The Best Modern Psychedelic Rock Bands

Discover the best new Psychedelic Rock bands that are making a comeback in the modern era.

The Best Modern Psychedelic Rock Bands

Tame Impala

Formed in 2007 in Perth, Australia, Tame Impala is a psychedelic rock band led by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Kevin Parker. The group has released three studio albums: Innerspeaker (2010), Lonerism (2012), and Currents (2015). All three albums have been acclaimed by critics, with Currents reaching number one on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart and number four on the US Billboard 200. In 2013, Tame Impala won Best Group and Best Rock Album at the ARIA Music Awards.

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are an American rock band, formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1983. Arrayed around frontman Wayne Coyne, the group includes multi-instrumentalist Michael Ivins, guitarist Derek Brown, drummer Steven Drozd and keyboardist/percussionist Kliph Scurlock. In 2002, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The group recorded several albums and EPs on an indie label, Restless, throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. After signing to Warner Brothers, they scored a hit in 1993 with “She Don’t Use Jelly”. Although it has been their only single to reach Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart number one position, the Flaming Lips have maintained critical respect and a dedicated cult following throughout their career.

15) The Dandy Warhols – …The Dandy Warhols Come Down (1997)

If there was ever a band emblematic of ’90s Alternative Nation then it was The Dandy Warhols. Hailing from Portland but shaped by time spent in Seattle and London during the onset of Britpop, court jesters Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Peter Holmstrom fashioned deceptively smart guitar pop that touched on all the major touchstones of the day – shoegaze (“Not If You Were the Last Junkie On Earth”), classic pop songcraft (“Every Day Should Be A Holiday”), industrial noise (“Boys Better”), grunge (the No Alternative nonprofit comp version of “You Were the Last High”) – without being slavish to any one trend or sound. That same anything-goes attitude extends to their behavior both on stage – where Taylor-Taylor is known for his outrageous antics – as well as offstage where they’ve maintained a close relationship with fans through various side projects including playing for free at various house parties around Portland


MGMT is an American psychedelic rock band formed in 2002 by Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. After the release of their first EP, Time to Pretend, in 2005, the band signed to Columbia Records and released their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, in 2007. The album peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200 chart and received positive reviews from music critics upon its release. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 51st Grammy Awards.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

The Brian Jonestown Massacre is an American musical project and band led by Anton Newcombe. It was formed in San Francisco in 1990. The group was the subject of the 2004 documentary film Dig!, and have gained media notoriety for their tumultuous working relationship as well as the erratic behavior of Newcombe. The collective has released seventeen albums, five compilation albums, five live albums, thirteen EPs, sixteen singles as well as two various-artist compilation albums to date. The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s sound mixes elements of 1960s psychedelic rock with alternative rock and drone music.

The Origins of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also known as psyrock or garage rock, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The genre is generally characterized by a distorted, louder and heavier sound, as well as by its psychedelic, often drug-induced lyrics and visuals. Psychedelic rock bands typically used electric guitars, drums, and bass guitars, as well as traditional rock instruments such as pianos and organs.

The Beatles

The Beatles were, of course, the most important and influential psychedelic band of all time. They began dabbling in elements of psychedelia on their 1966 album Revolver, with songs like “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “She Said She Said.” But it was their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that really cemented their status as psychedelic pioneers. From the iconic album cover to the mind-bending experimentalism of songs like “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life,” Sgt. Pepper’s is a timeless masterpiece that defined an entire genre.

The Rolling Stones

Psychedelic rock, also known as garage rock, is a style of rock music that first became popular in the 1960s. It is characterized by distorted guitars, trippy lyrics, and mind-bending sound effects. Psychedelic rock was pioneered by bands like The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead. In the 1970s, psychedelic rock became more commercialized with the advent of disco and punk rock. Today, there are dozens of popular psychedelic rock bands, including Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, and MGMT.

Jimi Hendrix

Psychedelic rock, also known as garage rock or acid rock, is a style of music that emerged in the mid-1960s and reached the height of its popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The psychedelic sound is characterized by distorted guitars, mind-bending lyrics, and trippy sound effects.

The genre is often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s, when many young people embraced anti-establishment values and experimented with mind-altering drugs. Psychedelic rock was also strongly influenced by the work of pioneering guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Cream frontman Eric Clapton.

In recent years, there has been a revival of interest in psychedelic rock, with many modern bands drawing inspiration from the sounds of the 1960s and 1970s. Here are 10 of the best modern psychedelic rock bands.

The Legacy of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as “psychedelia”, is a diverse style of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The genre is characterized by a distorted, “trippy” sound, often created by effects pedals such as feedback and fuzz. Psychedelic rock bands typically use electric guitars, bass guitars, and drums to create their sound, and often incorporate elements of other genres, such as folk, into their music.

The Grateful Dead

Psychedelic rock, sometimes called acid rock, is a type of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. It is characterized by distorted guitars, trippy lyrics, and mind-altering visuals.

The Grateful Dead was one of the most popular and influential psychedelic rock bands of their time. They were known for their live performances, which often included extended jams and improvisation. They also frequently incorporated elements of other genres into their music, including country, folk, and blues.

The Grateful Dead’s style was influential on many subsequent bands, both in the psychedelic rock scene and beyond. Some of the best modern psychedelic rock bands have been heavily influenced by the Grateful Dead’s sound, including contemporary jam bands like Phish and Widespread Panic.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd is one of the most iconic and influential psychedelic rock bands of all time. Formed in 1965, the band released their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn the following year. The album was a critical and commercial success, and included the single “See Emily Play”, which became a top ten hit in the UK.

Over the next few years, Pink Floyd released a number of successful albums, including 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets and 1969’s More. They also became known for their ambitious and innovative live shows, which featured elaborate light shows and projection effects. In 1971, they released their masterpiece, The Dark Side of the Moon. The album was a massive critical and commercial success, spending 741 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart (the longest run for any album in history).

In 1973, Pink Floyd released their eighth studio album, The Wall. The album was another huge success, spending 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. It has since been certified 23x platinum in the US and is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.

Following the release of The Wall, Pink Floyd went on an extended hiatus. They returned in 1987 with A Momentary Lapse of Reason, which was another commercial and critical success. Their final studio album, 1994’s The Division Bell, was also a hit, reaching number one on the UK charts and selling over five million copies in the US.

Pink Floyd officially disbanded in 1995 after almost 30 years together. Despite this, they remain one of the most popular rock bands in history, and have sold an estimated 250 million records worldwide.

Led Zeppelin

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as garage rock, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The style is typified by a use of flamboyant and distorted electric guitars, drumming, and colorful melodies. Psychedelic rock often aims to replicate the experience of altered states of consciousness, such as that produced by hallucinogenic drugs. The genre was pioneered by American and British bands such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones.

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