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5 Bands like Audioslave: Faltering Rockstars

Kedar Prasana itcherIf you’re taken by the idea of implausible band line ups and tracks that come frustratingly close to greatness – without actually crossing the line, though – you would find it worth your while to explore a handful of bands like Audioslave. In this list, Dark New Day, Stone Sour, Army of Anyone, Thornley and Danko Jones have made the cut. ~ Kedar Prasana

A Harmony of Self-destruction

In times like today, when auto-tuning has taken over the world of music (as we speculate the armies of robots taking over – think about it!) that a band like Audioslave is well and truly missed.

Audioslave was never a band that shone to its fullest. But those tasty solos from Morello’s electro-acoustic-jazz-blues guitar and Chris Cornell’s heartfelt – at times, quite unreal – vocals have made sure that the band leaves a legacy behind, one that true fans will cherish for a long time.

Rising from the ashes of old and famous bands to create something new as if the jigsaw pieces have been restructured is not an easy feat (the Faces, CSNY and Traveling Wilburys come to mind). But Audioslave, even though quite briefly, did it with ease and grace.

This list of bands similar to Audioslave is drawn up in a hope that it will help bring some sanity back to ears parched for four-beat-bands, not to mention that joy of finding hidden gems we crave so much here at itcher!


Bands Similar to Audioslave…

Dark New Day

Essential Albums: ‘Twelve Year Silence’, ‘New Tradition’, ‘Hail Mary’.  

Essential Tracks: ‘Vicious Thinking’, ‘Sunday’, ‘Anywhere’.  

Dark New Day is perhaps the most undercover band on this list. Not too many people are likely to have heard of them or the bands that its members came from (Virgos Merlot, for example, is a band, not a wine).

But that hasn’t stopped them from producing three highly acclaimed albums, with a hit-record of a full-blown 100%. Their acoustic EP – ‘Black Porch’ – holds remarkable similarity to many unplugged performances that Audioslave made for local Californian FM stations.

Similarity Match: 90%
A steady balance between acoustic and electric sounds connects Audioslave and Dark New Day quite well. However, the former’s Californian outlook is in sharp contrast with the latter’s rugged Southern avatar.

Stone Sour

Essential Albums: ‘Audio Secrecy’, ‘Come What(ever) May’, ‘Stone Sour’.  

Essential Tracks: ‘Through Glass’, ‘Inhale’, ‘Imperfect’.

Extracting and eliciting talent from various half-cooked and never-perfected acts, Stone Sour came together in a synergy that, for five consecutive years in the early 90s, made them a sleeper hit.

You don’t see too many bands coming from the corn field-filled and snow-capped Midwest. That’s exactly why this rocky-metal band from the Rockies is a special member on this list. Their brand of rock, characterized by powerful bass and drums, paved the way for Audioslave.

Similarity Match: 85%
Audioslave and Stone Sour placed enormous emphasis on the purity of their sound. The latter’s inclination towards metal, however, makes it sound a tad rawer than the former.

Army of Anyone

Essential Albums: ‘Army of Anyone’.

Essential Tracks: ‘Goodbye’, ‘A Better Place’, ‘Ain’t Enough’.  

Fleeting, Evanescent, Mercurial. 

These are the kind of adjectives that come to my mind when I think of Army of Anyone. In my opinion, this is the biggest ‘might have been’ band of the first decade of the 21st century.  

Formed from the ruins of Filter and Stone Temple Pilots, they released their first (and sadly, their only) eponymous album to great popularity and airwave time.

But eventually, like all good things, the band dissolved and perished, following Audioslave, perhaps too closely for anyone’s liking.  

Similarity Match: 75%
Army of Anyone and Audioslave were both lead-vocals led bands, with Rich Patrick and Chris Cornell never loosening their grips. Unlike Audioslave, Army of Anyone, however, never ever employed acoustic jams in their music.


If You Like Audioslave, You Will Like…

Audioslave were quintessentially American in their music, appearances and popularity. They never quite stretched chart boundaries globally, but it’d be foolish to assume that elsewhere, bands just don’t reform and shuffle.


Essential Albums: ‘Come Again’, ‘Tiny Pictures’.  

Essential Tracks: ‘Bright Side’, ‘All Because of Me’, ‘Man Overboard’.   

Thornley and Audioslave were formed just about six months apart, in 2001 and 2002 respectively. The roots of Thornley were in the big wreckage that Big Wreck turned out to be, as Ian Thornley thought it best to relocate to Toronto.

Like many supergroups, Audioslave included, Thornley was a stuttering band throughout its nine-year existence. But you will never have to work hard to find rewarding tracks in whatever material they produced.

Thornley never post-produced any of their albums, much like Audioslave. That said, it should be noted that Thornley was always about Ian Thornley, while for Audioslave, every quarter came to the fore.

Danko Jones

Essential Albums: ‘Sleep is the Enemy’, ‘Below the Belt’, ‘Born a Lion’.  

Essential Tracks: ‘Cadillac’, ‘Bounce’, ‘Dance’.    

Danko Jones is another lead-driven Toronto-based rock band (much similar to Thornley).

Throughout their two-decade long career, Danko Jones has made it a point to produce albums that sound nothing like their previous work. This has resulted in quite a potpourri of music, from hard-rock of ‘Born a Lion’ to the death metal of ‘Fire Music’.

Like Audioslave, they have always tried to emphasize the fundamental tenets of rock – vocals, lead guitar, bass and drums, without ever going overboard with chic antics or electronic overdo.

While their music has the same brand of untouched virginity of rock n’ roll, the fact that they are still going strong is what clearly separates Danko Jones from Audioslave.


Make Light of a Cobweb Afternoon

If you’re a true rocker, you would know that it has become VERY difficult to zero in on a band that you can call your favourite. It can only come as a consolation then that we can at least turn the pages back to listen to some good ol’ two-four-two backbeats swung by sweating stars.

In case you’ve already run through this list, here are more bands to keep you entertained for a while: Incubus, A Perfect Circle, Temple of the Dog.  

As per usual, do let us know your thoughts and comments of the bands mentioned in the list!

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