Come As You Were: 19 Bands if You’re Stuck in the ’90s
Nobody's saying you need to give away all your Spacehog and Crash Test Dummies CDs (although you shouldn't be surprised if you do find yourself in an intervention for that).
If you were around and capable of abstract thought during the final decade of the 1900s, there's a good chance the music had a lasting impact on you. Maybe it's because the record industry was still operating in its golden-age form and the internet had yet to provide us with limitless access to whatever we wanted to hear at the push of a touch screen. That means, by and large, everyone was listening to the same music most of the time -- and that was whatever radio and MTV told us about. Or maybe you still hold '90s music so close to your heart because it's the music of your youth and because you refuse to believe anyone will ever improve upon the pop vernacular of Smash Mouth.
Regardless of the reason, it's been two decades since you first heard the name Hootie and the Blowfish and if you haven't updated your Spotify playlists (ask your 12-year-old niece if you don't know what that is), it's time to broaden your sonic horizons. But we wouldn't just drop you into the middle of a Skrillex song. Instead, let's ease into this strange new future with 19 songs from current artists who speak directly to the part of your brain that still wears flannel. Stuck in the '90s? This is the cure:
Cloud Nothings singer/songwriter Dylan Baldi (that's him in the photo above on the far right near the Oreos) was still a teenager in Cleveland when the buzz around his lo-fi outfit became palpable. Although there's been a '90s thread through most of Cloud Nothings' work, their third album (last year's 'Here and Nowhere Else') feels like a long-lost love letter to Generation X.
Formed in 2008 as the solo recording project of San Diego's Nathan Williams, Wavves have gradually risen to become among the preeminent purveyors of '90s nostalgia in the modern indie scene. Their fourth album, 'Afraid of Heights,' dropped in 2013.
While many other bands on this list embrace the fuzzed-out, underground sound of the '90s, U.K. trio Darlia evoke the glossier, more mainstream radio rock. Sort of a new-school, Brit-poppy Silverchair, they're set to release the eight-song 'Petals' EP on Feb. 23. If you're put off by frontman Nathan Day's pouting in the clip below, just wait for the chorus.
Although British duo Royal Blood often get compared to other two-person acts like the White Stripes and the Black Keys, there's no denying the grinding, post-grunge, Queens of the Stone Age sensibility on their self-titled debut full-length released last August.
True, Baltimore's Pianos Become the Teeth were a screamo act after they came together in 2006. But with last year's 'Keep You,' the five-piece delved into more melodic, straight-ahead and decidedly non-screamo songwriting that recalls all the best parts of the '90s.
Raised from the ashes of two defunct Doylestown, Pa., bands, Balance and Composure play an addictive amalgam of post-hardcore and sprawling, spacey '90s acts like Hum and Failure. They even released a split 7-inch with Braid in 2012.
Card-carrying members of the current emo revival, You Blew It! came out of Florida in 2009 with a definite debt to '90s outfits like Braid and the Get Up Kids. They released their sophomore full-length, 'Keep Doing What You're Doing,' last year.
Rooted in dyed-in-the-wool shoegaze from the likes of My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain, Austin's Ringo Deathstarr have made a clever name for themselves thanks to their lush atmospherics and breathy vocals that would fit neatly anywhere on the soundtrack to 'The Crow.'
Once a member of London indie-pop outfit Cajun Dance Party, singer/songwriter Max Bloom (and former frontman Daniel Blumberg) brought together Yuck in 2009. Although Blumberg departed in 2013, they still sport a superfuzzed sound that resides between Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth.
Pennsylvania post-hardcore unit Title Fight have been integral in the '90s renaissance thanks to their blend of Jawbreaker-inspired punk poetry and the hardcore likes of Kid Dynamite. Their third album, 'Hyperview,' will be released Feb. 3.
Although they just announced their break-up last month, Chicago's Smith Westerns drew influence from punk, garage-rock and glam – a combination that resulted in many of the '90s' sunnier anthems. The song 'Weekend' even has a potential nod to Edwyn Collins' 1994 hit, 'A Girl Like You.'
Members of dreamy New Jersey indie outfit Real Estate were in a Weezer cover band together in high school and you can still hear traces of that '90s vibe in their lo-fi, Luna-type rock. They released their third album, 'Atlas,' in August.
Although fans of Scranton, Pa., indie act Tigers Jaw feared a break-up in 2013, Brianna Collins (keyboards/vocals) and Ben Walsh (guitar/vocals) revealed they would continue writing as a two-piece. That's good news for those who've grown accustomed to their '90s-inspired sound.
A central figure in the emo revival, Chicago's Evan Weiss has released two full-lengths under the Into It. Over It. name including 2013's 'Intersections.' But he would've fit right in alongside his city's '90s indie pioneers like American Football and Joan of Arc.
Formed in 2007 after frontman Brian Sella finished his first year of college, New Jersey's Front Bottoms put out three albums on their own before releasing two Bar/None Records including 'Talon of the Hawk' in 2013. Their quirky sound is indebted to the likes of Fountains of Wayne and Jimmy Eat World.
With visible roots in pop-punk, Modern Baseball are heavily indebted to millennial acts like Say Anything and Motion City Soundtrack, but the earnest cuts on last year's 'You're Gonna Miss it All' also owe a lot to Midwestern '90s emo.
Revolving around frontman Keith Latinen and his wife/guitarist Cathryn, Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) have been on a mission to rekindle the '90s from the vantage point of groups like Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate.
Taking their name from the Danish word for "boys," British duo Drenge wield a swaggering brand of blues that feels like it arrived via a layover in Seattle. For proof, check out their raucous self-titled 2013 debut.
Although California four-piece Joyce Manor have taken a firm stance against stage-diving (a staple of '90s rock), the band still play music that evokes Braid and the more frenetic indie groups of the mid-'90s.