In a recent interview with Q, chart-topping Band Of The People Kasabian claimed that their new album is “about saving guitar music from the the abyss” because, as guitarist Serge claimed, “it’s gone.” They’re not the only big name to have a swipe at the current crop of fretboard-botherers – Jesus & Mary Chain’s Jim Reid recently claimed that the scene was “limping” and that you could no longer tell the difference between the guitar bands and the pop acts. Actually, it’s easy to tell them apart Jim. The guitar bands are the ones wearing leather jackets. Duh.
Seriously though, they’re both wrong. While semi-indie acts like The 1975 and Bastille might have achieved mainstream success by dropping the guitars every once in the while and embracing big pop synths, that’s not to say there’s no innovative, exciting new Fender flingers primed for the big time. Here’s 10 of the finest new guitar acts that are getting us hot under the Wolf Alice t-shirt, and perhaps should find their way onto Serge’s iPod.
Who: Indie-punk trio hailing from Finland and the UK.
Why to get excited about them: Most recent track ‘Somebody’ is a thrillingly rickety anthem, and their live shows are like the kind of house parties you wish you were invited to more often.
Who: Norwegian four-piece touting bruising rock with a bark that accurately prepares you for its bite.
Why to get excited about them: Early single ‘Shave My Head’ is a brutal riposte to controlling partners and they’ve followed it up with an equally fiery ‘Empire Records’ EP. Exciting times for Scandinavia’s boldest.
Who: Brainchild of US musician Will Marsh with ties to Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo.
Why to get excited about them: Newbie ‘Isabel’ was touchingly fragile, despite being a coruscating slab of gargantuan garage-rock. Few can balance those elements as well as Marsh.
Who: Brixton post-punk quintet.
Why to get excited about them: Lively and confrontational onstage and off, Shame are piling into the new wave of anti-establishment punk with new track ‘Tasteless’, boasting some much needed rage for these perilous times. Imagine Sleaford Mods trying to sing actual songs.
Who: New York Indie duo in the vein of Velvet Underground and The Strokes.
Why to get excited about them: They can knock out arms-aloft choruses like few others right now – most notably on the Bernard Butler produced slinker ‘Dress/Undress’.
Who: Punk rock from gender fluid duo of Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins.
Why to get excited about them: Their tours are fast becoming glittery triumphs, the epicentres of a new wave of playful, smart and gender-challenging indie-rock. See also: HMLTD.
Who: Deliciously OTT opera-punk-rock from Southampton.
Why to get excited about them: Debut album ‘Eternity, In Your Arms’ is an absurd, ambitious and arresting take on what emo-punk means in 2017.
Who: Oakland Songwriter Melina Duterte’s shoegazing rock project.
Why to get excited about them: ‘1 Billion Dogs’ showcases Duterte’s knack for pairing relatable and introspective lyrics with droning, driving guitar lines.
Who: South-London slacker-rock quartet.
Why to get excited about them: Debut single ‘Country Sleaze’ and ‘Scum’ are hilarious and spot-on observations of Brexit Britain – and with melodies as catchy as theirs, they can go all the way to the top. Even as the country hits rock bottom.
The Pale White
Who: Geordie blues-rock trio.
Why to get excited about them: Blending Queens of The Stone Age, Black Keys and old-school blues, debut single ‘Reaction’ is a thrilling introduction for a band shaping up to be the next Royal Blood.