4. Julian Casablancas
Artistic Quality in Recent Years: 6
Enduring Legacy: 7
Few bands have seemed as much like a fad as The Strokes — blame the meticulously disheveled haircuts and vintage tees that probably cost $60 — but they’re still here in a big way. Their sound and attitude has influenced indie rock for more than a decade now, but in recent years, they’ve failed to even be a parody of themselves (which, in itself, reflects their CBGB elders). Much of 2011’s Angles was recorded separately, under strained band dynamics, and the lack of cohesion showed in the lackluster songs. 2013’s Comedown Machine recast The Strokes as dorky purveyors of ’80s synthpop (that’s not a compliment). Still, the band played shows earlier this year to rapturous praise, and Julian Casablancas recently said they’ll get together to toss around ideas for a new Strokes record next year. And people will lose their fucking minds when it gets announced. In the meantime, Casablancas will release his second solo album, and first with a new backing band, The Voidz. Tyranny, out September 23 on his own Cult Records, shows off Casablancas’ experimental bent with little cohesion and lots of untethered guitar jams. It’s more enjoyable watching him get weird, sad, and angry instead of merely emote coolness. Still, I doubt he’ll ever escape the crowd screams of “Last Nite,” no matter how much he tries to pivot his image away from total douchedom.