The Oil Slick: When Will Garage Rock Get Its Revival?

Remember the early part of the 2000s? The time when every critic and their brother was saying this was going to be the "Age of Garage Rock?"

Artists like the Strokes, the Vines, the Hives, the White Stripes (plus the rest of Detroit) and the Black Keys were all breaking onto the scene, leading many to proclaim we had entered into a golden era in raw riffage.

Some 10 years later and Jack and Meg aren't pretending to be siblings anymore, the Vines have been exiled back to Australia and the Black Keys are yelling at Nickelback between arena tours and arguing with Vampire Weekend over how many commercials their songs have been featured in.

Perhaps the issue is that garage rock, with the rare exceptions like Iggy Pop, seems to be reserved for the boiling blood of the youth.

If this is the case, who's going to be the next pissed-off musical demolitions expert? Where will the next chest-thudding drum line come from? Who's going to be the next White Stripes, taking expectations and shattering them with one impeccable riff?

Music trends usually move in waves, with the '60s garage rock giving way to the mid-80s revival movement — that, in turn, spurned the Y2K ripple.

With most bands leading that swell evolving or slipping from public consciousness, it seems that a new wave of hard-charging rock idols should be arriving ... any day now. But where will they come from?

In the age of YouTube and micro-blogs, anywhere and everywhere. Some bands will seem to come out of nowhere (Cage the Elephant) while others will have been on music critics' radars for months or years (Jeff the Brotherhood).

If it seems that the garage scene is on its last legs, remember that the next innovation or invigoration will be here soon. We just don't know where it's coming from.

John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog on

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