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Top 10 Alternative Bands of the 2000s

VO: Rebecca Brayton
The 2000s saw pop punk, indie rock, and blues-inspired acts take the main stage. For this list, we’ve chosen influential artists who helped define the alternative sound and genre in the 2000s, who were commercially successful and whose music stood the test of time. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades of alternative rock music from the 1970s to the 2000s, and includes our lists of the Top 10 Alternative Bands of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as well as the Top 10 Punk Bands and Top 10 Grunge Bands. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 alternative bands of the 2000s. Special thanks to our users EGFkevin, akt, RckerMom87, liamguitarmandwyer15, Otso Aunola, Tia Brophy and BraveWasso for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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This decade saw pop punk, indie rock, and blues-inspired acts take the main stage. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 alternative bands of the 2000s.

For this list, we’ve chosen influential artists who helped define the alternative sound and genre in the 2000s, who were commercially successful and whose music stood the test of time. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades of alternative rock music from the 1970s to the 2000s, and includes our lists of the Top 10 Alternative Bands of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as well as the Top 10 Punk Bands and Top 10 Grunge Bands.

#10: Blink-182

Rising out of the So-Cal punk scene at the beginning of the 1990s, Blink-182 differentiated themselves with pop elements, gross-out gags and enthusiastic performances. But it was the last year of that decade with Enema of the State that set the stage for their future success and paved the way for Take Off Your Pants and Jacket to become the first punk rock effort to top the Billboard 200 chart. Now, Blink is one of the most successful pop punk groups of the new millennium.

#9: Arctic Monkeys

These Brits blasted onto the music scene with Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. This album made history when it became Britain’s fastest-selling debut and put the Arctic Monkeys on track to win more than half a dozen Brit Awards. And all this was thanks to the World Wide Web; as the Internet helped the band spread their music and attract their first record label. They’ve continued to earn more success at home and overseas while also helping to propel the post-punk revival movement in the UK.

#8: Queens of the Stone Age

Robot rock, stoner rock or alternative rock. Whatever you wanna call them, there’s no question Queens of the Stone Age rock and they rock hard. We were first introduced to their heavy, riff-driven style in the late ‘90s but it’s their sophomore effort Rated R that was their breakthrough. Their music has encouraged a slew of guests to collaborate with them, including Dave Grohl, and earned them 4 top 20 albums so far. Diverse, Grammy-nominated and oh-so-good.

#7: Kings of Leon

Adding blues to their Southern roots, Kings of Leon didn’t actually make a big splash in the States initially. After UK embraced them with BRIT awards and top 40 singles, the band finally found American success with Only by the Night in 2008: “Sex on Fire” cracked the Billboard Hot 100 while “Use Somebody” nabbed them their first top 10 smash. Kings of Leon continue to blaze the music charts with their garage and southern rock-oriented sound today.

#6: The Black Keys

They went from basement-playing duo to indie label rockers and now major label and critical darlings. While they had their commercial breakthrough in 2010, the years leading up to this were essential for The Black Keys to make a name for themselves as self-producing, garage and blues rockers on the indie music scene. In 2006, they signed to Nonesuch Records, and from there they were on their way to working with respected artists and making top 20 albums.

#5: Muse

Who knew a trio could make so much noise – and such beautiful noise at that? Muse is not your typical alt rock band; with space and prog rock elements, the English threesome makes heavy, melodic music and aren’t afraid to experiment with strings, electronica and more. Then there’s Matthew Bellamy’s vocal theatrics, including falsetto and vibrato, which have allowed them to stand out amongst the pack. Today, Muse is a Grammy-winning act known for stellar live shows and over 15 million records sold around the world.

#4: Gorillaz

They’ve got Grammys, MTV awards, and over 20 million discs sold. Pretty good for a virtual band, wouldn’t you say? The brainchild of Jamie Hewlett and Blur’s Damon Albarn, the members of Gorillaz may be fictional, but their music is anything but. Experimenting with hip hop and electronica, this alternative rock act holds a Guinness World Record and four top 40 albums.

#3: Arcade Fire

These Montreal rockers pushed their way into our musical consciousness with their very first album. Following the critically acclaimed Funeral, Arcade Fire mesmerized us with their art and baroque pop flavors and helped cement indie rock’s popularity among the masses. After Neon Bible peaked at number two, the band made sure it was well on its way to dominating album charts and critics’ picks for years to come.

#2: The Strokes

With their debut album, The Strokes won raves and a top 40 spot on the Billboard 200. They kept things simple, using elements of indie and garage rock, but quickly won fans’ hearts thanks to memorable melodies and a mainstream-friendly sound. Is This It didn’t only set the pace for the band to hit the top 10 of the album charts with their next 4 records but also cleared the path for more alternative bands to emerge during the early 2000s.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Interpol
- The National
- The Killers
- Franz Ferdinand
- Wilco

#1: The White Stripes

The White Stripes may’ve gone the indie route for their first three discs, but that doesn’t mean the music industry wasn’t listening. The Detroit scene was certainly buzzing, and all they needed was a little song called “Fell in a Love with a Girl” to hit the mainstream. When the duo made their major label debut with Elephant, they unleashed one of the most memorable alternative rock songs of the 21st century. Though they’ve since called it quits, The White Stripes knew exactly how to get us going with their fusion of garage, punk and blues rock.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite alternative rock act of the 2000s? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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