The Stokes were one of the leading bands of the Indie rock revival in the early 2000s.
And you know what that means.
Just kidding. Kind of.
There were definitely a lot of bands that sound like The Strokes. There still are.
And some are even pretty good. A few are excellent.
Those are the ones we want to focus on today.
Keep reading for a list of the best bands like The Strokes. You should be able to find some new music here to keep you occupied while we wait for a possible new album from The Strokes.
Table of Contents
Bands That Sound Like The Strokes
To kick off this list, let’s start with a band whose name has been used quite a lot recently. But unfortunately, not in the same festive way.
The Vaccines have gone from anonymity to praise in just 14 months. The band was formed at the end of 2010 and several months later they published What did you expect from The Vaccines?, one of the best albums of 2011.
It is a band that loves fast-paced guitar-like pop songs supported by the dark voice of its vocalist Justin Young. They have cheekiness and a huge collection of catchy themes. Sounds similar? Yes, just like The Strokes.
The Vaccines proudly admitted their limitations in their acclaimed debut What did you expect from The Vaccines? and have gone on to create various other records: Come of Age, English Graffiti, Combat Sports, and the most recent Back in Love City.
Every album brings something new but keeps the band’s recognizable sound and energy.
The members of the band are Justin Hayward-Young, Freddie Cowan, Ami Amason, Timothy Lanham, Yoann Intonti, and it is worth mentioning Pete Robertson, who was the drummer for eight years.
Next up is a quite famous British band named Arctic Monkeys, formed by Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Matt Helders, and Nick O’Malley.
Actually, there was one more founding member: the original singer of Arctic Monkeys was Glyn Jones, who went to high school with the entire band. Later, he left the band for “not having the dedication that was needed.”
He was also incredibly shy. Far too shy to be a frontman. That’s when Alex Turner took over. Although he was intimidated by singing as well, Alex decided to take on that role. So far, he has done it to perfection.
Arctic Monkeys performed their first show on June 13, 2003, in the United Kingdom. Alex Turner confessed that one of his main motivations for playing that night was to impress a girl. Since that night, the band has managed to put out six studio albums (the first three were released in four years!).
The fourth album Suck It and See was not even a month old when it was named by NME as having one of the 50 worst covers in history. However, it silenced critics of its cover thanks to its quality content, which sounds astonishingly similar to The Strokes at times.
The Last Shadow Puppets
Just when Arctic Monkeys began to cement themselves as one of the most notable names in rock today, their leader, Alex Turner, had time to form another group, make a record, and even go on tour! Hi other band is called The Last Shadow Puppets.
Turner formed an alliance with Miles Kane and James Ford to create this project. They released their debut album The Age of the Understatement on April 21, 2008.
Some would call the style of this record baroque-pop and others symphonic-rock. Either way, the 12 songs composed by Turner and Kane (then 22 years old each) were produced by Ford, known for being a producer on works for Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons.
What Alex achieved in The Age of the Understatement was to escape the sound that Arctic Monkeys had delivered with their first two albums. What Kane had done with his bands The Last Flames and The Rascals was also different from this, but that was closer to soft and intense rock.
The Last Shadow Puppets’ debut album had to wait about eight years for a successor.
Between the progress of the Arctic Monkeys and a regular solo career by Kane, the project was only able to deliver the second album in 2016. It was called Everything You’ve Come to Expect and it was well-received by critics and fans alike.
Cage The Elephant
Starting in Kentucky and emerging as a band for the first time in 2006 under the baton of Matt Shultz, Cage The Elephant achieved immediate acceptance for its muscular guitar riffs, melodic hooks, and an easily digestible delivery in their live shows.
Apart from Matt Shultz, there are five more members: Brad Shultz, Daniel Tichenor, Jared Champion, Nick Bockrath, and Matthan Minister. Bockrath and Minister joined the band in 2017.
Since its debut, Cage The Elephant has been retouching its sound, reaching a distinctive and addictive sound that was slightly altered by the departure of guitarist Lincoln Parish in 2014. As a consequence, their fourth album Tell Me I’m Pretty achieved sublime results production-wise.
Released on December 18, 2015, under the RCA label and as a Christmas gift, this production consists of 10 tracks in which young, rebellious and noisy rock invades the environment with a dark sound, more complex, and less frivolous than that of their beginning.
Although it is true they started from a young, rebellious, and noisy rock beginning, at a certain point they decided to put the brakes on and experiment. Guitars undoubtedly continue to maintain their fundamental role.
The group was formed when its members Rostam Batmanglij, Ezra Koenig, Chris Tomson, and Chris Baio were students at Columbia University in New York.
They came up with an unthinkable but more sparkling kind of pop: a dynamic mix of new wave, baroque keyboards, ska, Afro-pop guitars, allusive lyrics, and animated choruses.
The intelligence and impetus of the music made the band an immediate favorite on college radio, but that success soon reached wider audiences.
The first three albums, Vampire Weekend, Contra, and Modern Vampires of the City form a trilogy that combines various themes, mostly about privilege and big cities.
The band’s music goes from manic and motley to eager and spacious, from guitars to keyboards, from introspective and cryptic to directly metaphysical at times.
After these three albums, Batmanglij left the band and the fans had to wait six years until the next, and currently the latest, record Father of the Bride. It came out in 2019. Throughout these four studio records, fans of The Strokes can find and enjoy many similarities between these two bands.
If there is a band that has survived for two decades with their dignity intact, it is Interpol. The New York post-punk band has had countless successes and continues to find fans in multiple generations.
Nineteen years have passed since the debut of the legendary Turn On The Bright Lights, an album that catapulted them worldwide and that has hits such as Obstacle 1 and Roland, among others. These tunes have played a role in so many gatherings of 30-somthings over the years.
In 2018, Interpol released Marauder, their sixth studio album that promised to be one of the best. And it was.
But the album has left many questions in the air, one of which was would this be the last album of the band. Fortunately for fans, this was nothing but a rumor and Interpol is already working on their seventh studio album and also promises great compositions by Paul Banks.
If you have never heard Interpol before, Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, Sam Fogarino (current three members), Greg Drudy, and Carlos Dengler (past two members) will take you on a great journey with songs that sound much like those from The Strokes.
MGMT comes from Middletown, Connecticut, and was founded by multi-instrumentalists Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser in 2002.
Their music has always been an original and imaginative combination of Indie pop and rock, electronic music, psychedelia, and more. The end result is a step forward in what has been called Neo-Psychedelia and, according to some, a new and unexplored territory of Indietronics.
The two members of MGMT met at the University and were practicing, composing, and playing in small venues and parties throughout their studies
In fact, it wasn’t until they graduated that they decided to get a little more serious, first with the release of their EP Time To Pretend and then with a tour as the opening act for Of Montreal.
From there, MGMT’s music began to gain the respect of critics, the public, and also the industry.
Through Steve Lillywhite, the band got a contract with Columbia Records and published their first album titled Oracular Spectacular in 2008. After this debut came Congratulations in 2010, a self-titled album MGMT in 2013, and Little Dark Age in 2018.
They were the great British hope of the turn of the century. In that endless number of bands that appeared out of nowhere with astonishing ease, they stood out above all.
They seemed like the perfect answer to the American success of The Strokes. They had it all: a poet’s soul and a rock and roll attitude.
Their music was just what British youth seemed to need after the fall of ’90s Britpop. They were young, they wanted to eat the world and, above all, have a good time. They were The Libertines and their success quickly got out of hand.
The early years were a series of ups and downs, with members coming and going, except for Pete Doherty and Carl Barat.
Leaders and souls of the group, the two had personalities quite opposite at times, but also similar and inseparable at other times. The band’s current lineup is completed by Gary Powell and John Hassall.
A career decorated with drugs, alcohol, and other various problems was not supposed to last long. But The Libertines are still playing together and have three albums to show to the world.
Bands Like The Strokes: Final Thoughts
As mentioned, there are a lot of bands that sound like The Strokes. The ones we listed here are our favorites. Hopefully you found a new favorite, too.
You may have noticed we did not include The Killers, even though they famously tossed out all but one of their songs in frustration, when they heard the “perfect album” Is This It. We just felt these other bands were closer. But you should check out our breakdown of the meaning of the Mr. Brightside lyrics, if you like The Killers.
Apart from that, what do you think of our list? Do you agree that these are the best bands like The Strokes, or do you feel some of them don’t belong on this list? Are there any others we left off you feel should have been included?
Please let us know in the comments below. Feel free to share anything else you’d like to tell us about The Strokes, too.
Photo by Kate Gardiner.