And I’m a huge fan of My Dixie Normous, AKA my intramural flag football team from this past year. They were the best intramural flag football team that ever played in that one game we beat the other team. You could put them up against any other team that we faced in that game, and we would’ve beat them 1/1 times.
Brandon Flowers sneakily drops classics to music media every time he releases new material. He recently said that every song on his new solo LP The Desired Effect could be singles. I listened to the whole thing a few times, and I think there’s maybe three or four, not that I didn’t like it.
But it’s hard to tell if he has a huge ego or if he’s just ultra proud of everything he does. Is he the father who thinks his fat son is awesome at a youth sport and attempts to fight the coach when his pride and joy doesn’t get playing time, or is he the father who’s proud of his kid and shows him love no matter how fat and bad at sports he is?
I’m thinking the latter. Mainly because this isn’t his first rodeo. He did tell NME that Sam’s Town would be one of the best albums of the last 20 years, which wasn’t exactly the case. I think he’s just proud of his work. And he should be, The Killers have had four very solid albums, and I’d even argue that the first two were damn-near perfect. And he didn’t go burning bridges with critics, radio stations, or fans who didn’t like Sam’s Town.
Side Note: Sam’s Town is the Pinkerton of the 2000’s. That means everyone hated it when it came out, but years later it’s now become a classic.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I’d go up any night against just about any band that’s come out in the last 15 years. Not that it’s a competition, but I do feel sometimes people don’t have a grasp on what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve acquired. Everyone should come see The Killers! We’re more than just a new wave revival thing.”
Now before the world ends, I do not dislike The Killers. I hope that’s been made clear by now. Hot Fuss was my childhood. And Brandon Flowers is no sinister kid.
As a fan, I can confirm that they are way more than a “new-wave revival thing”. They’re easily a top 20 band for me. It just so happens that there’s a few other bands in that top 20 that have done more/better in the past 15 years. That doesn’t mean I have to dislike The Killers. I’d say they’re in the top 10. So as an added bonus, I’m going to list my top 10 bands since 2000, because hardcore music fans always put shit in top 10 lists. We’re going to say any band that first achieved fame in the year 2000 or on is fair game. That means no Green Day, Foo Fighters, blink-182, Radiohead, U2, Oasis, etc. And since Mr. Flowers did say “bands”, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Jack Johnson won’t be on this list.
10. Queens of the Stone Age
These hard rockers are keeping the genre mainstream in an age when it probably shouldn’t be. Love their hits, a few of their deeper cuts too.
9. Fall Out Boy
Although they’ve officially sold out and I hate their new music, they did keep pop punk alive and made emo go mainstream in the mid-2000s. But their new album sucks ass.
8. Franz Ferdinand
Probably the most underrated band on this list. I used to use the “all of their hit song” joke with this band. huge mistake. Too many great songs, and their first two albums are near perfect. The last two are also very good.
7. The Killers
There we go! But seventh ain’t bad, Brandon. It’s not like you really need my approval anyway. But there are a lot more than seven bands out there. And your’s just happens to dish out fiery single after fiery single, and also have some deep cuts people that aren’t weirdos like me don’t know about.
6. Arctic Monkeys
This band grew from “what the hell is an Arctic Monkey” (or “who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys”, rather) into “This band is en fuego so I’ll forgive them for their shitty name”. And it only took one album to do that. Whatever People Say I Am is perfect, AM proved they’ve still got it, and most of the members aren’t even 30 yet.
I know many people will throw a fit about this one. I don’t care if you like 10-6 better, because I do too. But this one is just true. I’m trying to be impartial on this list. Chris Martin has the voice of an angel, these guys practically invented the cry song, and they also make great music. Besides Ghost Stories (imhco – in my humbly correct opinion), all of their albums are great. Viva La Vida was even certified perfect by me. So there ya go.
4. The Strokes
Some would argue that they should be higher, and anyone could argue for them to be #1. Here’s what I’ve got: They have two perfect albums. The guitar melodies on Is This It are so catchy, upbeat, and provoke such joy from me that I can’t deny its glory. Room On Fire is catchier than Odell Beckham Jr. First Impressions of Earth has some of the best lyrcis I’ve ever heard. Jules is a mad man, and I just love their guitars. That’s all.
Both of Muse’s live albums are two of the best live albums EVER. Completely flipping the arena concert game on it’s head forever. I also love space rock, a genre I wish there were more than three (30 Seconds To Mars, AVA) relevant bands representing. Some of their early deep cuts are lost treasures, and their last three albums (Black Holes & Revelations, The Resistance, The 2nd Law) are among one of the best three-album runs by a band ever. And judging from the three songs that have been released so far, Drones is shaping up to be an adventure.
2. The White Stripes
This is where the impartiality I mentioned earlier comes into play: I don’t even really like The White Stripes. But I’m not denying anything they’ve accomplished. Completely changed the landscape of rock music in the 2000s. Go to any sporting event, at some point the crowd starts chanting ‘Seven Nation Army’. Even if it’s not my thing, every album they have is great. Anyone could argue for them to be #1 as well.
1. The Black Keys
I guess I gave it away with the meme from up above. And I know all the person who reads this will wonder how I can put The Black Keys ahead of The White Stripes, when The White Stripes set the stage for their success. My answer is that I like The Black Keys better. They’re the current champions of garage rock and made blues rock mainstream again. Rolling Stone, in 2000, said The Big Come Up will be one of the most important albums of the decade. And it was, even though the Keys didn’t really achieve mainstream success until Brothers in 2010, and didn’t achieve universal acclaim until El Camino the following year. With Turn Blue, Dan and Patrick showed they’re going to keep it up.
So there’s my list. Love it or hate it, it makes some sense. And hopefully sheds light on the fact that even though The Killers aren’t the best band of the last 15 years, #7 ain’t bad either.
Honorable Mentions: The Libertines, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, Death Cab For Cutie, MGMT
As a bonus, here’s Tommy’s list, which he puts in no particular order because he doesn’t commit the time and effort I do:
The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, MGMT, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Starfucker (?), Phoenix, alt-J, and Little Comets.
And here’s my prediction for what Bowman’s list would look like:
10. Modest Mouse (Well before 2000, but I’m sure he’d argue otherwise)
9. Cage The Elephant
8. Arctic Monkeys
7. The Strokes
2. Kendrick Lamar
“Bryan, Kendrick Lamar is a rapper, not a band”
“Yeah, but he uses horns”
“So does Kanye”
“But there’s a guitar in some of his songs”
“There are guitars in John Mayer’s songs, he’s not a band”
“But John Mayer’s a pussy”
“That doesn’t make Kendrick Lamar a band”
“Your definition of what is and is not a band is wrong”
Something like that.