Bands come and go. As much as we’d love our favorite bands to stick around forever, always gifting us more musical treats, there’s often a lot more at play than just the creative force. They can break up due to personal or creative conflicts, a lack of viability in being together or slightly more sadly, the members simply don’t want to be together anymore.
Whatever the reason that leads to a band dissolving, as fans, we can always help out by supporting however possible. Things as simple as going to shows, buying merch and, in a world where streaming is the most comfortable option, maybe actually picking up a record or two to show bands some love. This is especially those who are either unsigned or making their way up the ladder.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of bands who never quite got the recognition they deserved and are sadly no longer with us.
One of the latest bands to call it a day, the epic Nashville six-piece may have a name that immediately makes you question everything, but the music more than speaks for itself. Diarrhea Planet‘s guitar-driven jams,(and that’s four guitars total) that give you nothing but good feelings and make you want to rock the fuck out. Think Weezer, only with a wall of guitars behind them.
Purveyors of post-hardcore madness and emotion look no further: Merchant Ships brought savagery with an unrelenting rawness. But the piece de resistance of their hallowed discography is “Sleep Patterns,” which sets aside the barrage for an emotional and incredibly intense wander through the idea of death and how people cope.
OK, so you very well may know of Transit, but can we really say they got the recognition they deserved before calling it a day? Some say the downfall began upon the release of Young New England, which is just frankly incorrect. The album got a lot of hate for its change in direction and the difference in production, but it’s a solid album filled with emo joy. Transit deserve greater acknowledgment for what they achieved in their time together.
A legendary British band who, if you’ve heard of them, you’ll miss every single day, but if you haven’t you’re missing out on something extraordinary. Fronted by the epically stylish Jamie Lenman, Reuben held a special place in the hearts of rock ’n’ rollers who love filthy-sounding riffs and vicious attitude. (Besides, you have to love a band who titled an album Racecar Is Racecar Backwards.)
You might recognize the voice of the Format as that of fun.’s Nate Ruess. It was his first band before hitting the big time with “We Are Young,” and although they were signed to a major in the form of Elektra, the band never got the support needed to establish themselves nor to promote their debut album, Interventions + Lullabies. A sad fact given the pop strength of their aptly titled debut single, “The First Single (You Know Me).”
Drive Like Jehu
Does cult status constitute recognition? Not on this list. We demand mainstream. While bands such as Drive Like Jehu may have their cultdom now, it doesn’t mean you could drop the name to your parents, and they’d know who the heck you’re on about. Clattering and raw punk music that’s always threatening to fall apart, the ’90s never sounded so good. Fortunately, guitar fulcrum John Reis continues to raise your heart rate in his post-Jehu band Hot Snakes, whose recent reunion album, Jericho Sirens, was released by Sub Pop earlier this year.
Be Your Own PET
This Nashville band were the epitome of garage rock—in the purest sense of the term. With a youthful vigor that only being an angsty teen can bring, these young punkers swiftly made a name for themselves with songs such as “Becky,” a story about a broken friendship. They promptly signed to XL over in the U.K. and on Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label in America, but the ride only lasted four years before they called it a day with a final show in London.
Born from the ashes of Be Your Own PET, brainchild Jonas Stein took what his previous band t crafted so well and turned it into a snarling ode to being a kid and growing up. While they may have released four albums on various labels over the years, they aren’t all readily available. So if you like what you hear, get ready for a hunt.
A gem in the emo scene, Old Gray marry collapsing chords, spoken-word narratives and straight-up pained screaming. A smattering of singles, two albums and an underappreciated legacy, it’s hard to find a band who embody the true essence of emo, right down to the utter, unabridged chaos that they fall into.
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
No one quite pushed boundaries like Reading, U.K., five-piece Does It Offend You, Yeah?. Across two albums, the dance-punk band were as volatile as they were heart-on-sleeve. Every limit felt like it was being pushed—including yours once you entered their world. The world has felt a bit empty, and a hell of a lot quieter, since they called it in 2015.