Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)

After much complaining (most of it justified), I've finally updated one of this website's oldest and most controversial lists. At almost 4 years old it was really about time. I just want to be clear that not all of the bands below are bad by any means, however, they do not necessarily deserve the heaps of praise they receive. Here's to hoping that this list inspires as much anger and as many death threats as the first one!

5. LCD Soundsystem- In the original version of this list I blamed a general disdain for electronica as a large catalyst for not liking this band. My taste in music has changed drastically since then. Now I know that that's not the reason I don't like LCD. I now call bands like Boards of Canada, Vitalic, The Knife and Hot Chip some of my favorites. LCD Soundsystem remains in my doghouse. Just average, uninspiring dancetronica...

* Exceptions- Gotta give it up to “All my Friends.” I can at least recognize that Sound of Silver is a pretty good album even if I'm almost never compelled to listen to it.

4. Flaming Lips- You stay around long enough and you're bound to produce a few tolerable songs. Through the course of 27 years and 13 albums I might be able to laboriously assemble a decent top 10 list from their gratuitous discography (and I just did). However, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is as close as they came to making a complete album that you can actually get through.

* Exceptions- As mentioned, Yoshimi. That album does have the Lips only 2 must have songs in “Fight Test” and “Do you Realize.”

3. The White Stripes- Am I the only person out there that thinks that White Blood Cells is just about the most pedestrian album ever written? I realize that the White Stripes had a big role in starting the whole Garage Revival fad which became ubiquitous a year later. I know that creativity is important to many and that's understandable. However, I'm of the persuasion that creativity and a song called “Seven Nation Army” should only be able to get a band so far.

*Exceptions- Their last 3 albums have admittedly had killer lead singles (“Seven Nation Army,” “Blue Orchid,” and “Icky Thump”). Too bad these are their only 3 good songs.

2. Bjork- She's sort of like the less talented, even weirder fraternal twin of Thom Yorke with all of her avant leanings and eclectic u-turns over the years. She just tries too damn hard to be different and all of those experiments feel forced, soulless and unbelievably offensive to the ears. Her music is pretentious, distant and nearly impossible to suffer through.

*Exceptions- Closest thing I've ever heard to a decent Bjork song is “Hidden Place” and “Pagan Poetry.”

1. Sonic Youth- It's number one, I have to make it a doozy. Sonic Youth are creative, skilled and critically acclaimed almost to the point of worship. One problem, they create music that is nearly impossible to listen to, let alone enjoy. I cannot pretend like I have Sonic Youth's entire catalog but the 100 or so songs that I do own are basically just there for decoration. I might switch on a track or two every year or so when I'm feeling masochistic.

*Exeptions- Dirty and Goo had a couple decent tracks, namely “Drunken Butterfly” and “Kool Thing”

LET THE BASHING BEGIN, FRIENDS!! Let it rip on the comments section below. I'd love to see your own lists.

Updated on 08/27/12 by the Rock Czar

25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1


+7 #1 professionalCM 2012-08-29 22:56
:-? Your placement of Sonic Youth in this list pretty easily voids the credibility of anything you have to say about indie/alternative rock.
+12 #2 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Bad List 2012-09-20 20:58
Are you kidding me? The white stripes rock... "I think I smell a rat"... "Catch Hell Blues"... "You've got no faith in medicine"... Just to name some... And arctic monkeys are also very cool... And all of their songs are not the same, "505" doesn't sound at all like "A certain romance"... "Fluorescent adolescent" doesnt sound like "Mardy bum"... Get your facts straight man.
+5 #3 White Stripes?!?Dorfus Maneuver 2012-09-23 09:22
Overall, a pretty strong list. But there's no way the White Stripes belong here. Creative, talented, and accessible blues rock stripped down to its core. Jack White is a force of nature. You whiffed here.

Also, Violent Femmes first album is a masterpiece on enough to buy them off any overrated list.
+9 #4 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)m 2012-10-03 14:39
This list is so bad and filled with so many ill-informed opinions of great bands I have to believe you're just trolling here.
+5 #5 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Kill your darlings 2012-10-12 05:37
I actually agree with a lot in this list but I think LCD Soundsystem should be no 1. They suck like an Electrolux on steroids. Why they're even allowed to exist is a monumental mystery to me.
0 #6 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)The Rock Czar 2012-10-23 21:27
Is it bad that I'm sort of starting to like LCD Soundsystem these days??

+10 #7 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Sean 2012-11-01 10:36
Considering that Bjork and Sonic Youth top this list out...

...and that you put an Arcade Fire song at the top of your best "indie" songs of the 2000s...

I'm going to have to assume you don't know much about music.
+2 #8 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)really? 2012-11-28 05:13
no Death Cab for Cutie? no Vampire Weekend? no XX? no Beirut? no Bon Iver? wow
+6 #9 I ain't even gon pretend...SoaringMuse 2012-12-01 17:29
that I'm not mad as fuck. THE SMITHS? Who gives a shit if they have a few garbage songs. They're one of the best bands of all time and they're hardly appreciated enough today. Where as they might have once been "overrated" comparative to their contributions to music (if such a time ever existed), it is certainly not the case now.

Agreed for LCD, I heard 3 songs and had enough of that shit. Agreed for Sonic Youth too, they're pretty good for decoration...

Overall I feel like you just put a bunch of well recognized indie bands into pretty much a random order (except top 5) and stuck them on the list. Surprised (but glad) you didn't put the Strokes on there the way you were going.
-5 #10 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)goodie 2012-12-14 18:51
I hated Smiths fans first mistakenly thinking I hated the Smiths and only got into them years after they split. Flaming Lips fans are all wankers too. "EMO" was the most pathetic and cringe-worthy fad ever. I was at an early Bloc Party gig and hated every minute of it - usually I'll just ignore boring bands but they were horribly loud and painful. I never understood their appeal - or The Libertines, or Bright Eyes. This list rocked. I thought it was just me being a miserable bastard but these bands genuinely suck turds don't they.
+3 #11 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Nate 2013-01-16 16:55
How can you hate the Flaming lips for everything but Do You Realize. That is probably their worst song compared to the others. Listen to the Soft Bulletin, Clouds Taste Metallic, Transmissions from the Satellite Heart before you make claims like this. You are not going to get a good understanding of the Flaming Lips listening to At War with the Mystics.
It doesn't seem to me like you've had time to listen all of this music. How can you say their all overrated? All of these groups have at least 2-3 albums.
And sorry, but you cannot say Sonic Youth is unlistenable as a reason they're overrated. That is the whole point!

Seriously go listen to the Shins or Arcade Fire, or Interpol if you want to here bad indie rock.

Who do you think does deserve the praise. I'm curious.
-2 #12 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Gaeilge Go Deo 2013-02-06 07:22
I don't recall coming across Broken Social Scene or every moody arts student called "Ingrid" pleasers, namely The Pixies, on that dainty l'il list 8)
+2 #13 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)fq2g 2013-02-11 07:55
8) :-) ;-) :-x :zzz :P :-x :-? :cry: :sad: :-* :-* :-| 8) :D :-| :cry: :o :-x :eek: :sigh: :sigh: :roll: :-*
-2 #14 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Kaio Clark 2013-03-06 19:01
I've come to find that Arcade fire has quite the fanbase. I liked Neon bible but all there other stuff is crap by definition. I figured there're a bit of a hipster band. the cool cat uni students who think there're better then me cos they don't own a tv or some crap like that. They suck. Arcade fire honestly suck. And I would not hesitate to put them on the top of this list
-1 #15 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Dollar Man 2013-03-29 14:57
You're an idiot.
0 #16 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)List Sucks, Stop Now 2013-04-19 13:01
Bon Iver, with Fun a close second, are without a doubt the most overrated artists and they don't even show up here.
0 #17 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)e 2013-04-28 17:32
This is some of the stupidest drivel I have read in a long, long time. Your inability to hear redeeming qualities in the likes of Bjork and Sigur Ros just makes it clear you're more concerned with bickering and forcing your narrow-mindedness down our throats than actually intelligently assessing bands' work. Imbecile.
-2 #18 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)rockgodgn 2013-05-06 09:54
Are you stupid? Bloc Party, The Arctic Monkeys and The White Stripes are all amazing bands
0 #19 Not bad.Alskiz 2013-05-15 04:39
A pretty unoffensive and agreeable list. So many bands here I've listened to and gone 'am I missing something?' (Sonic Youth, Flaming Lips). A few bands I like but aren't passionate enough to defend (Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys, Bjork, Libertines, WS)

I agree with one commenter Death Cab for Cutie should be here.

Also, what you wrote about The Smiths was interesting, and I agree when they're good they'd fucking good but they have so many average songs.
0 #20 RE: Top 25 Overrated Indie Rock Bands (5-1)Ose 2013-06-30 05:02
If you don't understand something it doesn't mean it doesn't mean anything, dear reviewer.

Bjork is more than perfect.

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