Anxiety can be hell on earth, but it can also be an enormous musical propellant, often converted into the flat drive of punk or the even slacker thudding of grunge. And when it compels one's feet to move faster, it's a magical resource. In the 1980s, bands like Gang of Four, The Feelies and Pylon added a constant bottom-heavy rhythm and groove to the nervous energy of punk and created a new subspecies of New Wave altogether. This got contorted even further in the '90s by jagged weirdos like The Dismemberment Plan, and then grew into a formal movement in the 2000s with not only the 1980s-revering likes of Franz Ferdinand and The Rapture but also high-pitched, exasperated singers -- like Hot Hot Heat's Steve Bays and We Are Scientists' Keith Murray -- who were poised to take over the radio but never quite did. Here's a compilation of all these artists and more creating some high-quality high-anxiety pop.
Alt Rock's Most Jittery, Danceable Cuts
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