Listen up hipsters! Professor Indie here and it’s time to drop some knowledge. Anyway, quick lesson: to be hipster is to be retro. And to be retro, you have to be the first one to rip off something that hasn’t been ripped off yet. Por ejemplo, having your band copy 80s bands is so two years ago. Ripping off the 90s is so 45 seconds ago. What’s left? Ripping off 2001. Is it possible to rip off the very same decade we’re currently living in? Sure! Remember The Strokes? Remember The Donnas? Remember The Datsuns and the Von Bondies? Maybe don’t answer that last one.
Anycrap, it seems like in the last month there’s been a confluence of scrappy bands ready to mine the recent past. That’s why we’re claiming that the garage rock sound of 2001 is back and ready to not take over the radio all over again. These bands are buzzing more than Todd Palin’s sack during snow mobile season (too much?). So without any further ado, here are our power rankings of the top garage acts to emerge from October 2008:
5. Vivian Girls – Frankly, I’m not sure what all the blog hype is about with them. Personally I think it’s because most hipster blogger types have crushes on them and believe that positive reviews will mean H.J.s down the road. Anyway, they’re definitely scrappy and have sassitude so that’s like nine-tenths of the garage rock equation right there. Judge for yourself
4. Japanese Motors – These Vice signees are like most Vice signees: too cool for school, snobby hipsters. But, what’s that you say? They’re like an L.A. version of The Strokes? Ah! We’re a sucker for obvious but catchy twists on a tried and true formula. That being said, it makes us really mad that the album is actually semi decent.
3. The Splinters – These whippersnappers are so far ahead of the game that they can cite our number five band as a major, major influence on them. Amazing! We should bump them up to number one just for that, but we’re too busy rocking out to their vintage two-weeks-ago sound. Ah, this takes me back.
Top two after the jump:
2. Gentleman Jesse – The heir apparent to the Exploding Hearts’ power pop. This old school purist actually put out one of the strongest albums of the first half of October if not the entire year. Here’s hoping the Atlanta-based rocker keeps up the good work.
1. Jay Reatard – He holds the garage crown until someone pries it from his screaming hands. However, there might be some opportunities for a band to wrestle the title away from him if he continues with the acoustic leanings he debuted on Matador Singles ’08. You’re on notice, Jay. Aww, who are we kidding, you’re way cooler than any of those 2001 posers.