TOP TEN: ‘Landfill’ Indie bands that were actually good

The indie rock stylings of the early 00’s became so ubiquitous by the end of the decade, we were crying for anything but more guitar-fuelled bands. There was an onslaught of forgettable bands like The Pigeon Detectives and The Wombats. Aptly termed ‘landfill’ indie, they buried some actually good stuff alongside with it. Tarnishing these artists with this toxic branding. I’m digging deep through the refuse to find the top 10. 

[Rules: Any guitar-centred artists that had a debut album 2005-2010]

 

  1. Fortune Drive

These guys had more bite than many of their contemporaries and were fireworks live.

 

 

  1. The Rumble Strips

Cheesy, chirpy music yes. But their take on a 4 piece band with an acoustic guitar, drums, trumpet and sax, broke the standard landfill formula

 

 

  1. ¡Forward russia!

Fast paced, abrasive and angular. Yes please.

 

 

  1. Los Campesiños!

So bouncy, bright and shiny. Maybe the most quintessentially landfill on this list. I just don’t think anyone with a heart can deny the build of You! Me! Dancing!

 

 

  1. The Kooks

Yes they were considered to just be big wet blankets. But they were reviled because of one hugely successful song. They defined a summer for me and this is my list, so they’re in. 

 

 

  1. Clap your hands and say yeah!

Distinctive voice and twangy guitar. Pretty textbook. But it felt genuine and full of emotion.

 

 

  1. Bombay Bicycle Club

Bursting  at the seams with heavier riffs, but also jaunty and charming. Simple and relatable. And still going very strong now. 

 

 

  1. Late of the Pier

Their one and only album was full of indie club dance tracks.  

 

 

  1. Blood Red Shoes

Machine-like precision and a harder rock edge made this two piece stand out.

 

 

  1. Jamie T

Lyrical dexterity and authenticity to match the king of late 00s indie rock, Alex Turner.

 

 

Words by Matt Paul.

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