Show Mobile Navigation

Top 10 Alternative Albums You Should Own

JonnyAnscombe . . . Comments

Music is such a huge industry that many well deserving artists seem to be wrongly pushed aside and hidden from the general masses. The following are a selection of some artists that I believe everyone should give a quick listen to. Music is very personal, so many people won’t agree with some of my selections, however I have selected artists who I think could make it in the mainstream. Oh, and I have put a ‘best songs’ part to the lists, which include firstly the best song off the album shown, then two other songs that are good by the artist.


Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend

This first band I probably wouldn’t consider to be too alternative, many people know about this band in England, at least. However this album is so good I had to include it. Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band from New York City, formed in 2006, and signed to XL Recordings. The band released their eponymous debut album on January 29, 2008. The album produced brilliantly unique sounding songs such as ‘A-Punk’ and ‘Mansard roof’. Many may recognize the song ‘A-Punk’ as the title song from the Will Farrell film ‘Step Brothers’. The bands genre has been described as Alternative rock, Indie rock, World beat and New wave. I love this album because it brings an excellent, up-beat indie rock feel which many love. The band are a festival favourite, performing exceptional sets at the world famous Glastonbury festival. The band have also brought out a second album called ‘Contra’.

Best songs: ‘A-Punk’, ‘Oxford Comma’, ‘Cousins’.


The Get Up Kids
Something to write home about

The Get Up Kids are an American alternative rock band from Kansas City, Missouri, formed in 1995. The band have been described as ‘emo’, but don’t worry we’re not talking ‘all in black’ teen emo, this is deep musical stuff! The band actually try and disassociate themselves with the emo scene, with the lead singer even apologizing for founding the emo scene which, in his words, has ‘developed into nothing more than pretentious glam rock’. The Get Up Kids are truly deserving of being the founding fathers of the punk-emo scene, with their excellent album ‘Something to write home about’ still ‘doing the rounds’ today. The Band just recently performed a 10th anniversary comeback tour celebrating ten years of success of this album. The album boasts twelve brilliantly catchy songs with deep lyrical meaning. The albums best song (in my opinion) is ‘I’m a loner Dottie, a rebel’ which I have to say Is probably one of my all time favorite songs. This album really speaks for itself so give it a listen!

Best songs: ‘I’m a loner Dottie, a rebel’, ‘Overdue’, ‘Campfire Kansas’.


Mumford & Sons
Sigh No More

Mumford & Sons are a folk rock band which formed in London, England. The band is made up of Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), “Country” Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion), and Ted Dwane (vocals, double bass). The band formed in 2007, and contributed to the rising popularity of folk music in young people. Along with artists such as Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Jay Jay Pistolet and Noah and the Whale, this album really captures the powerful genre of folk/rock in a new and enjoyable way. Mumford & sons really translate this genre for the masses, with truly moving songs such as ‘Thistle & weed’ and ‘little lion man’. The album also fulfills the musical needs of the mainstream, with the title track ‘the cave’ which many of my friends who ‘only like rap’ (for some reason) say even they adore. The album is a must have for anyone who loves Folk, and even for people who (like me) don’t particularly like it.

Best songs: ‘The Cave’, ‘Little Lion Man’, ‘Roll Away Your Stone’.


The Academy Is…
Almost Here

‘The Academy Is…’ are an American alternative rock band from Barrington, Illinois. They formed in 2003, and signed to the ‘Fueled By Ramen’ label. ‘Almost Here’ was the band’s debut album. This is a great album for those who don’t like heavy rock or over complicated tunes. ‘The Academy Is…’ keep it simple in a brilliant way, with lead singer William Beckett bringing wonderful lyrical genius to the equation, followed by simple yet catchy guitar riffs and drumming solos, this album is sure to please. ‘Almost Here’ is a great chill out album.

Best songs: ‘Attention’, ‘Classifieds’, ‘Slow Down’.


Modest Mouse
We were dead before the ship sank

Modest Mouse have been around a very long time indeed, they first formed way back in 1993. Today, the band are still going strong and their most popular album, ‘We were dead before the ship sank’, was released on March 20th, 2007, and reached number one on the US Billboard 200 charts, the album spawned the hit single “Dashboard”, as well as “Missed the Boat” and “We’ve Got Everything”. The band have a very iconic style, with lead singer Isaac Brock giving refreshingly unique vocals followed with almost improvised sounding guitar solos. The song ‘The Good Times Are Killing Me’ adds to the improvised feel with moving and talking in the background.

Best songs: ‘Missed the Boat’, ‘Float On’, ‘3rd Planet’.


Jamie T
Panic Prevention

Jamie Alexander Treays is a 24-year-old English singer/songwriter from Wimbledon, South London. ‘Panic Prevention’ (released on 29th January, 2007) was a huge commercial success in England, with the songs ‘If you got the money’ (which reached number 13 in the charts) and ‘Calm Down Dearest’ (which reached number 9). ‘Back in the Game’ was named as single of the week by DJ Alex Zane. Jamie’s style is a mixture of indie and UK Garage style rap, which culminate in a truly excellent unique style. Jamie won the best solo artist award at the 2007 NME Awards; He also won the 2010 solo artist award for his second album ‘Kings and Queens’.

Best songs: ‘Calm Down Dearest’, ‘Sheila’, ‘Sticks and Stones’.


Taking Back Sunday
Where you want to be

Taking Back Sunday are probably the most well know band on this list, however many who have heard of them know only a few songs, none of which are on their arguably best album, ‘Where you want to be’. The smooth sounding emotional rock starts heavy with ‘Set phasers To Stun’ to ‘The Union’, until TBS show their delicate side with the brilliant, technically perfect acoustic song ‘New American Classic’. The title track ‘A Decade Under The Influence’ expresses the typical Taking Back Sunday style of neat lyrics and twin vocals, which culminate in a truly brilliant unique sound. Adding to TBS’s unique look is front man Adam Lazzara, who has been praised for impressive stage presence with his trademark moves and mesmerizing mic swinging.

Best songs: ‘A Decade Under The Influence’, ‘Make damn sure’, ‘Cute without the e (cut from the team)’


Passion Pit

Passion Pit is also a band many people would have heard of. They are an American electronic band from Cambridge, Massachusetts. They formed in 2007 and their debut EP ‘Chunk of Change’ was released on September 16, 2008. Their first full album ‘Manners’, explores electro synth-pop on an excitingly psychedelic level. The best song on the album ‘sleepyhead’ starts with neat, catchy singing which kicks into erratic keyboard squeals leaving the listener drowned in excellent prismatic tones. This album is perfect for synth and electronic pop lovers.

Best songs: ‘Sleepyhead’, ‘Little Secrets’, ‘To Kingdom Come’.


Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is the stage name of English artist Sam Duckworth. Cape’s debut album, ‘The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager’, has been described as an indie/emo fusion. The album was very well received by critics and even made the top 100 albums of 2006 lists of Q and NME, which is admirable for such an alternative artist. Musically, the artistically crafted songs are built around picked acoustic guitar and crisp laptop beats, which are combined in an impressively seamless way. Small segments of cello, violin and cornet prevent the style from appearing too limited. ‘Chronicles’ is a refreshingly upbeat album, sure to please those laid back acoustic/electro lovers.

Best songs: ‘Call Me Ishmael’, ‘War of The Worlds’, ‘Find The Time’.


The Postal Service
Give Up

The Postal Service is an American electronic indie pop band composed of vocalist Ben Gibbard of ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ and producer Jimmy Tamborello of ‘’Dntel, Headset and Figurine’. The band’s debut album, Give Up, was released on February 18, 2003. The albums soft rhythmic beats and up-tempo synthesized tunes, followed by Ben Gibbard’s truly relaxing vocals collaborate for a terrific album. The album’s most well-known single was “Such Great Heights” which brings together interesting lyrics and brilliantly catchy tunes. The album is consistent throughout and, like many albums on this list, produces song after song of excellent material. This is an album truly worthy of the number one spot!

Best songs: ‘Such Great Heights’, ‘The District Sleeps Alone Tonight’, ‘We Will Become Silhouettes’.

  • Barry Wanksock

    Where is Gina G – Oooh ah just a little bit?

    • you'rewrong

      One question: WHERE ARE ARCTIC MONKEYS. I demand a list, any list, that features them.

      • ian

        their last album was a bit of a disappointment

        • you'rewrong

          compared to the other masterpieces, yes, but they just chose a different, darker instrumental sound. however, I still like Dangerous Animals, Secret Door, Fire and the Thud, Cornerstone, and Pretty Visitors. Nevertheless, they should have at least been in the top 3. Knock out that horrendous Jamie T group (and that was supposedly their best song, according to the author). "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly" weren't all that great either

  • danny

    boring list

    • rain

      i agree. . .

      • olla.fischer

        i disagree. just go only and tune in. some really good music.

        • olla.fischer

          ups. go ONLINE and tune in…

    • Listsucks

      Agree as well.

      • trinityenigma

        It's obviously a well researched list and something the author is passionate about so I wouldn't describe it as a boring list- but it is not to my taste and I am really not interested. I gave it a shot though!

        • danny

          it is well researched, but tbh it is a very boring list

    • limemime

      After a string of really great lists on listverse, I guess a list like this was inevitable. I'm guessing this list was posted solely for the controversy that would ensue.

    • 2manycats

      I agree. I didn't learn anything from this list other than I really don't know much about alternative music.

      • Graham

        i was searching for alternative ROCK. This is obviously just alternative… like alternative lifestyles.

    • dr. Hannibal Lecter

      So why the hell did you read it? Why not just give up halfway through? Are you one of those guys who watch a 10-minute video on youtube and then comment how you want your 10 minutes back?

    • emmelineleestar

      Have you even bother to give these bands a chance at all?

    • Yep, boring too

  • Crosley

    Have 5/10 not bad.

  • Jael

    I had already heard of some of these groups (Postal Service, Modest Mouse) before reading this list, but I can vouch for their merits. I would rather listen to Modest Mouse on repeat all day than even five minutes of crap by Justin Bieber.

    • necropenguin

      5 minutes? i tried to listen to just one song and only got about 15 seconds.

      • oliveralbq

        15 seconds?

        the biloxi cta (public transit) has tvs on some trollys/busses/etc
        my ears and eyes started bleeding after 5 seconds.

        i had to get off the damn train

      • Jael

        My friends bet that I can listen to a Justin Bieber song for five minutes. I made it to 5 minutes and two seconds before stopping. That is how much I can deal with it if someone gave me twenty dollars for it.

  • huzzein

    My personal favorite these days- Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard.
    Best songs – Only one, Way away, Ocean avenue.
    Give it a shot, they are really good, especially "Only One". :)

    • Tomturbine

      are you posting this comment from 2003?

      • guestly


      • bacanaso


    • marineenologist

      I agee. it is a really is a good album, even if it is "old". i was about 7 when it came out and i never stopped listening to it.

  • Tomturbine

    Most of these are pretty known groups. They just aren't that good.

  • Ehhh…..I know pretty much all of these artist but find them all to be very dull. I would recommend ´The Dictators, Jawbreaker, The Undertones and my favorite The Pogues.

  • Kimani

    Interesting list. the only one i've listened to is vampire weekend and it is brilliant.
    i would add Santogold,

    • Ben Dalton

      i totally agree

  • blake honda

    dubstep is going to be the future

    • Stefan


      • Stefan

        respect*** :)

        • plum13sec

          Dubstep isnt the future, but if you live in california, you know that electronic dance music *IS* the future. Cali raves have the cutest girls, and everyone is having fun there, rather than just trying to get laid like at a club.

          • honestwater

            Dubstep *IS* electronic dance music.

    • deanosantino

      whole heartedly agree, i'm toying with the idea that Rusko could have created the universe :D

    • Matt Harmon

      Rusko, Caspa, Bassnectar, NERO…. Yeah, dubstep wins.

      • Fred

        Eoto and datsik rule the world of dubstep

  • necropenguin

    weak. i could only make it all the way through one of those 9 (#8 wouldn't play) songs (the academy is…). everything else sounded pretty much the same, like crap.

    has the alternative genre changed this much in the last 15 years? where are bands like: nirvana, REM, soundgarden, belly, throwing muses, hole, tori amos, temple of the dog, matthew sweet, archers of loaf, nine inch nails, L7, babes in toyland, sponge, live, flogging molly, smashing pumpkins, weezer, superchunk, mother love bone, liz phair, sunny day real estate, sonic youth, and a couple tons of other bands not on the top of my head?

    i'm all for progressing musically, but i think it's time for some regressing.

    • marqueemark

      agreed 100%

    • lo

      you must be my age! (30) the author must be at least 10 years younger.

      i like pretty much all of your selections, good list (yours) ;)

      • necropenguin

        nope, i'll be the age 55 year olds claim to be when they don't want to look old in less than a month (39).

    • nathaaan90

      Great point. To me, most of these bands conjure up the image of poncy teens who capatilized on the indie explosion a few years ago and are trying to evolve.

    • theubertsisters

      Hear, hear!

      I would also throw Radiohead and the Pixies in there.

    • Camael

      These are exactly the bands I was thinking of when I clicked this link… oh well, I guess our ages are showing.

    • Ella

      I'm 19 and I agree with you 100%.

  • NKA

    Very subjective topic indeed: what is good and what is alternative?

    To be honest: I don't know if it still counts as alternative, but I love Interpol. If you have to take their most "alterantive" album I'd say: "Turn on the bright lights" (even though "Antics" is better, just more mainstream).

    Best tracks: Leif Erikson, Obstacle 1, NYC

    • romerozombie

      Wow, I've never heard anyone say Antics is better than TOTBL. Each to their own. :)

      • NKA

        TOTBL is amazing, don't get me wrong ^^, Antics just has more stadium'ish rock songs, more away from the intimate TOTBL. Guess they speak to me more, but I love both albums. (Our love to admire is also a good album, but a lot less good than the first 2)

  • astraya

    This list is too alternative.

    • rmconnors

      Seriously, half this music isn't even true alternative, its played constantly on top 40 radio. I laughed when I read the list, come to Seattle and hear some real alternative music.

      • trooper009

        Seattle, home of Alt-rock

  • Matt

    I predict a massive flamewar/argument. Something about music gets people’s “anger juices” flowing.

    • John

      I bet we're all on common ground with the fact that all of those songs above are musical masterpieces compared to Justin Bieber.

      • Zaeriuraschi (pronounced zay-ree-ooh-ras-chee)

        Kesha is even worse.

  • river

    where is thrice….

    • Tomturbine

      in the trash.

      • romerozombie

        Even in the trash they'd still be awesome.

        • Jay

          Romero, our comment should be the title of a Modest Mouse album.

  • teddylingus

    easilly the worst list i've ever read on here

    • limemime

      Agreed. Wish it was deleted and replaced with a real list.

    • Jay

      Worse than the talking donkeys?

      • Rob

        talking donkeys was trivia… wasn't the most interesting thing in the world… but there was alot of stuff i diddnt know.

  • May as well call this list "Top 10 Alternative Albums the Author thinks you should buy because he's such a music nazi." Seriously, this sh*t is highly subjective, why is it even on listverse?

    • Yo Yo Ma Ma Ha Ha

      10 albums the author thinks are really cool because he/she thinks no one else has ever heard of these bands therefore making him/her cool because he/she has heard of them even though there are better albums out there in the genre.

      Also the "you should own" part makes him/her pretty snobbish.

      • limemime

        As if this list wasn't subjective enough, the author adds three "best songs" for each group. Out of the 95% of people that won't agree with this list, the remaining 5% will probably disagree with these being the best songs.

    • shane

      Pretty much everything on here is subjective.

    • MRDR

      No way, I love being told what music to listen to by hipsters!
      Seriously though, I agree. I enjoy lists about facts and interesting lies disguised as facts, not some random guy's musical tastes.

  • Barry Wanksock

    Can we have a new list please? This one is toss.

  • Kabir Bhai

    Sitting in office, cant hear any one. Evening will be for music.

    Have heard none of these bands. but due to ur recommendations, might give them a try…

  • george

    this list is embarrassing..for someone who is in to such cool things i figured your music taste would be better than a girl's in the 8th grade

    • bucketheadrocks

      Someones a Twilight fan..

  • jimbo

    all crap, listen to classic rock

    • Sam_89

      We need a top ten of list of Led Zeppelin songs!

    • Aiden

      classic rock is fine and indeed is much better than today`s alt. rock or indie for the most part. but it`s also true that today is full with acts that mop the floor with many of the overrated classic rock press darlings. something simplistic and repetitive like AC/DC is no match to bands that play technically demanding, highly imaginative and creative music like Animals As Leaders or The Mars Volta. methinks the bands that are truly pushing the boundaries of music fall into the realm of loud, abrasive and sometimes dissonant to a point that turn off most people right off the bat. most of the forerunners in music today for that matter are in metal or many of its derivatives be it jazz metal or experimental mathcore.

    • Yet another person who thinks their one genre is better than every other genre. Get out of your hole and open up to other artists. (I say artists, because they should be judged independent of their genre.)

  • Samuel James

    Reading the comments, it's almost embarrassing how many people hee are criticizing this list.

    Realistically people, YES it is subjective, however you also be willing to listen to new forms of music, without disregarding it as 'opinion' or 'rubbish'.

    On the other hand a lot of these groups are absolutely fantastic, 'Mumford and Sons' were amazing at Leeds Festival, and I intend on seeing 'Vampire Weekend' as soon as possible.

    Some variety is always a good thing.

    • Fallen Angel

      Well to each his own opinon… it seems most WERE willing to listen to something new, and it didn't (all) sit well with them. Yes variety is the spice of life, but not everyone has to concour. Your comment comes off as brash and accusitory, I don't think you meant it that way, but it doesn't seem you're respecting others opinons as it doesn't coincide with yours. My apologies if I am incorrect. :)

  • johnbear


    • Matt Harmon

      I second that notion.

      • Nassua

        I third it!

  • kuch

    music is very subjective. its pretty hard to do a top 10 list unless it is based on facts and numbers (album sales). this is more like the author's personal favorite list.

    • Aiden

      realistically speaking album sales dont mean shyt. just because Grammy endorses one or another mediocre musician doesnt necessarily make them any good.

  • danny


  • Junior1029

    Actually you came in second. Haha couldn't resist the chance. Better luck next time.

    • Chineapplepunk

      Oh snap! :)
      There's nothing like a good dose of fail to get the day started!

  • undaunted warrior 1

    Not my cup of tea this list

  • nathaaan90

    yeah i agree that this list is pretty pants. i wouldn't class half these bands as "alternative".

  • romerozombie

    Taking Back Sunday's song 'MakeDamnSure' isn't on 'Where You Want To Be', it's on 'Louder Now'. Bit of a critical mistake to make in a list about albums you should own….

    • JonnyAnscombe

      actually if you read the introduction i made it clear that one of the 'best songs' wasnt on the album

    • TAOT

      …and "Cute Without The 'E'" is on 'Tell All Your Friends.'

  • JimmySclark

    postal service at number one…………………..sorry ass list! Lets try mgmt or arcade fire, nirvana, pearl jam, james, etc……….i can say a million other bands/albums that are well deserving of this list…you lose. crap list as usual for the past six months

    • Aiden

      but then again i could present a lot of different bands that musically could rip a new one for the bands you suggest. do you know how many guitar players out there that deserve more recognition than Kurt Cobain? what Kurt could play can be learned in the matter of couple months by a total novice which is not the case with the likes of Jeff Loomis, Ron Jarzombek, Buckethead, Tosin Abasi and tons of other metal and jazz performers. but then again media focus on easily catchy simple 3 chord run off the mill bands without the regard for many components such as technique, innovation etc. MGMT and focktons of other such bands are the equivalent of Lady Gaga of the rock world. that what you suggest is just a case of media promoted, comparatively mediocre bands. do you know how many bands are out there, old and new, that could show Metallica a thing or two let alone Nirvana? Meshuggah, Gojira, Voivod, Dream Theater, Opeth etc.

    • Nirvana and Pearl Jam are decidedly grunge rock.
      MGMT could be called electronic by some.

  • Armadillotron

    I can`t believe people listen to this "music.."

    • Alyssa

      I can't believe you just typed out something so stupid and ignorant.

  • Stefan

    oh people, what is wrong with our despicable race?
    E.g. Armadillotron above me, its subjective to person, just cos you dont like it, it isnt 'music?'
    well why is there rap music and piano, screamo and greek for example, because people like DIFFERENT things
    imagine if we all liked the same things.. fuck.. what an exciting world that would be.

    • Armadillotron

      Yeah well, nobody likes the same thing. Whenever I go into the Pub, one of my friends plays the SAME BLOODY SONG, everytime he goes in. "It reminds me of my old girlfriend." And it`s "In The Jungle," by that shit band. It drives me up the wall.

      • bluesman87

        ahhh yes "that shit band" im familiar with their work.,…..they are involved in almost all the music on the radio……

  • Stefan

    howeverrrrrr i would like to add that i think listverse would be better if it wasnt so niche if you know what i mean, like a list where the general masses would like it e.g. facts/mysteries/murder lists, rather than best FORD cars or best ROCK songs eg.

  • ciremelf

    10 REAL Alternative albums you should own…(Just My own personal list that I thought I would share.)

    10. Shudder To Think – The Pony Express Record
    9. The Action – Rolled Gold
    8 Chris Bell – I am the Cosmos.
    7. Husker Du – New Day Rising
    6. The Pixies – Doolittle
    5. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
    4. Malfunkshun – Return To Olympus (Grunge begins here.)
    3. The International Submarine Band (Alt Country begins here)
    2. Last Crack – Burning Time (Alt Metal begins here)
    1. The Beatles – Revolver (yes really… Modern and Alternative rock would have never existed without this album).

    Just my opinion. feel free to flame, but please check out the first 9 albums i posted. Number 1 is obvious.

    • enucleator

      ^^ i like your list better ^^

    • Maggot

      Malfunkshun – Return To Olympus (Grunge begins here.)

      RIP Andy Wood… :-(

    • Jay

      Thanks for Husker Du and Pixies. They are very good bands. Yes, the Beatles are an obvious choice as they did so many totally new things with their music. And while we're at it, let's mention Black Sabbath and their important first album. They were critically lambasted for years, but that album changed music.

    • Matt MacNeil

      HUSKER DU! Incredible band.

    • winterinflames

      Wow Shudder to Think is great! I knew I wasn't the only fan out there, but still surprised to see them pop up on someone's favorites :) Craig Wedren's solo album "Lapland" is pretty good too.

  • gfunk101

    I've been reading this site for quite some time and never before felt compelled to sign up in order to comment. Whilst I have frequently disagreed with items on lists, I haven't yet seen a list that fails quite so hard. There are several top ten lists worth of great alternative albums that should be on this list. A few examples of albums whose omission is particularly evident:

    Radiohead – OK Computer
    Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
    The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinate Sadness
    The White Stripes – Elephant
    Beck – Odelay
    Spoon – Gimmie Fiction
    Live – Throwing Copper
    Powderfinger – Internationalist
    silverchair – Frogstomp
    Machine Gun Fellatio – Paging Mister Strike
    Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
    John Butler Trio – Grand National
    Tool – Aenima
    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Boatman's Call

    That's just of the top of my head. I'm sure some other people could add to the list of Alt. Albums you 'Should' own.

    (My list is a bit Australianised due to current location – if you like alternative and you haven't tried Machine Gun Fellatio, check them out.)

    • Sam_89

      Love the Radiohead album :D x

      • NKA

        These are the more "classic" alternative albums, I think the listmakers idea was to post recent albums that most people don't know.

        PS: Smells like teen spirit is a song, the album is called Nevermind.

        PS2: I do like your choices though ^^

        • gfunk101

          Ah, my mistake. I guess my mind was elsewhere when I typed that.

    • enucleator

      interesting list…. but not very accurate if you want to stick with the 'alternative' topic…. Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpins, Beck, Tool and Nick Cave were all alredy well knowed, some of them with mainstream hits… According to the fact that alternative music means underground music, of course ^^

      • hunter

        yup. those are all pop bands, not alternative

        • gfunk101

          I guess you could class those artists as pop bands, but only if you're really, really confused about what the term 'pop bands' refers to.

          • hunter

            What I meant was mainstream bands/artists. I always look at mainstream bands (maybe mistakenly?) as pop. I like punk rock like the Dead Kennedys, the Vandals, Raw Power, the Exploited etc.

    • Israfel

      Radiohead – The bends,
      Nirvana – In utero
      The Smashing pumpkins – Siamese Dream
      The White Stripes – White Blood Cells
      Otherwise, I agree with you.

      • gfunk101

        Also great albums, and with the exception of 'In Utero' I'd happily swap them out with my selection.

    • gabby32


    • gfunk101

      I guess I don't consider the obscurity of the artist or album to be the defining feature of the 'alternative' genre, autumatically dismissing anything that becomes well known or popular and being unworthy of your attention.

      In fact, it smacks of pretension claiming that any music that does better than the artists previous work, or is more 'radio friendly', is suddenly not cool enough to be allowed in your clubhouse. Does music that is good enough to be widely listened to have to be dismissed in case it threatens your precious scenester self-image.

      These are damn good albums. Many of them, such as Nirvana, Pumpkins and Radiohead, are the reason alternative music started recieving such a boost during the 90's. And no, this doesn't magically diminish the value of the artist.

      Based on that logic, a few entries of the original list – such as Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse and Mumford and Sons – would need to be struck off, because they're getting plenty of play time on Channel V.

    • dedaf84

      hey retard the albums called nevermind not smells like teen spirit

  • Chineapplepunk

    You want alternative? Listen to MFKR by Slipknot, now that *is* diverse XD

    • zsasz

      anyone who has voted you down clearly hasnt heard the album and are just going on what they know slipknot sound like now.
      MKFR is barely a 'slipknot' album in my eyes…its crazy how different that album sounds to what they became.

      • loomingresonance

        Anyone who considers Slipknot to be "Alternative" deserves to be voted down.

    • Arman

      XD Seriously the Album is way different from there usual stuff I was blown because of how different it was

  • RCJHKU11

    Great list! I always try to think that a list of albums is a good soundtrack to that person's life. If it puts you in that chill out mood, there can't be anything wrong with that. I like that there were bands I had heard of and some I had not.. Broadens the horizon so to speak.

  • No Pixies?!?!

    Sorry, I have been reading Listverse for about 3 years now and this is the worst list I have seen printed. Yes, taste is subjective, but this is just JonnyAnscombe's favourite alternative albums. There's no interest here, no facts, nothing to learn – just someone else's favourite albums. Plus this isn't even really "alternative music" – it's just a list of mainly similar indie bands.

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Aphex Twin – just two of the diverse alternative acts who could have been on this list. Alternative music isn't just four white boys with jagged hair cuts as in most of these examples.

    • One


    • Aiden

      however counter-intuitive it sounds "alternative" in music doesnt mean alternative in traditional sense. Godspeed You! Black Emperor is what`s called a post-rock band.

      • NoPixies?!?!

        If I've misunderstood anything, my bad, but it's not made clear in the author's intro…

        "Music is such a huge industry that many well deserving artists seem to be wrongly pushed aside and hidden from the general masses. The following are a selection of some artists that I believe everyone should give a quick listen to."

        I read that to mean non-mainstream music in general, as oppose to alt-rock or what-have-you. I quite like post-rock in general to be fair, and in an unrelated aside, I've just got a ticket to see GY!BE in December, can't wait!

        How are you categorising "alternative" out of interest?

    • Jay

      Thanks for mentioning Aphex Twin.

  • novacaine

    i was shock to find Taking Back Sunday included on this list… it happens to be among my favorite bands… it was a sad moment when Fred M. left the band.. it was a wasteful decision… i like their song MAKE DAMN SURE!!! totally

  • Barabas

    Horrible List.
    Missed the Boat’, ‘Float On’, ‘3rd Planet’ are all on that album? I dont thin so Tim.

    • Maggot

      Read the intro, Al.

  • novacaine

    yeah i forgot the mic swinging of Adam Lazzara is cool and epic…

  • JonnyAnscombe

    i see my list is casuing controversy. good good. =)

    • Barabas

      It also contains mistakes as I stated above.
      Modest Mouse
      We were dead before the ship sank
      Best songs: ‘Missed the Boat’, ‘Float On’, ‘3rd Planet, Stairway to heaven, All along the watchtower, Holland 1945.

    • One

      If arguing over a list that has all the merits of a blurb in Entertainment Weekly is considered good controversy, this site and this world are going to hell.

    • Jay

      Wish you had put the part about all the songs not being off the same album in CAPITAL LETTERS so people would see it and quit triumphantly explaining to you that these weren't all on the same album. That's starting to grate…

    • It's spelled "causing", not "casuing". And for you to find enjoyment in people not liking your terrible list, that just means you're well suited to the Listverse of today, a website that used to be great and is now rapidly collecting some of the worst writers and largest collections of FAIL on the Net.

      Also, you might want to familiarize yourself with real alternative music. None of these bands are anywhere close. There's a difference between alternative music and terrible, pansy emo music.

      • gloria snockers

        Yea! the spelling nazis are rollin'

      • plum13sec

        o shut up

  • Fallen Angel

    This really seems like a list of top 10 Alternative Albums you really like :). Which is very cool, but I must agree subjective… blah blah, choicce, taste opinion, blah blah.
    I've heard several of these bands myself, but not my cup of tea, even as someone who has a VERY eclectic taste in music.
    Thank you for your list, it's always nice to hear something new, you never know what you'll like until you try :)

  • oouchan

    I tried to give them each my attention and found my attention wondering off. Just not my taste in music. I'm surprised though that my daughter doesn't have any of these….I would know as she tries to make me listen to every one of them she finds. :)

    • bucketheadrocks

      This is the first time in a while that you haven't said "interesting list" :)

      • oouchan

        Because it truly isn't. Not enough to keep my interest. Although I did give it a try.

  • pheurton

    the get up kids are phenomenal, but two of the "best songs" aren't even from something to write home about. best songs should have been dottie, i'll catch you and ten minutes. at least, those are popular ones. also, they didn't create emo. not even their sound within emo. that was rites of spring and jimmy eat world respectively.

    as for the rest of the list, well, my list would have at least included albums like meat is murder by the smiths and daydream nation by sonic youth. they're cornerstone alt. albums.

    • Jay

      The Smiths. That's going back a ways. First mention of them I've heard in this list. They were a great band and came up with some truly great songs. Morissey and Marr wrote some gems. But if you're going that route, you might as well say it all started with Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd and be done with it.

  • Geaux

    I know that this list is very subjective, but I feel that anyone who pays for satellite radio would have heard of these bands. I do appreciate your list, but I think a few of these bands have come into a bit of mainstream recognition lately.

    One of my favorite bands is "Mute Math" They are from New Orleans and it adds a bit of flavor to their alt rock style. Check them out. They are a amazing.

  • brock

    a boring list by i see most of you feel the same way i do

    • bucketheadrocks

      Somehow… everything you say just somehow pisses me off.

      • 2manycats

        C'mon BucketHead. Brock is almost like an LV mascot. He could have been the mascot at my High School – the South Houston Trojans. Aint nothing like having your football team named after a condom.

        • 2manycats

          @brock – I actually look forward to your postings. You always get in trouble even if you don't do anything wrong.

  • bluesman87

    i hate the word alternative .it just pisses me off . They should call alt music “diet metal”

    • enucleator

      hahahaha diet metal, good one :D

  • snoogens

    Ah, disappointing list today. Let’s get it back together tomorrow.

  • Dani

    List is too reminiscent of what "I'm holier than thou" indie douchebags listen to.

  • gabi319

    Perhaps the big issue everyone seems to have is your title, JonnyAnscombe. By 'alternative', you mean non-mainstream (although I generally think a band's mainstream if they hit the radio stations on the higher frequencies. I've heard a small handful of these on the radio) but when everyone sees 'alternative', they are thinking of a well-established music genre and most of of these songs don't fit within it. It's kind of like going to a restaurant and expecting to eat steak but ending up with a peanut butter sandwich.

    More than half of these songs are indie rock… should've clearly specified that in the title and made it all strictly about indie rock.

    • Aiden

      if you want to nit-pick "inide" in the sense you are using(mostly accepted in music today) has not always meant what it means today that`s a generic if hipsterized version of alt.rock. as you might know it meant independent of labels.

      • gabi319

        Thank you, Mr. Obvious, for obviously stating what I obviously stated in my obvious statement above. That is essentially what I said in the first two sentences of my above post except my comment compared 'alternative', the term, to 'alternative', the perceived/expected sound/vibe. You simply switched 'alternative' for 'indie'.

        I appreciate your nit picking of my nit picking.

        • Jay

          Nitpicking is one word. Obviously.

          • gabi319

            lol. I like your sass, Jay.

          • Jay

            Why, thank you. Wait! You said Sass, right? With an S in front… Thanks, gabi.

  • 2nd. Sorry

  • winston_returns

    Too American

    • Maggot

      You could have at least returned with some new material.

  • unclejoe1917

    Oh jesus, it just keeps getting more and more lame. You realize that Alternative was for those who wanted a funny haircut but didn't have the cajones to play or listen to punk rock in the early and mid 80s. It was a softer, more digestible sound for those who liked to consider themselves a freak, but not too big of a freak. It completely jumped the shark in the early 90s with the explosion of REM, grunge and alternative radio stations. Now it is a wretchedly tired cliche spawned from a music form that was, by nature, safe and boring in the first place.

    • papashango

      blogging about punk is pretty safe and boring too you hypocrite.

      • unclejoe1917

        At least punk rock had a small window of true legitimacy. It is only by chance that punk rock splintered became increasingly watered down and eventually fell under the catch-all label of "alternative". If you want to come here and challenge me and write a personal attack, you better come with something better, than "Nuh-uh, you are". You want to start by pointing out where anything I said was wrong? What did I say that was hypocritical you jerkoff? I'll bet a twenty that you were still on your mama's tit when alternative music was coming around.

  • That atrocity by Jamie T might be the worst “song” I’ve ever heard.

  • Surya

    Even a "too American" list is better than this!

  • good list. **if** you like these bands. poor list if you have heard the term “alternative rock” and you arent familiar with the genre and want to learn a/b its inception -early forays into the genre should be represented better, as they set the tone and influenced a shitton of later acts. my ten/15 looks and sounds nothing like this list, butjafe didnt post *my* list. i suppose this is educational, but not if youre curious a/b the genre.. usually good for that info. this is more like random albums.

    • enucleator

      Now i'm interested to read your list!!! ^^

  • One

    This is no more interesting than reading some 15 year olds "must have" list on Amazon. Listverse should be held to a higher standard than that.

  • @gfunk101: for someone who never comments, yours is on the money. although nirvana’s “nevermind” is still severly overplayed you dont really need to own it. “bleach”, on the other hand….good on nick cave and nin (although i like fragile) & beck (odelay and guero), live, s.chair, tool, and white stripes (wh. blood cells better way better) . “louder than love” -soungarden. whoever said mother love bone…and last crack. i actually dont have the space on mobile for this kind of comment. maybe later.

    • Israfel

      Personally, I think "In Utero" is better then "Bleach" but then again, if we all agree, what kind of world would we live in ;-)

  • sleep

    # 6 Modest Mouse – The album you reference is in correct. Float on and good times are killing me are from Good news for people who love bad news.

  • Nick

    Wow, this is like the shittiest list I have ever read on this site. It's sad that I've enjoyed reading about atrocious Nazi generals and the like more so than this indie/pop-punk mainstream crap. Stop pandering to the 13 year-olds reading this website and try to create something of value.

    • Alyssa

      Dude, it's one list that upset you, calm down.

      Go read about your Nazi generals and World War II facts somewhere else as Listverse is a site with VARIETY.

  • cambered

    OK list at best… and I am a long standing fan of the alternative / indie genres.

    I "get" The Postal Service… I own that one and it is a great album.
    I "get" Vampire Weekend… ditto ditto ditto.
    I "get" Modest Mouse… ditto ditto ditto.

    etc etc etc

    But I just don't "get" the point of this list. If it were a list of "10 Seminal Alternative Albums" or "10 Founding Fathers of Alternative Music" then perhaps I would "get" it. Instead it reads like a pimply teenagers list of current favourite records…

    • Yo Yo Ma Ma Ha Ha

      Nail on the head. Pretty sure everyone else has the same feeling for this list. But I think you said it best.

  • Sam Prior

    Adam Lazarra wasn't t6he lead singer of TBS when "cute without the "e"" was released.

    • gabby32

      He's singing it on the album I have… dumbass.

  • shadycharl

    What's wrong with you all? Just because it's got bands you don't like doesn't make it a pants list. It's just not to your taste. If everyone made their own they would all be different and someone somewhere would get upset. Great to see Mumford and sons on there. Great album and even better live!

    • gabby32

      Fair enough… BUT you missed the point about it being an ALTERNATIVE list.. Mumford and sons?? great celtic folk album.. NOT "alternative"…. dumbass.

      • shadycharl

        Sorry. But with it saying alternative I thought it meant music that isn't pop music. But after having looking the term up on wikipedia I now see the error in my comment. Was the 'dumbass' comment really necessary though? Really?

  • Barry

    I freaking love Vampire Weekend. I’m going to see them in Boston in like….6 DAYS HOLY SHIT.

    You could describe them as Upper West Side Sowetto.

  • gilbert neal

    Another bathetic list.

  • By the way, I presented a MUCH more interesting, researched list about some unknown 70's music facts, and now these people don't even return my emails. I posted it myself, on my own blog. I suspect this post will be deleted. I OFFERED it to them. When this list here gets posted, it's time to stop coming here, folks.

  • Mister Lister

    Oh Listverse, what have you done? We have recently had gems such as SAS Operations, Great Robberies, Classic dying lines now this. It feels like my eyes are being raped over and over again.

  • mbkk40

    Seriously Listverse, an opinion based music list? I never thought I'd say it, but it seems that LV is circling the drain. Very sad to watch the demise.

  • enucleator

    I can understand the disapointment of many people here. Alternative is not really a gender of music per se, but more like a big umbrella recovering a lot of different genders. Since the 80's, alternative was supposed to mean underground. So i was more expecting a list about ''historical" alternative bands and not the personal tastes of the writer. Kinda confusing….

    • Ass Face Mcgee

      HAHAHAH Gender of music….
      silly Boy

  • bassbait

    Now for a metal albums one! Because seriously, I'm sick of people thinking that all Metal albums are Master of Puppets. I would like to see a list that incorporates bands like Opeth or Iron Maiden's "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" album.

    • Brad

      you have one TD. very predictable of people who listen to nobody, but what pop media says. and it says Vampire Weekend or Metallica were/are the pinnacle of what music is/should be.

  • Lifeschool

    Gosh. Some of these bands are well worth a listen, and others I can do without. Mumford and Sons are perhaps the last bastion of good ‘ol Barn-dance Rock – and they sure do hit the mark. While we’re being all subjective, here are a few titles I’d recommend:

    Hayseed Dixie (another barn-dance rocker, tribute band)

    Amadou et Mariam – Dimanche A Bamako (african folk/rock)

    Apollo 440 (any album – techno rock a bit like Juno Reactor)

    Edenbridge – Shine (or any album) (euro goth rock!)

    Jello Biafra..with the Guantanamo School of Medicine – The Audacity of Hype (balls-out rock)

    Peatbog Faeries – Live (celtic trance rock)

    • shadycharl

      Hayseed dixie are hilarious live. Must see band.

  • Craig

    Where you want to be best taking back Sunday album?

    Blasphemy. Tell All Your Friends is 100 times better

  • Sly

    I stopped reading when I saw your TBS's album. Anyone who doesn't pick 'Tell All Your Friends' as the first TBS record to listen to CLEARLY doesn't know what he's talking about…

    • jhhjk

      agreed, not to mention most people know 'where you want to be'

  • Ryan

    Too much opinion, too little facts. This is just a list of Alternative albums, in no specific order. No band is better than another… Unless one is absolutely horrid.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Not really my thing, but it's not fair to talk shit as I'm sure a billion comments will.

    • Jay

      General, you appear to have been proven correct. It's 11 hours after your comment, and talking shit doesn't begin to describe the animosity on this list.

      • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

        General T is wise

  • enucleator

    Now for a total subjective opinion on the bands :

    10 – Vampire Weekend : Overrated, boring
    09 – The Get Up Kids : OK, it's an old album, sounds like ''classic alternative rock"… not my favorite though
    08 – Mumford & Sons : Catchy, cute, but expandable
    07 – The Academy is… : Buuurff
    06 – Modest Mouse : Yaaaaawwwnnn…
    05 – Jamie T : Trying to be the new Beck? Well you're not. Annoying.
    04 – Taking Back Sunday : When i was a kid, sundays were extremely boring, this band reminds me that, and it doesn't makes me happy.
    03 – Passion Pit : Yeah yeah, i get what you're trying to do but, no no, i'll pass…
    02 – Get Cape,… : Did something happened? I hope it's not one of his stronger tracks… Boring, re-yawwnnn…
    01 – The Postal Service : i kinda like this band. But not interested enough to buy their albums, sorry Johnny….

    • trevorshofner

      You're terrible, and a waste of type.

      • enucleator

        ok, sure, uh-uh…. may i ask why?

        • loomingresonance

          You were too polite.

    • bikermike

      Probably the fairest evaluation of the lot. 'Alternative' to what? It sounds like pretty much the same as the mainstream crap that I have to put up with when inflicted with it by well meaning friends. I was thinking maybe something alternative meant as alternative as Captain Beefheart or Zappa once were.

    • Liz

      yeah, vampire weekend are boooring. Saw them on SNL once, sheeesh!!

  • Chris

    I think Margot and the Nuclear So &So's should be on here. Phenomenal musicianship.

  • trevorshofner

    This list comes across as very amateur. You really need to pick a sub-genre of music and make the list from there, because this just seems like you're listing your favorite artists, and not an objective intellectual endeavor, as most lists try to be.

  • undaunted warrior 1

    I posted a comment earlier today saying that this list is not my cup of tea, I have reread it again at home and I still feel the same – no offence intended.
    Im inclined to agree with gabi that it might have something to do with the title – I suppose we cant please everybody all the time.

  • What makes music "alternative"? I was under the impression that Mumford and Sons, Vampire Weekend, and Modest Mouse were mainstream bands. I'm not a fan of The Postal Service, but I may check out the other bands on the list.

  • bvh

    That's not music, thats computer generated rubbish. I'll stick with Agustin Barrios Mangore. check him out!

  • Sam27

    Usually lists on this site are ok but this is just… terrible. I’m sorry Jfrater but these artists are pretty average and the fact there is no Flaming Lips on here is a testament to your lack of knowledge on the subject matter.

    • Dan

      Flaming Lips are just another band that people throw around who love to come across very knowledgeable.

  • IanK

    Reading the comments on this article has been the highlight of my day

  • brody

    bummed that people are gonna think that 'we were dead before the ship even sank' is modest mouse's best album. far, far from it. if you really want to get a feel for modest mouse listen to 'building something out of nothing', 'lonesome crowded west' and 'this is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about' those are the golden years.

    • Nitram


  • Dirty H

    Remember when "alternative" was actually "underground" ? Then the "underground" came above ground and was called "alternative". Then, because of mass media, i.e. the internet, making everything easily accessible, "alternative" simply became "mainstream". I grew up with 90's alternative which was music that you weren't going to hear on a Toledo, OH classic rock station. Some of the bigger acts, the Seattle bands mostly, made their way onto "Classic Rock" radio but stuff like Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, Afghan Whigs stayed on the fringes.
    That being said I,myself would include none of these particular albums in a list of "Alternative" music. I'd definitely put Modest Mouse's "The Lonesome Crowded West" in the alternative category. The simple fact that this entire list is of bands mostly formed since 2000 shows the writers youth or complete disregard for the genre's defining music of the 80's and 90's…

  • Ego

    Awesome seeing Passion Pit on the list!
    They have some great stuff!

    Played at my college this past year too!

  • my name

    was this list posted by you jfrater ??????

  • Ryan

    Good list, would have liked to see some angels & airwaves though, especially their new album “love”.

  • Doobie

    State Radio – Us Against The Crown

  • Theodore Z Williams

    Nice list. Don't get all of the hating on the list really. Actually no, I do get it I think, so please forgive if I'm wrong.

    Peoples idea of alternative can be very varied, after all, what 'is' alternative? Something different to the mainstream if the dictionary is to be belived; therefore, peoples tastes in the genre are likely to be different.

    Perhaps it was a mistake to make this a 'top ten' list. It would fit much better as one of the '10 something somethings', maybe there would be less RAGE here then. Music is a very subjective topic, and so if you come in with a list of bands and say they are top ten, somebody will always disagree. Music lists here are always nice though to gain some new artists to listen to; so again, it's a bit of a pity to see all of the hating (alas, hater's gonna hate).

    • samanthaf63

      Agree with this completely. All you have to do is tell someone they "should" something and it immediately brings out the resentment.

      And people are passionate about their music, so it works twice as strong here.

  • maccaroni

    My bad, just noticed you mentioned what Passion Pit's genre is… But the how would you define "alternative" music? It seems like a wide net to cast.

  • I like some of the artists on here but even I have to agree that this list is boring.

  • JAtM

    "Float On" is not on that album–it's on "Good New For People Who Love Bad News", which is another alternative album you should own.

  • Amber

    Mumford and Sons are my favourite band at the moment, had their CD for a few months now and I still listen to it practically everyday! I've never really heard anything like them before but I have to disagree slightly with your list and say Timshel is a better song than Roll Away Your Stone!

    • limemime

      While I like Mumford and Sons as well, I would hardly classify them as alternative. Are you a fan of Laura Marling by chance?

  • Sasquatch

    I have to disagree with the Modest Mouse album. Their best album (so far) in my opinion is The Moon and Antarctica. We were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is good, but not as good as it could have been.

    • Nitram

      Moon and Antarctica was great but for me their best is lonesome crowded west. The first time I heard “doin the cockroach” is when I first fell in love with this band

  • Will Trame

    Everyone has varying opinions on music as it generally boils down to one’s tastes and experiences. I haven’t heard of any of the bands on this list. Myself, I prefer the music of the sixties, followed closely by the early seventies. Every thing else that followed (although there were some good music few and far between as it may have been) sucked for the most part.

    How about presenting a list of progressive albums every one should own, or psychedelic relic sets, or jazz and blues? I love reading lists about music despite any controversies or flame wars that may ensue a s a result.

    • samanthaf63

      It's one thing to offer some suggestions, and it's another thing to tell people what they "should" listen to. My musical tastes are similar to yours (only I prefer late 60s and I'd add primary goth to the mix) but these days "Alternative" doesn't even mean what it meant before. Some alternative still is "different from the norm" but most of it seems to be the same old cheesy pop music but without the cheeriness. And if you've ever heard "Seasons in the Sun" or "Rocky" out of the 70s, you'll agree that there were as many morbid romances then as now.

      • Andres

        You do know "should" is not synonymous with "must," don't you?

  • AlphaBase1

    These are some of worst, most boring comments I’ve ever read. Really embarrassing. All you know-it-all’s in here need to get it together and up your game. Go outside, take a break, get some fresh air, and come back and try again tomorrow.

  • Seanithan

    Instead of bitching about how this list sucks why doesn’t everyone chime in with a musical suggestion?

    Mine is Portugal. The Man’s Censored Colors. Check it. You will not be disappointed. In fact check out all their albums.

    • oliveralbq

      ive made a bunch so far — but this is the right attitude, and interesting to boot. i wish you'd have posted this closer to the list release.

      i may suggest another couple, but for now
      if you wanna classify alt.metal/ska/l.a.whateverness as alternative (it's alternative to *something*) then….the reality of my surroundings. fishbone. fishbone. fishbone.

      as for — "portugal. the man"? — i actually have tix to go see them. they are playing at "one eyed jacks", which is a blues/dive bar in new orleans –on the corner of toulouse&royal, on the edge of the french qtr., right across from the st. louis cathedral and caddy corner to the cafe du monde.
      12 or 13 of october.
      they have some cool bands –some local — and some entirely unheard of.

      if nothing else —- this link has a 9 minute video of a badass snake eating a rodent. as a bonus, one of their tunes plays in the background.

      wild guess who played (after a voodoo fest (new orleans 55 band fall concert — kind of like jazzfest in the spring)) —– yep — dr. madd vide, and the fishbone brotherhood. even joined on stage by a few guests, flea and layne staley — to do a couple tunes as "trulio disgracias" (fishbone members side project with john fruscante, and george clinton, and tim alexander from primus, and all those dudes)

    • alexetorg

      Circa Survive-Juturna should be #1. As for Portugal the Man, I'd go with Church Mouth.

  • kipples

    I strongly recommend Prototype by Video Kid, aka Bret McKenzie. It's groovy, funky and dreamy all in the space of 9 songs. This is DJz Girlfriend, the song that made me buy the album

  • rfffff

    Cage the elethant. 'Nuff said.

  • Chris

    "Float On" wasn't on We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank…

  • Dylan

    Taking Back Sunday sounds terrible live, when they played it sounded like a bunch of 5 year olds

  • JLL

    I’ve never commented before on listverse just because generally someone will say what I’m already thinking and there’s no need. However these comments sadden me. And i can’t help but reply. People always talk about how independent music is pretentious and snobbish. When in reality it’s completely the other way around. I find that people who listen to indie/alternative music are more likely to listen to your classic rock than you are to listen to anything we think is of value. Quickly writing it off as too weird. And i’m also tired of the lack of pride in the genre, often resorting to irony to deflect their love of the music. Just once i wish someone would say I LOVE indenpendent music, and that’s what I’ll do. I LOVE indie music! Also as far as the genre thing, indie music is an extension of alternative and post punk back in the late 70’s. So indie is alternative. Just because Cool Bop is different than Hard Bop or doesn’t mean it isn’t Jazz. Anyway i’ll quit my tirade now.

  • Unabutt

    Maybe to make people stop crying over how this list isn't exactly what they wanted, rename it to something like "TOP 10 Alternative Albums -I'd Recommend- you should own" or something along those lines.

  • samanthaf63

    euwwwwwwwwwww – kind of wish you'd rephrased this "you should own" – always makes me bristle and want to run the other way. How about "Great Alternative Albums"?

  • Ben

    how can you have a list of great albums and not have hybrid theory by linkin park. seriously

    • Nitram

      Give me a kazoo, an empty beer bottle and a 2×4 and I can create a song that’s more creative and complex than any song linkin park has written or ever will write

  • Jack

    I don’t normally leave comments (can’t remember my password) but this is the worst musical list I’ve ever seen. I was expecting Screaming Trees, Dinosaur Jr etc.

  • Batmansbrother

    Momford and son’s the cave is a great song.. I think most of the music out today its just so..urrgh factory made ‘paint by number’ soulless ring tones for me music was good back in the.. Wait.. oh god no i’m getting old..

  • Let's wait until great bands like XTC have lapsed into the zamani before crowning a bunch of pretenders who cannot play their instruments 1/5th as well.

  • ryan


  • ryan

    Don't really know many of these besides Vampire Weekend, Taking Back Sunday and Modest Mouse. So, with that being said how can "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel not be on here. I'm not sure if its considered alternative or if its more indie, but it is one of the most complex and amazing albums that has ever been recorded. Jeff Mangum (although he is a little out there) is a genius!

    • elleoh

      NMH would be at the top of my indie list, king of carrot flowers pt .1 makes my heart hurt from its awesomeness

      • ryan

        the album as a whole makes me feel things that ive never felt lol

        • oliveralbq

          it's a wonderful time in a man's life, this: to first experience the blow-up-doll effect of alt.rock


          • ryan

            thats funny

  • dsdanger

    For such a "boring" and "sucky" list… sure has stirred up quite a hornet's nest…..It's all relative…..enjoy!

  • raiden

    too mainstream

  • At least half of these are pretty famous. I thought this was supposed to be directed at more underground bands….. Well anyhoo, I'll be listening to all of your 'best song' suggestions for the bands I didn't already listen to, so thanks for the new music.

  • Palefinger

    All these bands are hardly "alternative" and they share the same generic, whiny sound. It's alternative music for frat boys.
    Try this list:
    Antony and the Johnsons, Nico Muhly, Piano Magic, Sparklehorse, Stereolab, TV on the Radio, Bat for Lashes, Valley of the Giants, Atlas Sound, and some old Silver Apples

  • mordechaimordechai

    Wow! a lot of comments and so little time to read them… So i will not.
    That must be the first time that i never heard of any of the 10 points mentioned in the list.
    And yet, i'm not even slightly drawn by curiosity to them.
    Guess i'm not Curious Yellow
    Man! i forgot to search for that movie!

    • Aiden

      man, i love BTBAM if that`s what your screen name refers to. funny, this band alone plays music much more intricate, sophisticated and technical than what others in comment box are suggesting in lieu of the that 'alt list". in other words swapping mediocre for another. if you are into prog rock/metal with unreal instrumental parts unlike what you would hear in generic alt. and classic rock bands you have nothing to lose if you dont know who Modest Mouse or Vampire Weekend are. or REM or Pixies.

  • keylick

    while The Get Up Kids brings me back to my youth, and i love both Modest Mouse ans The Postal Service, i'll have to agree with most people and say its a weak list.

  • Gav

    Frank Zappa?

    • Jay

      Either you are incredibly young or I am incredibly old…

    • Topa

      Zappa is great but I wouldn't consider him to be alt rock. Btw, if you like Zappa you might like this band:

  • SusanSwankyy

    Jamie T is quite amazing in my opinion, when I first heard him I swooned.
    But other than that I'm unable to fully agree with any of these.

  • amadee

    this is just bubble gum pop music. WTF is alternative about any of these????

  • Evii

    Hey, I’ve been a silent list-verse reader for about two years. All I want to say is thanks for posting this list. I know it might not appeal to everyone, but I’ve always had to stand those other music lists on this site and this is the first music list that I actually enjoy.
    It made my day.
    BTW, I’m not a 15 year old. People shouldn’t judge others for the music they listen to. I’m not american either.

  • YOU

    Some proper punctuation and spell-check would be nice before lists are published would be nice. Or at least some consistency. In one sentence, an album title will be capitalized and in the next it's all lower-case.

    Also, I wouldn't even call most of these bands "alternative".

  • Aiden

    i could here outline some of the best bands today that are pushing the boundaries.regardless of genre. but alas, i cant write worth a shyt. something like Animals As Leaders, Botch, At The Drive, Buckethead and Meshuggah would be at the forefronts.

  • sweep

    I would say Gorillaz but I guess they're kinda mainstream.
    But yeah this list wasn't very good.

  • Taking Back Sunday is the only good band on this list.

  • Jay

    Everyone seems to be kvetching about the question of whether these bands deserve the "alternative" label. I think that's largely because the word has changed its meaning. Many years ago alternative meant musically different, taking music in a new direction. Now it seems to mean "exactly like the better-known bands, just not as good." Are any of these bands really alternative in the older sense of the word? Is their stuff really different from mainstream pop and rock? I haven't heard them all, but I can't hear that much difference with most of them.

    "Alternative" shouldn't mean unpopular as it seems to now. I consider much of the Beatles' work alternative, along with Dylan and a Marvin Gaye song or two, Miles Davis, etc. They really offered people an alternative to the usual.

    I suspect some other people commenting on this list are having trouble because they have the same definition of the word "alternative" as I do.

    For true alternative music, I suggest you read the lists on "Bizarre Videos" on this same site. Groups like The Avalanches and Dir en Gray are there. I realize I'm way behind the times in using the term "alternative" in this way, but that's how I used the term when I was young.

  • Jimbo

    So alternative means emo-crap? Bad list, bad music. And by the by, alternative is a bad title/genre.

    • Aiden

      alternative doesnt mean "emo-crap" and consequently emo doesnt mean bad music. alt. rock is absolutely overplayed. most alt.rock successors play nothing but rehashed version of the same thing. think Franz Ferdinand, Fratellis, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wombats, Arctic Monkeys and bagillion more…boring, albeit a bit catchy. as for emo, it was legit until the clowns you associate them with hit the scene. At The Drive In, Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu are among the best not only in post hardcore/emo scene, but in the whole of music. emo now means ridiculous haircuts, tight pants and such and has nothing to do with music. also people call everything that they dont like "emo". much like the term 'gay' is misused and overused for something that has nothing to do with homosexuality.

  • elnumero

    king khan and bbq

  • Birdowner

    Any album by the Church should be on here. Check them out. Everyone.

  • gooseasalways

    Just always have to give a shout out to the band The National. If you like the bands on this list, you'll like the National. Me and like 5 other people have heard of them, so give them a try. My favorite is "All the Wine," but the most popular seems to be "Fake Empire" off their second album. Fake Empire was also in the second season premiere of the HBO show "Hung," made for some great television.

  • Aiden

    i never heard a good alt rock guitar player. guitar players closest to alt.rock that are basically the pride and face of modern times America are Omar Rodriguez Lopez, John Frusciante and Buckethead. of course they do wide range of genres and sometimes batshiit insane stuff. (the first and the latter). for example Big B composes and plays almost everything- funk, jazz, metal, experimental etc. to some degree ORL does the same. most importantly they dont recycle some tired shyt from the bands of the past which werent good themselves to start with. i am pretty sure everyone knows John Frusciante, but if Buckethead and Omar Rodriguez are new to you here are some suggestions that show their prowess (songs):
    The Mars Volta (ORL`s band):
    Viscera Eyes
    Meccampectecture (wait past the intro)
    Roulette Dares
    Cicatriz ESP
    Drunkship of Lanterns
    Day Of The Baphomets
    Miranda, That Ghost Isnt Holy Anymore

    another instantly catchy stuff, yet very good stuff from ORL would be:
    Coma Pony
    Melting Chariots

    check out his collabo with JF. John Frusciante vs Omar Rodriguez- "0". 0(zero) is the name of the composition.

  • fjdlajfa

    clearly you've been living under a rock. most of these bands are fairly mainstream. in fact, taking back sunday, the academy is, the postal service, MODEST MOUSE, all bands that most of us started listening to in 8th grade. furthermore, none of these bands are under the same sub-genre, leaving an extremely inconsistent list. mumford & sons, vampire weeked, modest mouse, passion pit, taking back sunday, the postal service, and every other band on this list has been featured on vh1 or mtv. although i dig all of these, you really need to step back and either that everyone else has been listening to this stuff for years, and is therefore NOT underground. kthx.

  • aristotleltotsira

    ..thanks for this particular list, i've learned some really cool bands especially passion pit.

  • Krauzer_the2nd

    good list.. nothing against it.. music is indeed a private affair.. but I think it was a little too much USA/UK.. Aussie indie bands (imho) are better alt rock bands than UK (like Dead Letter Circus… or maybe PowderFinger or Karnivool..)

  • Alyssa

    I groaned at some of the bands on this list (The Academy Is… for example) but after a listen to a few (like Taking Back Sunday which I previously could not stand) they were pretty good.

    The problem with alternative rock is a lot of the music sounds the same. =/

    But I was SO happy to see The Postal Service at number 1. They are AMAZING. Owl City is just a cheap knock off of it…

  • Alyssa

    Oh, and the reason Nirvana isn't on here is because they're so damn popular everyone already KNOWS about them.

    This list is about finding the more obscure bands and making them known.

  • mmm

    The problem isn't the albums chosen; it is the title for the article. As a 10 Favorite Albums list, it is beyond reproach (since favorite is subjective), but to call these "top albums" (which implies that they are significant to the scene, significant to the development of the genre/music, critically acclaimed and well regarded, etc) is just nonsense.

  • these are so alternative, "alternative to what?"
    Alternative is a very broad genre. I personally wouldn't use the Heading of alternative for half of these songs.

  • stegosaurus

    I am a music lover but I don't think anyone will care what I think but here it is anyway..

    If you are going a synthy/brit pop route try:
    Say Hi – One, Two..One
    Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent, D Is For Dangerous (my personal favorite)
    Chester French – She Loves Everybody

    Also awesome:
    The Dead Weather – Blue Blood Blues, I Cut Like A Buffalo
    (And anything from the White Stripes ((same singer ^ ))
    Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes
    La Roux – Fascination, Amour Love
    Animotion – Obsession

  • Davo

    Break the Chain by Spark-Iris should easily be on this list

  • stevenuz

    none of this is alternative. it’s gay

  • Jay

    stegosaurus, I see you're another Arctic Monkeys fan. Maybe I'll have to listen to some more of their stuff; everybody but me seems to like them. And I don't DISlike them; I just haven't heard anything that great.

    I disagree on the White Stripes. Although I would like to see Meg's sex tape… hehehe.

  • oliveralbq

    a) — i didnt think your 1st comment came off that way. angel did, we all have different opinions, and it was a nice apology.

    b) — "most of the lists"? subjective? dude — ive never sat down and done an aplies mathematical analysis on the 1,775 lists here, but i seriously doubt *most* are subjective. having read them all from the 3rd week on (aug 2007), i remember them being more subjective back then, but if you look at it by quarter or by year, most recently seem to have some ojective qualifications about them. anf even if im a little off, i guarantee you that most of the popular ones, the good ones (whic you can objectivly qualify by analysing reviews, and shit like that) most of the ones with a good reception are more objective.
    but alas, you are again correct. even with a super subjective list like this,pissing and moaning about it it silly. maybe i just have too moch other crap on my plate right now, but youre spot-on on that one.

    c) jaime t and vampire weekend are the only ones i think i could deal with. of course, i hated capt. beefhart when i first heard him, so maybe the others can grow on me. maybe not. and this is the first i'd heard of v.weekend's studio shit. — but they are good live. — i already made a comment on this way later in this thread,

  • oliveralbq

    vampire weekend sounds like the strokes to me. this is based on
    –) their sound on this one track …. and…….
    –) their live shows. ive seen em twice opening for others, and ive seen strokes — what…3 times? their lead singer isnt as charasmatic as julian casablancas (who is semi-rigid himself).

    jamie t——this cat reminds me loosely of g. love and special sauce, whom i love. kind of. sorta like how "godzilla" (blue øyster cult) and "smells like teen spirit" (nirvana) *kinda* sound like "more than a feeling" (boston).

    enough for me to be interested, and give them the benefit of the doubt, and hope they get a little edgier, or better, or whatever.

  • plum13sec

    I dont care for any other group on here except for The Postal Service. I can listen to their only CD release anyday, anytime.

  • Nitram

    Well since we’re all bitchin bout our favorite bands I’ll put in my two cents: I highly recommend a band called The Books, some great songs to check out are smells like content, vogt digg for kloppervok, take time, and free translator. Great band, lots of literary references, and completely unique.

  • Lea

    At least Modest Mouse is listed but what abou tFleet Foxes, The Decemberists, Broken Bells, Silversun Pickups, Blind Pilot, Rogue Wave, The New Pornographers…

    • ManBearPig

      New Pornographers…well played Lea. Well played…

  • Ibot

    "Cousins" is on Contra, not Vampire Weekend.

  • QuikeMo


  • Jay

    Not quite…

  • ManBearPig

    Some of you take these lists way too seriously. Although I'd agree we are all accustomed to generally factual or more straightforward information based lists. I also find that a list like this can be just as interesting. I appreciate the fact that the author has chosen to share something a little more close to home and likely intended it to be nothing more than that. We've seen many lists like this in the past regarding other topics such as cars or foods, and those don't seem to upset anyone (or at least not as many or to the same degree). Although this list seems to have gotten many people riled up. Music has a way of doing that. This list should be one of the better lists to spark conversation, and allow others to expand their own musical horizons. Unfortunately, most people are just mad their band wasn't brought up. If you don't agree with the list then please give all te other readers a heads up as to what else we could listen to. That being said, solid list (I like a lot of these bands…could be why I didn't take offence) heres some others to take a look at if you like the stated bands above.
    The Mountain Goats, Okkervil River, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yelstin, The Weakerthans, Rilo Kiley, All-Time Quarterback (also Ben Gibbard), Bon Iver.

    • Jay

      Well, you're right that this list has gotten people excited, ManBearPig. I've never seen so many people post to a list to say that the list isn't worth posting to…

    • Weakerthans are so f'ing good. Winnipeg has such a rich music scene..

  • ykh

    I love Mumford and Sons. I thought i was the only one

  • Lea

    Weakerthans. I was gonna add them to my post ;) I left off way to many of my favorites. I just didn't want my first post to be to long winded.

    I seem to do that a lot.

  • Lindsey

    I wouldn't consider ANY of these bands alternative. Disappointing!

  • Jason West

    Aw come on man where have all the cool lists gone? Music lists are booorrrriiing! Can we please have some more lists about things which are interesting and in no way 'alternative?'

  • Tom

    wow, people are b*tching this isnt an alt. list. the fact is it IS a list of alt bands. just a generic one. point totally lost on majority of lady Gaga aficionados here. would be nice if y`all went and checked out what alternative and indie rock means. the latter is a mere spawn of the previous. either way, it`s just some generic rock you hear on the radio. funny most of you think alternative is something along the lines of experimental or avant garde. if you want experimental stuff look elsewhere, mostly metal, jazz and countless other spawns of them. Diamanda Galas, John Zorn, Apex Twin, Frank Zappa etc would be your typical avant gard-ish experimentalists.

  • Roo

    No Sebadoh!? The albums – Bubble and Scrape or Harmacy…Sebadoh are like the most alternative (low fi greatness) mentioned on this whole messageboard!! Most of the other bands mentioned here are as mainstream & corperate as they are bland and boring.

  • me1234

    too bad my comments are filtered out that i spent a lot of time writing. two of them were along the lines of prog rock. guess some musicians arent tolerated here. both of my comments had names like John Frusciante, Buckethead and Omar Rodriguez Lopez with some insight into their music and how it relates to alternative rock. oh well, next time better luck.

  • BMM

    you shouldve included almost every modest mouse album :D

  • Ty weez

    I dunno if anyone already called you on this but We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is the most recent Modest Mouse album. This one does not have Float On or The Good Times Are Killing Me on it; those songs were on the previous album.

  • Batmansbrother

    So if your main taste in music is alternative thus making alternative the mainstream so the the alternate alternative is the justin bieber?? *head explodes*

  • honestwater

    Making a list like this with the title "Top 10" without following it with "of my favourite" is a silly idea. This music is alternative because it is adored by few but ignored by the masses.

  • Bad list,
    10) Bright Eyes – Lifted or The Story is in the soil….
    9) Pavement – Wowee Zowee
    8) New Pornographers – Electric Vision
    7/6) Nirvana – Nevermind / In Utero
    5) The Pixies – Surfer Rosa
    4) Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism (MUCH better than the Postal shitty service)
    3)The Broadways – Broken Van (Forerunners into modern punk-rock, Still together as The Lawrence arms)
    2) Alkaline Trio – Goddammit
    1) Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea (Absolutely incredible, best cd of the last 40 Years)

    • ryan

      i wish i could like this a billion times..nothing can touch Neutral Milk Hotel. Amazing.

  • whoisdanfonseca
  • RMP

    You say you think these bands could make it in 'the mainstream'.
    In my opinion, these bands are all my peers listen to, are hugely popular and what we all consider to be 'mainstream'.
    Mumford and Sons headlined the NME stage at this years Reading Festival and I would say that is pretty mainstream and as for Vampire Weekend you never hear them end of them in England!

  • The Nerd

    Sabrina Dinan – Anyone heard of her?

  • winterinflames

    gender=genre* ?

    • Jay

      Right. Except for SOME bands. And that's REALLY alternative.

  • ak47

    this list really, really bad…the few good bands on this list dont even have their best works posted. vampire weekend is terrible music.

  • Tj.


    So basically we get one chode to post a list of band they like and that's considered worthy?

  • Adam

    I know music is subjective, but none of these albums are in any way important or influential, and many of them aren't even generally regarded as good albums. Seems like the author just chose some albums he liked and made a list out of them.

  • shakezula

    Many good suggestions here. Taking Back Sunday is absolutely horrible live though, as much as I love their music, they just aren't good at all live.

  • Ayon

    Most of these CD's are good, but few are essential. Where are The Replacements, R. E. M. and Husker Du? All those bands are strongly considered to be godfathers of the genre. Also, if you are going to put a band like Get Up Kids, where's Sunny Day Real Estate, the band which Get Up Kids ripped off? If Postal Service and Passion Pit are going to be on here as well, why not put Radiohead's Kid A?

    Your list somewhat contradicts what you said about how the band's could make it in mainstream music. Vampire weekend, Taking Back Sunday, and especially Postal Service are all pretty mainstream with all of them having at least a song "on the right side of the dial".

    Overall though, your list does have some good songs, but it wouldn't hurt to look up some history because few of these are essential.

  • steve

    i thought alternative music is supposed to mean non-mainstream,underground and highly unlikely or impossible to hear it on the radio.

  • Ali

    I love Mumford and Sons! I'm excited to see them in November!

  • Batmansbrother

    I’ve just seen a report on the bbc saying that the amount of rock music in the charts (i’m guessing all types) is down %18 on last of the highest hitting songs is that ‘dont stop believing’ from glee or whatever its called.. Damn thats depressing :(

  • Jimbo

    I think "Alternative" is a bad way to describe a certain music genre, so many types of music can fall under the alternative category.

  • Jay

    From the comments, I think we're mostly agreed that we don't agree at all on what "alternative" means. And most of us don't know what it means when someone says we should own something. That's more than just saying "I like it," it's saying, "You should study this at length because it's important."

    Final judgment: List is lousy, but the title of the list is far worse than the list itself.


  • matt

    90% of these are mainstream anyway! Love Vampire Weekend and Postal Service, the rest can be a bit so-so. Like you said though, a lot of people will disagree, it's all about your own tastes.

    When it comes to alternative, I would personally suggest:

    1. R. Stevie Moore (best album: Phonography)
    2. Ariel Pink (best album: Worn Copy)
    3. Oh No Ono (best album: Eggs)
    4. Nite Jewel (best album: Good Evening)
    5. So Cow (best album: So Cow (self titled))
    6. Outer Limits Recordings (unreleased … see youtube!)
    7. Of Motreal (best album: Skeletal Lamping)
    8. Clor (best album: Clor (self titled))
    9. Late of the Pier (best album: Fantasy Black Channel)
    10. Neon Indian (best album: Psychic Chasms)

    You can trust me on this one, if you're into something a bit truly "alternative". Oh, and MGMT's new album is also amazing!

  • WilltheThrill

    Yeah no offense but this is all pretty popular music. But me trying not to be a d-bag here's my suggestions: Minotaur Shock – ever heard of him? Nope, didn't think so. Get it.

  • Casey

    I've liked music lists you've put up in the past, but this one is really…eech.
    I'd have put in these:
    Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
    The Cure – Bloodflowers and/or Disintegration
    Wolf Parade – Apoligies to the Queen Mary
    Death From Above 1979 – You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
    Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
    Rancid – And Out Come the Wolves
    Amanda Palmer – Who Killed Amanda Palmer
    The Decemberists – Picaresque and/or The Crane Wife
    Sunny Day Real Estate – Diary and/or The Rising Tide
    Porcupine Tree – In Absentia and/or Fear of a Blank Planet

    There are many others I'd want to add too, it's hard to pick only ten.

  • Interesting list. Being a music nerd, I had heard of nearly all of these. Only problem is that The Postal Service is the only one I actually like. Of course, Ben could sing the phonebook and make it great.

  • The most boring list ever! This is a very personal list and not every one in the general listverse community can relate to it. For one I never even heard of any of those bands list. Well I'm glad to see that if I ever send in a shitty list it can still be published…

  • Boogie

    I think you are running out of shit to list. It had to happen sooner or later! I wrote you an email about getting hooked on listverse a little while back, now when I have a workfriend call and say “WTF?” i tell them to go back about ten pages and read back in time from there.

    The whole current first page that shows up on screen when you go to listverse is shit.

    When i saw “jfraters favorite things” i was excited and clicked immediately..then when i read it i was scratching my head like…oh…um..ok…zzzzzz, so even though this list has a 91% failure rate in the comment section- at least it makes sense to me (with your taste)

  • Jay

    Boogie, it isn't that there are no great lists to be created; it's that you gotta do the lists that are important to you. I can think of a bunch of great ideas for lists, but I don't create lists. And nobody else would be really interested in the same things that interest me. Personally, I'd love to see a list of custom-made guitars that great guitarist have used. But who else would want to read that? Doing your own list is a labor of love; doing someone else's list is a chore.

    Somebody once suggested that we do a list of the greatest car chases in movies; that's a list I'd love to read. But I'll never have the time or energy to create it, and nobody else seems to find that idea inspiring enough to motivate them to write it up. Still, if anyone would like to write that one I think it would interest a lot of people.

  • dude

    comment section becoming a cesspool for HIPSTERS

    • Jay

      Yeah, ain't it great?!?!

  • Macthehat

    Hmmm, no problem with the poster posting a list of his/her preferences, but personally, I think the majority of people can live quite comfortably without these albums. Each contain a song or two that are pretty good, but as albums, I wouldn't recommend them as essentail owning. I don't think these bands are what you'd describe as 'alternative' too.

  • Gabby32

    ok… so… being someone who was in high school and very into music when the term "alternative" was coined, I am rather upset with this list as there seems to be very little "alternative" music on it. I never really did understand what it was the alternative to but… there you go. there is ska and pop and rock and some other decent stuff on here.. And MUMFORD AND SONS?!?! celtic folk is NOT "alternative"!! but (maybe with the exception of passion pit) it's all rock and roll (a blues term for sex btw) Where are pavement and sonic youth? where is frank zappa?.. Where are the musicians who aren't afraid to put something different on an album? Talking Heads maybe?
    If you are going to put together a list at least understand what the list is about and what makes sense on it please!!

  • jeffh

    Pass, on all of them.

  • Boogie

    hey Gabby….are you a girl?

    • Jay

      Or as we say on this list: Are you an alternative male?

  • nicolelynnw

    I was already a fan of three of these bands, and had heard of about two more. I quite like Jamie T.’s music so thanks for introducing me to him :). Good list, well written.

  • MMR

    I'm sorry that this list kinda sucks. Hard.

  • Rorschachinstein



  • bigjohn35

    Band of Horses is also a must have. Listen to the sond “The Funeral”

  • fendabenda

    I hate bands with weird names and weirder lyrics… I like Flatt & Scruggs. :/

    • Jay

      Their band was called The Foggy Mountain Boys. That's not weird at all. Their big signature song was "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Which sounds like it belongs on the "Scariest Moments in Movie History" list.

      • Maggot

        Best bluegrass band ever (well, besides Monroe’s, which included them). I could watch Earl Scruggs pluck banjo all day. The guy is awesome.

  • dakedomo

    will you people quit using the word 'alternative' to describe music? it's like saying that the music is somehow more special. but no. this is just hipster rock infused with emo. there's nothing alternative about it, especially since it's some of the most mainstream stuff now

  • Magenta

    Thank you for making me download Mumford And Sons' Sigh No More. LOVE IT:)

  • Jay

    Still no decent definition of what "alternative" really means. We don't even know what it's supposed to be alternative to. Makes me wish we could go back to the beginning of the list and start over with some really searching and helpful comments instead of this tiresome, "So-and-So are great.." stuff. There's a "song" called "Be Careful With That Axe, Eugene." Anybody know it? I think that's really alternative.


    A small part of me has died while reading this list.
    considering the type of fairly recent 'alternative' music this article is about
    Im quite surprised Grizzly Bear isn't on here or arcade fire…

  • sarahofborg

    Funny, the songs chosen for the bands I like on this list are hardly what I consider their best. Just their most popular songs.
    Can I also add the Black Keys (which are mostly blues-rock) , Arcade Fire, Beck, Cage the Elephant, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (who do some country), MGMT (much like Passion Pit), and Muse? I heard them all on my local Alternative Rock radio station so they all count.

  • Bernie

    GREAT PLAYLIST i love half these bands, and you've introduced me to 5 new bands to love

  • Farfinoogin

    Since when is this gay shit considered alternative? Used to mean something.

    I'm sick of all this pansy ass shit.

  • Lia

    I'm still confused on why people like Modest Mouse, but whatever bloats your goat. Just because I don't like or agree doesn't make a bad list. I have not heard of 7/10 of these bands, and I am looking forward to not only checking out the bands on the list, but bands in the comments I haven't heard yet. Thank you for the list.

  • londonafter

    I heard the academy is… some time ago and I thought it was just like the rest of those pop-punk creeps you see on MTV, you know, like Miley Cyrus’ brother and stuff, also taking back sunday, that’s the stuff I used to listen to when I was an angsty teen.

    Really, this list is terrible in my opinion, not really that indie if you come to think about it, they’re all pretty well-known bands.

    An alt album you should definetly own, in my opinion again, is Philip Selway’s new album Familial, is freaking brilliant.

  • Momo

    I've heard of a few of these bands before. It's a good list, for a list basically on opinions. All in all it had some good bands, but I feel like I'm the only person who's ever heard of The Dangerous Summer. Their best album, in my opinion, is Reach For The Sun, but all of their songs are good.

  • Connie

    This list blows. Gfunk101 should have done this one:)

  • This list would have been good if you had included Brand New's "Deja Entendu" album, something by Sunny Day Real Estate, and Taking Back Sunday's "Tell All Your Friends" album, instead of the one you did use. I do totally agree with Give Up though. That's one of the best albums ever.

  • Raven

    I was SO happy to see Vampire Weekend and Mumford & Sons. :) Two of my favorites!

  • docloomis

    I've not read every comment on this list yet, so forgive me if they've already been mentioned, but the Dodos most certainly deserve to be elevated.

    A small, oddly talented group of musicians.

    • Topa

      I agree, they deserve some recognition.

  • greyankle

    More like "Top 10 mediocre or negligible at best "alternative" albums only a 15 year old could appreciate", apart from a few entries (Vampire Weekend, Postal Service and Modest Mouse, all of them highly overrated).

  • Ash22

    The picture pulled me in on this one as Taking Back Sunday is one of my top five favorite bands ever. And then I was pleasantly surprised with Get Up Kids and Postal Service. GUK is in my top five as well. =) GREAT list. You have, what seems to be, great taste in music. I'll have to check out the other ones. Thanks!

  • A person

    Yikes, this music sucks. Give me bach(classic), give me nirvana(alternative rock), when did the phrase alternative rock become associated with whiny emo BS. This list is bogus.

  • Mutant_Enemy_Gitl

    Almost Here, yeah! I bought that in August 2006 after hearing one song and I played it on continuation so much the cd is scratched and sadly unlistenable anymore. But I got the album cover autographed by William and Sisky last March when they did an acoustic set in OKC. Was awesome.

  • Topa

    Now, come on. How could Radiohead not make the list? I just think that this list was made on the basis of what you like and not what was new and innovative. You might as well just call this list "My Favorite Alt Rock Albums". In which case my favorites are:

    Hail to the Thief by Radiohead
    Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth
    Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens
    In Utero by Nirvana
    Takk… by Sigur Ros
    Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco
    The Devil, You and Me by The Notwist
    Alligator by The National
    Mutemath by Mutemath
    Go Go Smear Poison Ivy by Mum

    Now, see there? Those are my favorites. Not the stuff I would put in an article like this (though some of them I would). So, either change the list or change the title because it is misleading.

  • emmelineleestar

    love the list! A band you would probably be interested in is Kings of Leon they are the best!

  • the truth

    excuse you for not adding third eye blind or blink 182 wtffffffff

  • Lonsey

    I adore Mumford and Sons, thanks for putting them on your list :)

  • Daveee

    Brand New should b #1 for this list

  • richierich

    some suggestions…

    at the drive in – acrobatic tenements
    mars volta – deloused in the chromatorium
    Glassjaw – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence
    Alkaline Trio – Goddammnit or self titled

  • Name

    not satisfied, could have done sooooooo much better with this list

  • mykalsaurus

    terrible list.

  • Bullamakanka

    Personally, I’m fascinated by the gizmos and machines in #1’s video. Who figures out how to make that stuff work? It’s mind-blowing…

  • kristy

    These are not alternative rock…

  • dextronaught

    where’s my bloody valentine – loveless?

  • Emmylou

    Loved this list. Had heard of Vampire Weekend and Mumford and Sons (who are household names in the UK), but none of the others.

    I *really* reccomend Mumford and Sons – The Cave, Little Lion Man, and Dustbowl Dance are all beautiful.

  • Jose Julian

    Okay, I was expecting to see Antics by Interpol….

  • BreK


  • Patrick

    ??? Where’s Fall Out Boy? Starting from #1 and downwards each of the positions hould be FOB albums.

  • Austin

    I really think that Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago should have been on this list. Sure it’s a slower, more folk album but it definitely changed the way that I see music.

  • mfallott89

    cousins wasnt on vampire weekends first album

  • powerbeats

    beats studio ferrari It seems to be which includes another template email where recommendations are based mostly on all of your product type purchased.

  • powerbeats

    ferrari beats It seems to be which includes any kind of template email where recommendations are based mostly on your current product type purchased.

  • powerbeats

    ferrari beats It seems for instance like a template email where recommendations are based on all of your product type purchased.

  • powerbeats

    ferrari beats It appears for example like an absolute template email where recommendations are based on all of your product type purchased.

  • powerbeats

    beats studio ferrari It seems to be such as a suitable template email where suggestions are based mostly on all your product type purchased.

  • powerbeats

    beats studio ferrari It appears to be like for example a complete template email where suggestions are primarily based on all of your product type purchased.

  • xLuLzZzx

    mmmm Postal Service I wish theyed make another album…

  • diddybeats

    would be that the paint they will use monster diddy beats matters a great deal. For instance, monster turbine if you have spotted a particularly monster tribute famous Da Vinci painting that you want, you need to make contact with an artist

  • Jake

    All of these bands suck.

  • paolichi

    Is This It by The Strokes should be here! And Kid A by Radiohead

  • Metalcore Band

    That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

  • guardian angel

    obviously like your website but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality however I’ll definitely come again again.

  • nathan

    this list blows donkeys weiner! Where is beck? Where is REM? you know good bands. Hell REM pretty much invinted alternative

  • Trance

    I do believe all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick for beginners. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • pakeloDalge


  • Fab

    Yea I love the postal service too but aren’t they more indie than alternative

  • cj

    cute without the e isn’t on where you want to be, it’s on tell all your friends

  • it’sallwrong

    First of all I’ve only heard of three bands on this whole list: Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse, and Taking Back Sunday. Vampire Weekend from Just Dance, Modest Mouse from Rockband 2, and Taking Back Sunday on my suggestions list on Youtube. So considering I’ve barely heard of and/or listened to these bands, this is kind of sad. I’m not trying to be a bitch but it’s true.

  • “The Good Times Are Killing Me” was featured on Good News for People Who Love Bad News, not We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank.

  • John Lenz

    You love rock?I love listenrock site !

  • blahblah

    And how tweely shit they all were.

  • icon designs