Five Cult bands to check out

Posted: May 30, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

With the Eurovision safely out of the way for another year, it would be nice for the nation to start listening to good music again. Here’s a list of a few really interesting bands from down through the years that amassed a huge cult following without ever really hitting the mainstream.


The lo-fi, atmospheric tunes that these Kentucky lads made in the early 90’s didn’t make a huge impression at the time, being overshadowed by the likes of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. But despite this, Slint have actually become more popular in recent years, thanks mainly to their slow-burning, and now classic 1991 album “Spiderland”, which regularly makes it into those “best albums of the 90’s” lists. Here’s “Good Morning Captain, an absolutely epic song from that album:

At the Drive In / The Mars Volta

Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala have been making some pretty crazy prog/math rock for over a decade now, starting out as At the Drive-In, a wild, frenetic and very heavy band with Zavala’s vocals fighting it out for attention with the huge sounds being generated by his bandmates. I really can’t recommend it enough as a Mother’s Day present, assuming your mother is on meth.

Their most famous song is probably this one, and the video really gives you an idea of how brilliant their live shows must have been, adding further kudos to their “cult” status.

When ATDI broke up, Zavala and Rodriguez Lopez went on to form the Mars Volta, whose songs were longer, more intricate, and more rewarding for the listener. Their second album, “Frances the Mute”had only five songs, but the album was 77 minutes long. Long complicated tunes, full of some of the best musicianship you will ever hear, the Mars Volta are unrivalled in terms of technique. Both John Frusciante and Flea have featured in their ever-changing line-up. They have flirted with the limelight too, achieving chart succes with their single “Intertiatic ESP, and winning a Best Hard Rock Performance award at the Grammys for “Wax Simulacra” last year. We can expect to hear something new from them within the 12 months. This song really captures the crazy, eclectic glory of the band…

Cedric Bixler Zavala - The Mars Volta (2) by Florent..

Cedric Bixler Zavala, frontman of At the Drive-In, and more recently, the Mars Volta


Flying the flag for Ireland, we’ve got 90’s grungers Kerbdog, fronted by Kilkenny man Cormac Battle, who’s now a DJ on 2fm. Back then, Battle and Co. were making some great music, taking influence from the likes of Mudhoney and Sonic Youth. For their second album, “On the Turn”, they decamped to Los Angeles to work with Rage Against the Machine producer Garth Richardson, and the results were pretty impressive. The band still have a big following today, and a tribute album was released only a couple of months ago on an English record label.


They’re a band that everyone has heard of, but few people know much about. The Californians, led by their charismatic lead singer known simply as E, have been on the scene since 1996, when they released “Beautiful Freak, It was an album which became an instant classic, and contained “Novacaine for the Soul”, which is arguably still their most famous song:


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