Best New Rock Bands: 15 Artists Keeping Rock Alive

Whether they’re unapologetic in their politics, deploying shredding solos or rolling with swagger, here are a few bands keeping rock alive.

Published on

Best New Rock Bands - Photo: Patricia Kern / EyeEm
Photo: Patricia Kern / EyeEm/Getty Images

For the better part of the past few decades, naysayers have written off rock music, saying that the genre is dead. It may not be as prominent as it was during its formative years, but there remains a strong, vital scene with a number of bands keeping rock alive. While rock’n’roll may not be the dominant cultural force it once was, plenty of rock bands top the billings at many biggest mainstream festivals. Here are 15 of the best new rock bands (and acts) keeping the spirit of rock alive.


These Dubliners formed a band as teens at St. Andrew’s College and gradually grew together both personally and musically. By the time they released their 2021 debut album, It Won’t Always Be Like This, their mix of 80s dance rock and 90s indie-pop influences with a crisp, modern vibe was exploding with propulsive beats and earworm hooks. If the voice gliding atop the whole thing seems strangely familiar, it might be the fact that Inhaler frontman Elijah Hewson’s dad happens to be the singer for a certain other Dublin band you know well (ahem U2).

Inhaler - It Won't Always Be Like This (Official Video)

Click to load video

The Lathums

The Lathums met in school too, but things developed at a breakneck pace for them. Hailing from Wigan, outside the historic music hub of Manchester, England, they were thrown together by their teacher at music school to work on a project. Realizing they were onto something, the new rock band scored themselves a big-time record deal within less than a year. As heard on their No.1 UK album How Beautiful Life Can Be, The Lathums have crafted an uber-melodic sound full of sunny tunes, gently chiming guitars, and warm, inviting vocals, with more than a hint of vintage 90s Britpop influence. Making them one of the best new rock bands to keep on your radar.

The Lathums - Fight On

Click to load video

Machine Gun Kelly

Houston’s Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly, had an early life that involved being shuttled all around the globe with his missionary parents, so by the time he started thinking about making music, he’d already seen a lot. There’s a lot of life experience in his work, which was initially on the hip-hop tip, but MGK had always exalted the likes of Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit alongside all of his hip-hop heroes, and over time he gradually inserted an increasing rock influence into his music. Having already become an all-star rapper, he made a drastic turn on 2020’s Tickets to My Downfall, a rap-free zone where hard-charging pop-punk alternates with affectingly melodic alt-rock.

Machine Gun Kelly feat. Kellin Quinn - love race (Official Music Video)

Click to load video


Take a soupcon of 90s shoegaze and toss it in a pot with some twee pop and a dash of 00s indie dream pop, add something entirely original and contemporary, and you’ve got the basic ingredients of the beabadoobee sound. The artist otherwise known as Beatrice Laus was born in the Philippines and raised in London, where she signed with prominent indie label Dirty Hit. In 2018 Laus started unleashing a long string of EPs, but her full-length debut, 2020’s Fake It Flowers, broke out in a major way in the UK thanks to the singer-songwriter’s sweet, twinkling vocals and hazy but inviting tonal tapestries.

beabadoobee - Cologne (Official Video)

Click to load video

Sea Girls

London was also the breeding ground for rising indie outfit Sea Girls. Despite the name, they’re a quartet of lads, all of whom have been friends since their teens. They started out on the little London label Almanac Recordings and quickly attracted attention with singer Henry Camamile’s larger-than-life vocal presence and their hooky, melodic indie-rock drive. But even after they moved on up to the majors for their first full-length record, 2020’s UK No.3 album Open Up Your Head, they maintained their indie sensibility while refining their sound.

Sea Girls - Sick (Official Video)

Click to load video


Dorothy is an LA-based rock band that bears the name of its dynamic frontwoman, Dorothy Martin. Martin has a big, bluesy voice that immediately commands attention, but she’s far from the only attraction in the band. Produced by legendary pop/rock songwriter Linda Perry and released on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, the group’s second album, 28 Days in the Valley, matches Martin’s outsized vocal chops with some lacerating riffs and barnstorming beats, bringing 70s hard rock and blues-rock influences to the fore while still somehow feeling fresh and of the moment.

Dorothy - What's Coming To Me

Click to load video

Meet Me @ The Altar

The three young women who make up Meet Me @ The Altar all lived in different states when they met online. Music brought them together, and they first emerged as a band in 2015, setting off a series of DIY singles and EPs. Their 2017 debut album, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, is as melodic and accessible as it is unrelentingly hard-hitting. Pop-punk is at the trio’s stylistic center, with irresistible choruses popping out of every track, but Tea Campbell’s guitar and Ada Juarez’s drums frequently bear a bit of heavy metal bite to their tonality, with their breathtaking intensity sometimes threatening to send the whole thing hurtling off a cliff (in a good way).

Meet Me @ The Altar: Garden [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Click to load video

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones comes blasting out of Seattle with a slamming-but-soulful sound heavily powered by local influences. Jimi Hendrix and 90s grunge are the twin pillars from which Jones has built his sonic template, adding an alt-rock roar all his own to the mix. When the single “Mercy” from Jones’ 2021 album Child of the State went to the top spot on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart, it became resoundingly clear that he’s a rock’n’roll force to be reckoned with.

Ayron Jones - Mercy (Official Music Video)

Click to load video

Deep Sea Diver

Elsewhere in Seattle, the trio Deep Sea Diver seems to soak up more inspiration from hometown heroes Death Cab for Cutie than anything that emerged from the city’s grunge boom. LA native and frontwoman Jessica Dobson brings some heavy history to the table, having played with The Shins and Beck. The band is filled out by her drummer husband Peter Mansen and guitarist/keyboardist Elliott Jackson, and on 2020’s Impossible Weight album, they spit out a sound that mates a propulsive, aughts indie-rock feel with an utterly up-to-date alt vibe, marked by nuanced arrangements.

Deep Sea Diver - Impossible Weight featuring Sharon Van Etten (Official Video)

Click to load video

The Black Tones

Completing our little Emerald City triumvirate of best new rock bands is the brother-and-sister duo of singer/guitarist Eva Walker and drummer Cedric Walker, who have learned to do more with less in their stripped-down format. But don’t go jumping to the obvious White Stripes conclusions. For one thing, they do slip a bass into their sound, and like Ayron Jones, The Black Tones look a little further back and closer to home for their inspirations. The title of their 2019 album Cobain & Cornbread offers a big hint as to the siblings’ influences, and their rough-and-ready, no-nonsense rock delivers on that title’s implications.

The Black Tones - Ghetto Spaceship (Official music video)

Click to load video

Nation of Language

If this Brooklyn-based trio had been around when John Hughes was making his classic teen movies, it’s a safe bet that their sound would have adorned some of his vivid scenes of youthful angst. As it stands, Nation of Language seem set to fill the role of moody alternative avatar that the likes of New Order, The Cure, and Depeche Mode occupied in the 80s, but for a whole new generation. As Ian Devaney’s melancholy vocal tones drift above a percolating tapestry of synths and beats, the tension between passion and precision is played out to perfection.

Nation of Language - The Grey Commute [Official Music Video]

Click to load video


Hailing from the traditional hard rock hotbed of Seattle, Thunderpussy is one of the rare bands that match the shock value of their name with a killer sound. Loud, with ferocious riffs and unapologetic feminist themes, this power quartet is a throwback in a good way. Not many contemporary rock bands are willing to take a deep dive into heavy music that doesn’t directly court mainstream music fans, yet these four women have not only managed to do exactly that, but they’ve earned plaudits for their approach.


Click to load video

The Interrupters

This new Los Angeles band makes a compelling case for another SoCal ska revival. While garage rock and glam are having another day in the sun, this power quartet is bringing ska-punk back to the charts, cracking both Billboard’s Rock and Adult Alternative charts respectively. Leading the charge is their high-wire singer Aimee Interrupter, who when she’s not channeling Pauline Black of the Selector, she’s commanding the stage with her fiery pipes. If they sound reminiscent of Rancid it’s not by accident, since their mentor and album producer is none other than Rancid’s Tim Armstrong.

The Interrupters - "She Got Arrested" (Live)

Click to load video

Broken Witt Rebels

This new Birmingham band stands out from the slew of retro-rock outfits by drawing on the blues-rock sound of its pioneers (Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters) and adding in unexpected elements of Southern and country-rock. It doesn’t hurt that Broken Witt Rebels’ frontman, Danny Core, sounds like he’s lived several lifetimes, and the band knows how to write a catchy riff. Even when they dip into wailing rock territory, BWR never loses their soulful spirit.

Broken Witt Rebels - Take It

Click to load video

Greta Van Fleet

Howling vocals with amazing range, gut-busting drumming, and ridiculous shredding… that describes Led Zeppelin, right? Well, it does, but it’s also an apt description for rising blues- and hard-rockers Greta Van Fleet. Upon first listen, it’s hard to believe that this group of three brothers and a friend from Michigan haven’t Led Zeppelin. Yet, the quartet seems to have channeled the legacy, spirit, and overall aura of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, which isn’t easy. But not only do they pull it off, but they also do it with bravado. Check out their album The Battle at Garden’s Gate for proof.

Greta Van Fleet - Light My Love (Live)

Click to load video


Looking for more? Discover the 10 Best Power Trios In Rock.



  1. Sierra

    May 12, 2022 at 2:20 am

    Whoever wrote this article should be fired. Machine gun kelly? Rock? I love ages of rock from the 60s to today and most genres but MGK is the furthest from any rock sound.

    Rap can mix with rock, modern mixing techniques and sounds, sure! MGK does none of that in a rock way. I don’t even dare look at any other bands on this list if that’s the general opinion here.

  2. Tracy Scarborough

    February 7, 2023 at 12:55 am

    You HAVE to add Maneskin

  3. Don-Music

    February 13, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    About half of your groups are not going anywhere.

    What about The Warning? Hard rock power trio that is rising in popularity exponentially!

    What about Band Maid? Re-invigorating party metal!

    THOSE are Gen Z Rock Groups that are taking over the world! The Warning opened up for Muse and ended up becoming friends with them. They went on tour with Halestorm and became friends with them. In both cases being gifted custom made guitars by the older legendary bands who have huge respect for The Warning.

  4. Josh Huggins

    August 11, 2023 at 12:00 am

    If thats rock, shoot me now. Horribly boring and not rock. The bubble gum fake over-the-top bands are lame.

  5. Carlos Payán

    October 30, 2023 at 10:54 pm

    You’re right on the introduction “Rock Is Dead” the decade of the 2000’s killed rock, or Rock was dead after Kurt Cobain’s death. The reason is that bands of today want to sound Brit Pop like the bands of UK without using the “Blues”. There is an old saying from old rockers “If You Don’t Know How To Play The Blues, You Don’t Know To Play Rock n Roll”. The Black Tones still have that bottleneck blues skill on drums and electric guitars like the White Stripes, with the Bluesy voice of Eva Walker, Arron Jones sounds to 90’s but still has the Blues so I respect that. That new Generation needs advice from the older generation.

  6. John

    December 9, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    You left off Dirty Honey!

  7. Bbff

    January 28, 2024 at 11:28 pm

    Absolutely need to look at The Warning

  8. Machine Gun Smelly

    April 16, 2024 at 6:56 pm

    You got my click, but the lamest list ever. This is Pop, not Rock and Roll.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Johnny Cash - Songwriter LP
Johnny Cash
Songwriter (Limited-Edition Smoke Color LP)
Johnny Cash - Songwriter CD
Johnny Cash
Songwriter CD
Johnny Cash - Songwriter LP
Johnny Cash
Songwriter LP
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP+7
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping (Limited 2LP + 7″)
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2CD
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2CD
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2LP
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top