Friday, May 15, 2009

The world's best rock band is...

Who is the best rock band in the world? Right now, today? Not necessarily your favorite band, though obviously it’s a subjective question. And not the all-time best band that is still somewhat active, e.g. The Rolling Stones. I mean the band whose recent recorded output and quality of their live shows earns them the title of “world’s best rock band, circa 2009.” Although this is my blog post, and I’m about to reveal my choice, I’m really looking for feedback. Who do you consider the best rock band in the world?

My answer: Green Day

Again, not my favorite band that’s still active; in that regard, U2, REM, the Stones, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and perhaps some others outrank Green Day. (And I’m not counting Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as a band for these purposes.) But while I’m still digesting Green Day’s new 18-song concept album, even the first listen sounds pretty good. Their last album, American Idiot, was great, their entire recorded output is pretty stellar and they are always great live. And they seem to keep getting better.

I think all the aforementioned bands are still great, but their best albums are well behind them. Radiohead is an obvious contender, but name a truly great, “gotta hear it” song from their last several albums. I think the Killers rate pretty high, but I found their latest album a step backwards. Wilco is great, but can be too hit or miss to claim the title. The White Stripes are barely a band and have never excited me live. The Flaming Lips were fantastic, but their last album was a real dud. I still love England’s Stereophonics, but Green Day is clearly better, and more recent Brit faves like The Fratellis, Maximo Park and The Enemy just don’t have enough of a track record. Kings of Leon, The Arcade Fire and Fall Out Boy have had lots of buzz, but Kings of Leon is the only one I really like and they certainly aren’t “best band” material. Metallica and AC/DC continue to rock live, and have had solid recent albums, but are a bit too long in the tooth and one-dimensional to top the list. And while I like Coldplay a bit more than I don’t, they largely leave me cold. I’m sure there are indie bands that people love, like Frightened Rabbit and Fleet Foxes, but to some extent, longevity and popularity have to factor in. So there you have it.

Green Day is the best band in the world. Right now, today. May 15, 2009.

And if they’re not, who is?

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