Last week, NME checked in with the stars of 2005 indie and found out what they’re doing with themselves now. They may spend their time these days working with computers (The Rakes) and doing yoga courses (Towers Of London), but 10 years ago they made some absolute bangers. We all remember Arctic Monkeys and White Stripes’ contributions to that year – but what about 2005’s forgotten anthems? Here’s 20 that have stood the test of time, by bands who many of whom have since left the music world behind…
20 Caesars, ‘Jerk It Out’
‘Jerk It Out’ may have got a bad rep for soundtracking basically every commercial on TV for most of 2005 (iPods, Coca Cola, Nivea etc etc), but before it sold its soul, it was an undeniable indie dancefloor filler. The lure of the dollar is a dangerous beast…
19 The Chalets, ‘Nightrocker’
Full of darkly kitschy tunes offset by saccharine sweet vocals, Irish quartet The Chalets were a juxtaposition from the off. They only had one album (‘Check In’), but it was one of mid-noughties indie’s most underrated. ‘Nightrocker’ was its best tune.
18 The Paddingtons, ‘Panic Attack’
Tipped by Pete’n’Carl, The Paddingtons were a bunch of working class lads from Hull who made shook their fists and the dole queue and made rollocking indie-punk songs about living on the breadline. ‘Panic Attack’ was one of their finest, featuring singer Tom Atkins’ blustering vocals about grabbing life by the throat.
17 The Bravery, ‘An Honest Mistake’
Now a byword for style-over-substance wannabees, there was a time when The Bravery’s good name was uttered in the same favourable sentences as The Killers. Of course, we all know who won that particular rivalry, but hey – at least they’ll always have ‘An Honest Mistake’.
16 White Rose Movement, ‘Love Is A Number’
In a world where alt-J and Mumford and Sons are two of the country’s biggest bands, White Rose Movement wouldn’t last five minutes. Back in 2005, however, their arch posturing and angular riffs fitted in just fine, as this sassy little number proved.
15 The Pipettes, ‘Judy’
These days, most of The Pipettes are trying their hands at more credible pursuits with both Rose Elinor Dougall and Gwenno Saunders embarking on solo careers, but a decade ago they were part of a polka-dotted trio who specialised in hand claps and Phil Spector girl group twee. ‘Judy’ was one of their biggest hits.
14 We Are Scientists, ‘The Great Escape’
We Are Scientists’ Chris Cain and Keith Murray built up such a reputation for being indie’s most hilarious double act (so much so that they even recorded a number of comedy shorts) that it became easy to forget their knack for writing a high-octane, pounding hit. Never fear though, ‘The Great Escape’ is here to remind you.
13 Black Wire, ‘Hard To Love, Easy To Lay’
Post punk trio Black Wire might not have sold the same units as some of their New Yorkshire pals (hello, Kaiser Chiefs) but their spiky, self-titled debut remains the scene’s great underrated record. ‘Hard To Love, Easy To Lay’ is four and a half minutes of reeling guitar lines and withering lyrical self-deprecation: reet good, as they say in t’North.
12 Giant Drag, ‘Kevin Is Gay’
Los Angeles’ duo Giant Drag were the kind of wilfully odd, brilliantly playful prospect that meant that – even in indie’s 2005 heyday – there was still little chance of them ever becoming massive. Like a hi-fi, widescreen Moldy Peaches (read: weird skits and odd vocals cut with big, soaring guitar lines), they were the band that a hoard of teens in their bedrooms regarded as theirs. ‘Kevin Is Gay’ kicked off their LP ‘Hearts And Unicorns’ in style.
11 Maximo Park, ‘Apply Some Pressure’
Paul Smith, in his trilby, scissor kicking at any given opportunity: a quintessentially 2005 image, if ever there was one. Maximo Park’s spark waned as time went on, but ‘A Certain Trigger’ remains one of the era’s best debuts and ‘Apply Some Pressure’ its art rock peak.
10 Clor, ‘Love + Pain’
One of the few tracks of the era that still sound weirdly relevant today, ‘Love + Pain’ was such a skittish, awkward dancefloor gem that it still feels like the weird kid at the disco, whether in 2005 or 2015.
9 Mystery Jets, ‘Zootime’
Back before they fell in love with the girl who lived two doors down and began to channel their inner 80s pop sheen, Eel Pie Island’s finest sons the Mystery Jets were a far more rag-tag crew. ‘Zootime’ was a fan favourite and a live staple of their early sets with one of the oddest chants around.
8 The Futureheads, ‘Decent Days And Nights’
While ‘Hounds Of Love’ earned them more notoriety (and NME’s track of the year accolade at the end of 2005), ‘Decent Days And Nights’ was the connoisseur’s Futureheads banger of choice. Spiky riffs, Mackem charm and some characteristically jaunting backing vocals made it the band’s quintessential track.
7 Art Brut, ‘Emily Kane’
Young love – ain’t it sweet? Documenting a minorly worrying infatuation for his first true flame, Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos pined all the way to the indie disco, urging school kids on buses to sing the name of the eponymous Emily Kane. After hearing the track (or some school kids shouting at her), Emily actually did get back in touch with Eddie. The power of indie, eh.
6 Graham Coxon, ‘Freakin’ Out’
While Graham Coxon’s first solo endeavours after leaving Blur may have made for a harrowing trip through the guitarist’s troubled psyche, on ‘Freakin’ Out’ we got hook-laden, melodic Graham back. Big scrappy riffs and playfully antsy vocals were the call of the day and it was ruddy brilliant.
5 Larrikin Love, ‘Six Queens’
Ah, Larrikin Love: Noughties indie’s great lost love. They wheeled in on a frenzy of madcap rabble-folk, doled out one album (‘The Freedom Spark’) of jittery, wired genius and then never returned, but hey – at least they left us hits like ‘Six Queens’.
4 The Rakes, ’22 Grand Job’
A two-minute spasm of a track that essentially was the sound of a coked-up city boy having a nervous breakdown, ’22 Grand Job’ was at one defiant and downbeat, a tetchy punk musing on the banality of the daily grind. The Rakes had capital city disenfranchisement nailed.
3 The Cribs, ‘Hey Scenesters!’
Flipping a middle finger to the hangers on and blaggers since day one, the Jarman brothers have never had much time for try hards. ‘Hey Scenesters!’ was their most withering put down; an air-punching mosh-along anthem that rolled its eyes at the scene it found itself amongst.
2 The Long Blondes, ‘Separated By Motorways’
While some bands faded away and some combusted, The Long Blondes were the group that were sadly cut down in their prime when guitarist Dorian Cox suffered a stroke. Debut ‘Someone To Drive You Home’ remains a flawless document of kitchen sink drama played out over indie disco brilliance, with ‘Separated By Motorways’ its shouty, sassy centrepin.
1 Babyshambles, ‘Fuck Forever’
Over the years, being a Pete Doherty fan has involved more ups and downs than a day at Thorpe Park, but there are the moments of sheer genius that make the ride worthwhile. Knowing, nihilistic, cathartic and just fucking great, ‘Fuck Forever’ was Pete’s call to arms as he lead his army of dreamers and misfits onwards. Up the albion, indeed.