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Top 10 Bands From Australia

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

picture 3 Top 10 Bands From Australia

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.

5. [lastfm]Silverchair[/lastfm]

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].

4. [lastfm]Wolfmother[/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].

3. [lastfm]Jet[/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].

2. [lastfm]INXS[/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.

1. [lastfm]AC/DC[/lastfm]

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.

Honorable Mention:

[lastfm]Savage Garden[/lastfm]

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.

[lastfm]Midnight Oil[/lastfm]

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.

[lastfm]Cold Chisel[/lastfm]

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.

  • Anonymous

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  • amanda savopoulos

    great list !! Also another great band from Oz is Chevelle – very talented band – love them!!
    I am originally from South Oz – and proud of the bands that come out of our continent.

    • jason

      The Chevelles, not Chevelle. Two totally different bands. And where is the John Butler Trio?

  • Rachel

    The Church should be on this list. One of the greatest and most underrated bands in the world.

  • Grant Ellul

    Check out a band from the late 80’s
    The church. Also midnight oil and the angels.
    Cold chisel album circus animals a classic

  • Tamara

    Weight of the Man is performed by the band’s latter incarnation, The Ordinary Fear of God (still TOFOG), not by 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. Great inclusion, btw.

  • Rosie

    Good list but you left off the best Aussie band of the last 20 years – Powderfinger. In the words of Aussie music legend Molly Meldrum do yourself a favour and have a listen to their albums Vulture Street or Odyssey Number 5 to see what I mean.

  • AussieHoppet

    Are you kidding? I’ma Aussie, l live in Australia. Who are Tonight Alive? And Russell Crowe band? WTF never heard of Tonight Alive and Russell Crowe? His band may be good but surely there’s others you could put in the top 10 before his.

  • Darren Osland

    To be honest, as an Australian music lover, this is by far the most pathetic list of Australian bands I’ve ever seen. To have TOFOG in the list is an abomination against everything Australian music stands for. Poor form!

  • Mitch

    Haha this list is rubbish! Thirty odd foot of grunt? Wow. Just try and find one Aussie who’s even heard a song.

    • free444

      You haven’t heard their music because people condemn them before they give the band a chance – based only on the fact that Russell Crowe is known foremost as an actor – and so much is written about him – true or false. Therefore, radio play has never been allowed. Give it a try via internet. The variety of music styles is the main reason I love this band. 99.9% is original music written by the band.

  • n45car

    Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel are glaring omissions from this list of Aussie Bands.

  • darren kerwin

    ACDC win hands down. Men at work….you’re kidding. Jet…not yet. Here’s my 2 cents…80’s Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, Hunters and Collectors. 90’s The Cruel Sea, You Am I, The Whitlams, Crowded House(yes we all know Neil Finn’s a Kiwi). 2000’s Powderfinger, John Butler Trio, Grinspoon.
    P.S Kroq..check out The Drones. And when’s Kevin Weatherly going to give me a job.

  • Gretskiie

    Lol, TOFOG. A much better pick would have been Frenzal Rhomb – check out their track ‘Russel Crowe’s band’

  • Buffy

    Seriously, you have listed some bands that have had little impact on the music scene in Australia. Each to his own I guess.
    Pity you haven’t heard of Powderfinger. But then its almost to late for that since they are currently doing a farewell tour before calling it quits. Jet and the Vines are the SUPPORT act for Powderfinger! You guys at KROQ need to get out more.

  • Jared

    Sheez! No Stems or Radio Birdman?

  • Francisca Susi

    Hooray for TOFOG! Great inclusion indeed. :D

  • Shawn

    you forgot Mudmen!

  • lgrod

    No Radio Birdman? The Church? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds? Invalid list.

  • Viol8tor

    Pendulum should be on this list. But there style of ROCK is just not KROQ’s flavor.

  • ivan

    they forgot parkway drive they are just too down but w/e maybe not they’re type of music

  • free444

    There’s another band that I love but I don’t think is together any more, the Dave Wilkins Band/Utopian Babies.

  • Michelle

    THE DRONES are the greatest.
    Listen to Shark Fin Blues by them.

    Tonight Alive – what the ffff????

    • darren kerwin

      Hey Michelle. Nice to see a fellow Drones fan on line.

  • Cassie

    It’s a good list but Tonight Alive are only a new band so I don’t think they deserve their spot but I do like them. As for Russel Crowe’s band they don’t deserve it either. I’m an Aussie and I don’t like his band.
    Other bands you’ve forgotten:
    You Am I, Frenzal Rhomb, The Angels, Kisschasy

  • Eric

    Hello everyone. My name is Eric – I am from and in New Jersey, United States. This is a good list, of course some I totally disagree with (‘Jet’ – just copying other bands, see also ‘Iggy & the stooges’, beatles, ac/dc, phil collins, etc..) but there are so many great Aussie music folk, this should at least be a top 30.

    I would add, ‘The Church’ (i know, said b4 in the comments- i am agreeing), Tommy Emmanuel (1 of the best Acoustic guitarists of all time), Olivia N.J. (of course!), Icehouse, Air Supply, Keith Urban, Nick Cave, The Cult, Rick Springfield, Goyte (new, but amazing!), Frente`! (maybe my favorite Aussies next to…) The Little River Band.

    Honourable mention to: Colin Hay (solo), Kylie (for her sexy Legs), the BMX Bandits theme song, and the Simpsons Aussie theme. (I’m making my Aussie mix c.d.). ;)
    I hope to see/meet ya’ll someday Australia. Big hugs. Stay healthy, watch out for the sunburn.

  • John

    Nick Cave!!!

  • John

    I love KROQ but this list is so wrong. Perhaps: The Church, Saints, Radio Birdman, Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, The Sports, Skyhooks, the Angels, Celibate Rifles, Hunters and Collectors. ie none of the above.

  • KC

    Birds of Tokyo. Great Perth band.

  • Alex

    No credit for The Cat Empire?!? come on guys, they’re one of the best!

  • kyara

    U FORGOT JUKE KARTEL????!!!!!!!!!

  • Ian Moss

    What about ‘NOT DROWNING, WAVING’ ‘MY FRIEND THE CHOCOLATE CAKE’ ‘THE NECKS’ ‘SILVER RAY’ ? They are all a bit non-mainstream in their own different ways. All a bit deeper and more intelligent too. so if you need your music to be a bit more challenging, try the above.

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