon, taking the INXS lust with him. At least we can thank the band for Rock Star: INXS. Any band that sides with Brooke Burke makes the cut.
These icons of rock have flourished for almost four decades, two lead singers, and a bevy of rock anthems that shake, rattle, and roll the soul. Who else from the land down under has dominated US rock charts like AC/DC? Nobody, hence, their slot at number one on best bands from Australia.
Besides [lastfm]Chumbawumpa[/lastfm]’s “Tubthumping,” this remains to be the most severe guilty pleasure in my music file. I know I’m not the only one here who can dig the Savage Garden, but the weight of rock-ness at this station puts the 90’s pop band outside the top 10.
Sydney’s own Midnight Oil (formerly Farm) were one of the biggest Australian bands to come out of the 80’s. The band’s activist persona and attitude fueled an army of followers in the Sydney region, which later expanded worldwide. In 2002, Midnight Oil split due to vocalist Peter Garrett’s decision to live as a full-time politician. Midnight Oil has performed a handful of reunion shows since their initial break-up, most recently at the 2009 Sound Relief concert in Melbourne.
The pop/blues/rock n’ roll influenced Cold Chisel dominated the Australian music charts throughout the late 70’s and 80’s to the tune of wild boy vocalist Jim Barnes. Known primarily as a hard-rock act, Cold Chisel embellished their repertoire with impressive versatility, producing songs about the Vietnam War (Khe Sanh) and abortion (Choir Girl), and are the only Australian band to sell more records while broken up. The band has worked together sparingly since their original 1984 split, and are rumored to be working on new material set for release in 2011.