13 Incredible Bands Similar To The Strokes

Written by Dan Farrant

Indie rock rose sometime in the 1980s, and several years later, in 1998, The Strokes came alive in New York City. With hits like “Last Nite” and “Reptilia,” they stormed the world.

Their garage-rock and post-punk sound, fused with new wave and synth-pop influence, has not only captivated fans worldwide by also inspired countless bands.

In this blog post, journey with us as we learn about the careers of 13 incredible bands like The Strokes. Let’s dive in!

The Strokes by Raph_PH (CC BY 2.0)

1. Interpol

We begin with Interpol, a rock band hailing from Manhattan, New York. Their career can be traced back to 1997 when they emerged as part of the post-punk revival movement alongside bands like The Strokes.

Throughout their career, Interpol released several works that further solidified their status as influential musicians. Albums like Antics, Our Love to Admire, and El Pintor showcased their evolution while maintaining their signature sound. Notable tracks include “Evil,” “Slow Hands,” and “All the Rage Back Home.”

Interpol’s consistent output of quality music and their dedicated fan base have helped them maintain relevance over the years. They’ve continued to make music for fans to enjoy, the latest being The Other Side of Make-Believe in 2022.

2. The Killers

Next up is The Killers. This rock band emerged from the indie music scene of Las Vegas in 2001 when members Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning got together. A key part of the vibrant environment of this genre, The Killers’ sound has often drawn comparisons to that of The Strokes.

The band’s rise to fame was meteoric, largely due to their debut studio album, “Hot Fuss,” released in 2004. The album was a massive success. Propelled by hit singles like “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” it gained a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album.

Over the years, The Killers’ works have earned them several awards and accolades. Their popularity has endured and, to date, has sold more than 10 million records in the US alone.

3. Arctic Monkeys

English rock band Arctic Monkeys skyrocketed to fame in 2006 with their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. With a sound heavily influenced by The Strokes and characterized by its gritty guitar riffs and clever lyrics, the group captured the ears and hearts of rock fans around the world.

Throughout their career progression, which began in 2002, Arctic Monkeys have consistently delivered fan favorites such as “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and “Do I Wanna Know?” Their music exhibits an evolving style while remaining true to their punk-inspired roots.

Arctic Monkeys’ engaging live performances and continued success in album sales have solidified their position as one of the most significant bands in contemporary rock music.

4. The Hives

Our next music group echoing the sound of The Strokes is The Hives. This Swedish rock band first gained popularity during the early 2000s garage rock revival.

Despite the departure of bassist Matt Destruction in 2013, The Hives have continued to produce popular songs like “Hate To Say I Told You So” and “Tick Tick Boom.” Their concerts are known for their high energy and crowd interaction, with setlists featuring both old favorites and new hits.

The Hives’ impact on the rock music scene has been recognized through critical acclaim and awards, including five Swedish Grammis. Their unapologetic brand of garage rock has inspired rock musicians and fans around the world.

5. Franz Ferdinand

Formed in Glasgow in 2002, Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand made waves with their irresistible mix of indie rock, post-punk revival, and new wave sounds.

Their eponymous debut album was released in 2004 and became an instant hit, with singles such as “Take Me Out” helping the band reach international success.

After this, Franz Ferdinand released four more studio albums, each to critical acclaim—landing in the top five of the Scottish chart.

Over the years, Franz Ferdinand has received critical acclaim and numerous awards for their contributions to the music industry, including Brit Awards for Best British Group and Best British Rock Act.

6. The Libertines

After forming in London in 1997, Carl Barât and Pete Doherty led The Libertines to fame. Much like The Strokes, the band was part of the garage rock revival and post-punk revival scenes of the early 2000s.

The Libertines gained notoriety for their tumultuous personal lives and chaotic live performances. Their debut album, Up the Bracket, released in 2002, received critical acclaim and gained Platinum status.

Two years later, The Libertines followed this up with a UK chart-topping hit, a self-titled album that also landed on Billboard 200.

Despite their internal conflicts resulting in numerous breakups over the years, The Libertines remain an iconic band that has left a significant mark on alternative rock music.

7. The Vines

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, The Vines made their mark in the alternative music scene with their garage rock sound. They burst onto the scene in 2002 with their Highly Evolved, which quickly charted at #11 on the Billboard 200.

The album received critical acclaim and helped ignite a resurgence of interest in garage and alternative rock music. It contained the track “Get Free,” earning The Vines their first award: ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist – Single.

Despite early success, the band faced challenges in subsequent years, including internal conflicts and personal struggles, which led to lineup changes. Despite these difficulties, The Vines continued to release music and tour, with Craig Nicholls remaining a constant driving force behind the band.

8. The White Stripes

Another band like The Strokes that made their mark during the garage rock revival of the early 2000s is The White Stripes. This American duo, composed of Jack and Meg White, gained national recognition with their unique retro-garage rock sound.

The White Stripes drew inspiration from blues, punk, and folk music to create their own distinctive sound. They became known for their minimalist approach to music-making, often using only guitar, drums, and vocals in their recordings.

Though The White Stripes parted ways in 2011 after six studio albums together, they remain an important part of the indie rock canon alongside legendary bands like R.E.M., Pixies, and Sonic Youth.

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Next up, Yeah Yeah Yeahs is an American indie rock band that emerged from the New York City music scene in the early 2000s. They were part of a group of bands that included The Strokes, The White Stripes, and Interpol, who signaled a change in indie rock music at that time.

One of the band’s most iconic songs is “Maps,” which was released in 2003. Peaking at #9 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, it tells a touching story of longing and loss with Karen O’s passionate vocals backed by melodic guitar riffs.

With their energetic live shows and innovative soundscapes, it’s easy to see how the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have become influential leaders in innovating Indie Rock Music industry trends over time.

10. Kings Of Leon

Composed of three brothers and a cousin, the Followill family band called Kings of Leon has been referred to as the Southern Strokes for their energetic and guitar-driven sound that incorporates Southern rock and gospel music influences.

Formed in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1999, the band’s breakthrough album came in 2008 with Only by the Night, which included hit singles “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” Since then, Kings of Leon has continued to produce successful albums that showcase their signature style.

Fans of The Strokes will appreciate Kings of Leon’s high-energy live performances. They share a similar rawness in both sound and style but differ enough musically to offer an exciting new listening experience.

11. Bloc Party

In 1999, the London rock band Bloc Party burst onto the scene and rose to fame alongside The Strokes. And like The Strokes, Bloc Party contributed to the post-punk revival, infusing indie rock, post-punk, and dance-rock into their sound.

The band’s breakthrough was also their debut album in 2005. Silent Alarm peaked at #3 on the UK chart, won an NME award for Best Album, and catapulted them to prominence.

This band’s legacy lives on through their enduring popularity and the impact they made on the indie rock scene. Today, Bloc Party remains a definitive force that reshaped the rock genre with their innovative music and captivating performances.

12. Vampire Weekend

New York City indie rock band Vampire Weekend, formed in 2006, became known for their mix of preppy, well-read indie rock with joyful, Afro-pop-inspired melodies and rhythms.

Their self-titled debut album, released in 2008, was well-received, earning comparisons to fellow New York City-based band The Strokes.

All three albums released after this were an even greater success. All three took the top spot on Billboard 200, while Modern Vampires of the City and Father of the Bride also landed the band Grammys.

If you’re a fan of catchy melodies paired with thought-provoking lyrics and spirited rhythms reminiscent of The Strokes or Arctic Monkeys’ discography, give Vampire Weekend a listen.

13. Razorlight

We close this list with Razorlight, an English rock band formed in 2002. Led by the charismatic frontman Johnny Borrell, the band’s career has been filled with highs and lows, chart successes, and critical acclaim.

Razorlight’s rise to fame came with the release of their debut album, Up All Night, in 2004. The 4x Platinum record took #3 on the UK Albums Chart and spawned the hit singles “Golden Touch” and “Somewhere Else.”

Their sophomore album, a self-titled release, topped UK Albums Chart and also landed on the Billboard 200. It also contained Razorlight’s greatest single, the chart-topping “America.” This song, along with other notable tracks like “Golden Touch” and “In the Morning,” became anthems for a generation, resonating with listeners around the world.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like The Strokes

There you have it, dear readers! From Interpol to Razorlight, these artists have captured the essence of raw energy and catchy melodies that made The Strokes so influential.

Thank you for joining us on this musical exploration. We hope that you have discovered new favorites and that this article has enriched your music library.

However, our list is far from complete. If there are any bands we may have missed, please let us know so we can add them here. Happy listening!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.