The 10 Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Bands To Dance To

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Lonerism, the new album by the most excellent and hyper-talented Australian psych band Tame Impala is out today, and we’ve been enjoying it immensely. Perhaps the best thing about the band is that their music is as danceable as it is psychedelically wigged-out — something that’s perhaps more surprising than it should be. Happily, the dance music/rock music divide is far less pronounced than it used to be, but still, we go to far too many rock shows where everyone but us is just kinda standing and nodding their heads. So to celebrate Lonerism, we’ve selected some of our other favorite guitar-focused bands for jumping around like a lunatic to. Who are your choices?

Tame Impala

For a band steeped in fuzz pedals and ’60s psych-rock sounds, Tame Impala have always been surprisingly dance-floor friendly. Apart from the fact that their tracks are pretty groove-laden in their original forms, they’ve also lent themselves very well to remixing over the years — with compatriots Canyons the producers of choice for such action — and they also do a cracking cover of Blue Boy’s “Remember Me” (above).

Liars

Sure, not every Liars track is going to destroy the dance floor — after all, as we’ve noted in the past, they’re a band whose sound is as diverse as it is unpredictable — but when they up the tempo and deploy the drum machine, they’re as danceable as anyone in the world of guitar music.

The Soft Moon

Minimal wave in general is fairly dance floor-focused, and our current genre faves fit the bill nicely, especially if the dance floor in question is filled with smoke and people clad in lots and lots of black. Bonus points if the Human Carpet is in situ at the bar, too.

Happy Mondays

Well, maybe not “dance” — more kinda “shuffle while hiding behind your fringe and wondering whether that last pill was such a great idea after all.”

Liquid Liquid

They’re best known for being sampled by Grandmaster Flash on “White Lines (Don’t Do It),” but Liquid Liquid pretty much embodied the idea of dance punk for a short but influential career in the early ’80s. If you want to know where DFA came from, we definitely recommend picking up a copy of the Slip In and Out of Phenomenon compilation that came out on Domino a few years back.

The Rapture

And speaking of DFA, here’s a true fact: “House of Jealous Lovers” is one of the best dance tracks of the 2000s. Shake dooooooooooown!

Talking Heads

Living proof that a white art school guy in a golf shirt can still get a groove going. Having said that, Tom Tom Club — i.e. Talking Heads minus the white art school guy in the golf shirt — were more danceable still.

The Make-Up

The recently re-formed DC post-punk types managed to get an ATP crowd jumping around a couple of weeks back, which is no small feat, and their all-action style doesn’t seem to have lost anything in the decade or so since they broke up the first time around. Bands who can combine Situationism and booty-shaking basslines are pretty thin on the ground, so we advise embracing The Make-Up while you can.

Franz Ferdinand

Also on the post-punk tip, the band who were at the forefront of the post post-punk revival of the 2000s and are still great fun today, especially if you’re given to dancing in a frenetic and fundamentally uncoordinated manner (like this writer, for instance). See also: Orange Juice, who were basically Franz Ferdinand a generation earlier.

New Order

The original rock/dance crossover artists, emerging from the ashes of Joy Division with a bunch of synths, a newfound sense of groove, and one all-time classic single that’d change the world of guitar music forever.