Best Psychedelic Alt Rock Bands of 2020

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Here’s a list of the best psychedelic alt rock bands of 2020. These bands will definitely get you trip-ping with their infectious sound and groovy vibes.

The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs are an English rock band founded in 1977. The mainstay of the band has been singer Richard Butler and his brother Tim Butler on bass guitar. Though they scored several hits in their native UK and made some inroads into the US, the Psychedelic Furs are best known for the 1980s hit “Pretty in Pink”.

The Psychedelic Furs were formed in England’s capital city, London, in February 1977. The inaugural lineup included Richard Butler (lead vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), John Ashton (guitar) and Roger Morris (guitar). All of the members were students at Hornsey College of Art, which is where they met.

The band’s name came from a Jacket by The Velvet Underground that lead singer Richard Butler had found at a market stall. They soon became popular on the London punk scene, playing gigs at CBGB’s in New York and The Roxy in London. In 1979, they released their self-titled debut album, which was produced by Steve Lillywhite.

ThePsychedelic Furs’ second album, Talk Talk Talk, was released in 1981 and reached number seven on the UK Albums Chart. It included the singles “Mr. Jones” and “Dumb Waiters”, which both made the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren.

In 1982, the band released their third album, Forever Now. The album peaked at number eight on the UK Albums Chart and included the singles “Love My Way” and “The Ghost in You”, which both reached the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. It was produced by Hugh Jones.

Midway through 1982, John Ashton left the Psychedelic Furs due to creative differences with Butler; he was replaced by Alan Myles Vega for their 1984 world tour promoting Mirror Moves. After returning from touring Myles Vega declined to continue as a full-time member soap star Vince Ely became their drummer from 1985 onwards until 1991 when he quit during pre-production sessions for World Outside to pursue an acting career full-time . His replacement isless known drummer Garry testified who played on 1992’s World Outside album but did not join them on tour . keyboardist Amanda Kramer also joined prior to recording starting for 1987’s Midnight to Midnight album giving them their most commercial sound yet with songs like Heartbreak Beat , All That Money Wants & Sometimes . Guitarist Rich Good also amicably left during this time too as he felt constrained creatively by having to stick to pop orientated arrangements rather than being able to explore his love of more experimental sounds & production . He would go on form Love Spit Love with Slash from Guns N Roses & software companykarmaLab developing music composition applications like Algorithmix Melt & Peel among others

After taking a break for much of the 1990s (during which time they only performed sporadically), they recorded a new album, Made of Stone, which was released in 2001.*

The Cult

If you’re looking for a truly mind-bending musical experience, look no further than The Cult. This English rock band formed in 1984 and is renowned for their heavy metal, gothic rock, and psychedelic rock sounds. The Cult has produced some of the most iconic rock songs of all time, including “Fire woman”, “She sells sanctuary”, and “Rain”.

Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots is an American rock band from San Diego, California, that originally consisted of Scott Weiland (lead vocals), brothers Robert DeLeo (bass, backing vocals) and Dean DeLeo (guitar), and Eric Kretz (drums). The band’s first album, Core, was released in 1992 and became a commercial success, achieving diamond certification. The band found success with the release of their second album, Purple, which contained four hit singles: “Vasoline”, “Big Empty”, “Unglued”, and “Interstate Love Song”.

The Smashing Pumpkins

active from 1988 to 2000, to 2005, and reformed in 2006. Frontman Billy Corgan is the band’s only constant member. They found immediate success with the release of their second album, Siamese Dream (1993), which debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200, went platinum seven times over in the United States, and Yield (1998) which debuted number two on the Billboard 200. Though other members came and went, The Smashing Pumpkins released a string of platinum and multi-platinum albums throughout the 1990s until disbanding in 2000 under pressure from Corgan.

Nine Inch Nails

Originally conceived as an industrial-dance side project for TV on the Radio Storefront Rick Rubin and assist singer-songwriter Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails quickly outgrew its beginnings, eventually becoming one of the most popular and influential rock bands of the past two decades. The group’s signature blend of searing electronics, driving rhythms, and skull-crushingly loud guitars helped to define industrial music for a new generation, while their dark, often personal lyrics found common ground with goth, metal, and alternative rock listeners alike. Though Reznor is the only constant member of the band (he has frequently employed a rotating cast of musicians to help him realize his vision), NIN’s sound has remained remarkably consistent over the years, thanks in part to Reznor’s uncompromising dedication to quality control.


Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band’s full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd replaced Yamamoto in 1990.

The band’s fifth and final studio album, Telephantasm (2010), was a greatest hits album released as part of a deluxe edition box set commemorating the band’s 20th anniversary. Soundgarden disbanded amicably in 1997 due to internal strife over its creative direction.

Alice in Chains

Alice in Chains is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney. The band’s original lineup was rounded out by singer Layne Staley and bassist Mike Starr, with guitarist Mike Inez joining in 1993.

While the band has had a volatile history marked by the deaths of several key members, it has shown a remarkable resilience, continuing to record and tour with new members when necessary. The band has released five studio albums, three EPs, two live albums, four compilations, and one box set. The band has sold more than 30 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.

With their dark and uncompromising lyrical themes inspired by pain, loss, addiction, and anger, Alice in Chains became one of the most successful bands of the early 1990s grunge movement. The band’s signature sound combines Kinney’s pounding drums with Cantrell’s eerie lead guitar melodies and Staley’s powerful vocals.

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. The band’s lineup currently consists of founding members Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Mike McCready (lead guitar), and Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar, ukulele). Since its inception, the band has sold more than 85 million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling bands of all time. Pearl Jam has also been considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 1990s.


Nirvana was one of the most influential and successful bands of the early 1990s. Their highly acclaimed album Nevermind (1991) topped the charts in many countries and ushered in the era of grunge, a subgenre of alternative rock that was characterized by heavy guitars and angsty lyrics. Nirvana’s follow-up album In Utero (1993) was also a huge success, cementing the band’s position as one of the most important rock bands of their generation. Nirvana’s music continues to be popular and influential, and their iconic song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is still widely recognized as one of the most important songs of the 1990s.

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