Five Underrated Psychedelic Rock Bands You Need to Know About

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock, then you need to check out these five underrated bands that are making waves in the genre.

The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs are an English rock band that was founded in 1977. The band’s music has been described as a cross between punk rock and new wave, with a focus on the dark and often confusing aspects of human relationships. The Psychedelic Furs have been praised for their intelligent songwriting and eclectic musical style, and they have influenced a number of other bands, including R.E.M. and U2.

The Psychedelic Furs were one of the first bands to sign withVirgin Records, and their debut album, The Psychedelic Furs (1980), reached the top 40 in the UK and Australia. The band’s next two albums, Talk Talk Talk (1981) and Forever Now (1982), were also successful, but by the mid-1980s, the band’s popularity had begun to decline. ThePsychedelic Furs went on hiatus in 1991 but reunited in 2000 and have since released three more albums: Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live (2001), Come All Ye Faithful (2002), and Ready to Wear (2010).

The Charlatans

The Charlatans are an English alternative rock band, formed in 1989 in Northwich, Cheshire. They have released thirteen studio albums, three live albums and numerous singles. The band’smusical style has been compared to the Britpop genre.

The Charlatans were originally formed by bassist Martin Blunt, who recruited fellow West Cheshire College students Rob Collins (keyboards), Jon Brookes (drums), John Baker (guitar) and Baz Ketley (vocals). All the members were fans of the music scene in Manchester at the time, and they named themselves after the 1960s psychedelic rock band The Charlatans.

The band’s early material was influenced by groups such as The Stone Roses, The Grateful Dead and Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Their debut album, Some Friendly, was released in 1990 and reached number 13 in the UK Albums Chart. It included the singles “The Only One I Know” and “Then”, which both reached number one on the NME Indie Singles Chart as well as receiving heavy rotation on MTV. The album was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1991.

The follow-up album, Between 10th and 11th (1992), peaked at number seven on the UK Albums Chart and produced their highest-charting single, “Can’t Get Out of My Head”, which reached number four on the UK Singles Chart. The Charlatans’ third album Up to Our Hips (1994) debuted at number two on the chart and was also nominated for the Mercury Prize.

Following Collins’ death in 1996, Ketley left the band and was replaced by Mark Collins; Tony Richards joined as drummer later that year. The self-produced Us And Us Only (1997) entered the UK Albums Chart at number two and spawned four top 40 singles: “One To Another”, “North Country Boy”, “How High” and “Tellin’ Stories”. Forever: The Singles collection followed in 1999, reaching number one on both chart compilations; it included a reworked version of Stones guy with new vocalist James Spicer.”

Spacemen 3

Spacemen 3 were an English psychedelic rock band, formed in 1982 by Pete Kember and Jason Pierce. The band underwent a number of lineup changes throughout its existence, with both Kember and Pierce being the only constant members. They experienced moderate success in the UK with their 1986 single “Playing with Fire”, which reached number 54 on the UK Singles Chart.

The band’s music was heavily influenced by contemporary psychedelia, as well as the early works of The Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones. Spacemen 3’s signature sound was characterized by a droning, minimalist aesthetic and their use of feedback andavalanches of sound.

The band were known for their notoriously chaotic live shows, which often saw them stripping naked onstage or spraying the audience with fire extinguishers. Spacemen 3 were dogged by drug addiction and legal troubles throughout their career, which ultimately led to their demise in 1991. Despite this, they have been cited as a major influence on a number of subsequent bands, including visceral noise rockers such as Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine.

The Dandy Warhols

The Dandy Warhols are an American rock band formed in Portland, Oregon, in 1994, by singer-guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor and guitarist Peter Holmström. The band’s name is a play on the name of American pop artist Andy Warhol.

The Dandy Warhols were influenced by many different musical genres, including R.E.M., David Bowie, Krautrock and the Velvet Underground. The band’s sound has been likened to that of these and other artists, as well as to contemporary psychedelic music scenes such as Madchester and shoegaze.

The Dandy Warhols’ debut album, …The Dandy Warhols Come Down, was released in 1997 to critical acclaim. The album was produced by former Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison and featured the singles “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth” and “Every Day Should Be a Holiday”. The follow-up album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, was released in 2000 and featured the hit single “Bohemian Like You”.

The Dandy Warhols have released a total of nine studio albums, most recently This Machine in 2012. The band has also toured extensively throughout their career and have been a mainstay of the indie rock scene since their formation.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

The Brian Jonestown Massacre is a San Francisco-based band led by guitarist and singer Anton Newcombe. The band has been through many lineup changes over the years, but Newcombe has always been the driving creative force behind the group.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s music is heavily influenced by psychedelic rock, with elements of shoegaze, krautrock, and garage rock. The band has released 17 studio albums, as well as numerous EPs and singles. They are best known for their 1996 album Take It from the Man!, which was included in Pitchfork’s list of the 200 best albums of the 1990s.

Despite their critical acclaim, The Brian Jonestown Massacre have never achieved widespread commercial success. They have nonetheless amassed a large and devoted following, particularly in Europe where they have toured extensively.

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