2006 was THE golden-era for ‘indie’ – with the likes of ARCTIC MONKEYS blowing the charts away with their debut LP, it was a catalyst for hundreds if not thousands of other bands to follow their MySpace method. Today, Daisy Summerfield takes a look at the other greats from this iconic year.
If your 2006 wasn’t spent aimlessly dancing around to ‘DARE’, or trying – and miserably failing – to rap the second verse of ‘Feel Good Inc.’, then where the fuck were you? The second Gorillaz album saw Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett turn their once-underground cartoon creations into a household name, thanks to a stellar set of tracks featuring collaborations from the likes of De La Soul, Shaun Ryder and Neneh Cherry. Cementing the group’s reputation as one of the UK’s biggest alternative acts in history, Demon Days was a staggering commercial success that still holds up faultlessly eleven years later.
The fastest selling debut album in British music history, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not threw Arctic Monkeys instantly into the spotlight – largely thanks to them blessing us with the ultimate pre-drinks anthem, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’. A painfully honest analysis of the UK’s nightlife scene and mid-noughties youth subcultures, Whatever People Say I Am… established Alex Turner as the leader of Sheffield’s best band (sorry Pulp), a supreme indie heartthrob, and this generations’ best lyricist all in one go. Nice.
Dividing critics tremendously at the time of its release, third album First Impressions of Earth saw The Strokes debut a more mature sound than ever before to earn themselves their first ever Parental Advisory Label. Remaining the quartet’s only L.P. to exceed forty minutes in length, it’s been coined a masterpiece, deemed Julian Casablancas’ most boring work – and like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it. But even if you don’t share my love for First Impressions of Earth, you can’t deny that ‘Heart in a Cage’ is an absolute banger.
The day that emo broke into the mainstream, the release of My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade saw Gerard Way become a Kerrang! icon whilst the Daily Mail simultaneously began their relentless anti-emo campaign. With a concept following the death and subsequent afterlife of a terminal cancer patient, the album’s dark themes resonated with so many of us goth kids that it became Platinum worldwide. It also saw the pivotal introduction of heavy eyeliner, black Converse and studded belts into town parks across the country, if that was your scene. Which was totally mine.
Throwing this in because I never got over my weird conspiracy theory phase, ‘Black Holes and Revelations’ was a turning point for Muse – a band who up until this point had the uniqueness of Origin of Symmetry, the pessimism of Absolution and the Radiohead-ness of Showbiz under their belts. With Matt Bellamy going down the pop route and lending ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ to the Twilight franchise, Black Holes and Revelations broke the Devon trio into the mainstream – and rewarded us with eleven stunning ranging in lyrical content from to mind-controlling political superpowers to cowboys on mars. What else did you expect?