15 Best Rock Bands From Wales

The coolest Welsh rockers.

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15 Best Rock Bands From Wales

You know, Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. But what do you know about Welsh music?

You'll be surprised, but a lot of famous people are Welsh, and among musicians too - for example, Bonnie Tyler, Roger Glover, John Cale, Tom Jones, Marina and the Diamonds, all of them are from Wales. We prepared a list of 15 famous rock bands which you may not have known are from Wales.

Let's start!

15. Attack! Attack!

No, it's not an American metalcore band Attack Attack! - Attack! Attack! (with 2 exclamation marks) were an alternative rock/pop punk band formed in 2006 in Wales. The band released 3 studio albums and then unfortunately split in 2013.

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14. Catfish and the Bottlemen

Formed in Llandudno in 2007, Catfish and the Bottlemen are among the most promising indie rock bands nowadays with their loud and explosive songs.

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13. Man

Formed in 1968 as a reincarnation of Welsh rock harmony group The Bystanders, Man are renowned for the extended jams in their live performances, mixing psychedelia, progressive rock, blues and pub rock. Reformed in 1983 after their split in 1976, Man are still active - with 16 full-length albums and more than 400 (!) releases overall.

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12. Feeder

Forming in Newport in the mid-'90s, the trio's brand of punchy, anthemic rock found success worldwide and a hugely dedicated fanbase who held the band together following the suicide of drummer Jon Lee in 2002. At the moment they have released nine studio albums, three compilations, two EPs, and 34 singles.

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11. The Joy Formidable

Another famous indie rock band from Wales, The Joy Formidable are known for their own blend of indie, shoegaze, alternative and post-rock.

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10. Mclusky

Mclusky (stylized as mclusky), originally known as Best, were a three-piece post-hardcore/noise rock group formed in Cardiff, Wales. They are well-known for combining the energy and ethos of punk with varied dynamics and intelligent, black-humoured lyrics.

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9. Lostprophets

It's hard to ignore all that really dark stuff and to separate the music from the people behind the music, but Lostprophets undeniably were one of the most known alternative rock/metal band during their 17 years career.

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8. Super Furry Animals

Cardiff-based Super Furry Animals have drawn on heavy rock, glam, psychedelia, punk, soul, electronica and everything else in between, bringing it all together in their own genre. Adored by their army of die-hard fans, they're one of the most creative and left-field collectives to have emerged from Wales.

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7. Budgie

Though never been labeled as heavy metal, Cardiff-based Budgie, formed in 1967, played an important role in establishing heavy metal and making it more prominent. Budgie influenced a lot of artists, including Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth and Van Halen.

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6. Skindred

When Newport band Dub War split in 1999, frontman Benji Webb took their innovative blend of metal, reggae and dub and gave it even more nu-metal attitude to create so-called "ragga metal." Skindreds music is really unique, combining aggressive riffs, with reggae and hip-hop vocals and catchy melodies.

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5. Funeral for a Friend

Formed in 2001 as a sextet called January Thirst, Funeral for a Friend are among the most well-known modern post-hardcore bands today.

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4. Stereophonics

Stereophonics were formed in 1992 in the village of Cwmaman in Cynon Valley. Described as "classic UK rock delivered with whiskey vocals," the band have been summarised as possessing a sound akin to the genres of alternative rock and "British traditional rock."

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3. Badfinger

Adopting the name Badfinger in 1969, the band was touted as the "heir apparent" to The Beatles, in part because of their close working relationship with the "Fab Four." Badfinger's meteoric rise and demise (marked by the suicides of founder-member and leader Peter Ham on 24 April 1975, and later of band-member Tom Evans on November 19, 1983) remain a cautionary tale for the rock music industry, and their music legacy is undeniable.

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2. Manic Street Preachers

Formed in 1986 in Blackwood, Wales, Manic Street Preachers are still one of the most socially active bands for today. They have won eleven NME Awards, eight Q Awards and four BRIT Awards. The Manics were also nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1996 and 1999, and have had one nomination for the MTV Europe Music Awards. The group has reached number 1 in the UK charts three times.

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1. Bullet for My Valentine

Formed under the name Jeff Killed John and started their music career by covering songs by Metallica and Nirvana, Bullet for My Valentine have become one of the biggest names on metalcore scene. The band has sold over one million albums in the United States and over 5,000,000 albums worldwide and are the most-successful act in the Kerrang! Awards category of "Best British Band" with three wins.

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Know more bands from Wales? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

52 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I feel bad for Wales if the best band they have to offer is Bullet For My Valentine
    Lol the best band on this list is easily Budgie. Killer band.
    I definitely have to agree. Their music is great, and they influenced Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden, to name a few. They helped shape 80s metal and hardly get any credit for it
    I feel bad as a Welshman that people associate Bullet For My Valentine with us! Especially when they out rank the Manics, who are, in my opinion, light years ahead of the others as far as impact, quality of output, success and influence!
    Budgie and The Joy Formidable are good bands. Not everyone here will likely Joy Formidable, because of their femininity, but they are good.
    FINALLY the Manics get some recognition on UG. James Dean Bradfield is arguably the most underrated guitarist of all time. Even on the low-key stuff like Everything Must Go, a lot of the chord shapes, progressions and arpeggios are absolute genius.
    Badfinger was cool...love the Straight Up album from '71 with Baby Blue, Name of the Game, It's Over, etc. Their finest moment. If you're into the Beatles and are curious, this is the Badfinger album to check out
    Was awful nice of Paul to get them a recording contract, I wish big-name rockstars would spend a cut of their time seeking out new talent and fighting the talent show assembly-line "musicians" of today.
    Ya, Paul signed them to Apple and really tried to help them along...a win/win for everyone involved. I'm afraid the "talent show assembly line" approach hasn't played itself out yet and may not for quite awhile. It's the easiest and cheapest way for the big industry players to get guaranteed "stars" since the tv shows already generate fans willing to buy before even signing or paying new talent a dime. No risk, big reward for the industry and we get stuck with recycled second rate music that sounds like everything else
    Could be a long slow road on that one - it's essentially just karaoke for half of these shows as even the artists who might have some talent are often forced away from performing original songs into covers instead, and its more about cheap gimmicks/themes to keep public interest anyway. Just slightly surprised there isn't a Kanye/Kardashian music project yet from that juggernaut, as even if utter garbage it would still manage to sell somewhere (and also wouldn't be the oddest thing Kanye West have ever come up with IMO). (plus got to add my own love for Badfinger's 'No Dice' album too!)
    Hope you're wrong, but I could easily see a Kanya Kartrashian Karaoke show bringing new "talent" to the world and capturing a few grammy awards in the process. Please shoot me now.
    Budgie should be at #1. They got a pretty unique sound and were way ahead of their time.
    I like BFMV, but I don't think they deserve to be number one. Also, if you're mentioning drummers who died before their time, you should have included Stuart Cable, who died in 2010 at the age of 40.
    Tha Funkinator
    Anghofiwch chi Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Tom Jones, John Cale, Shirley Bassey, a rhai eraill. Ond dwi'n iawn hoffi Super Furry Animals. Maen nhw'n pam fi'n dysgu Cymraeg.
    Feeder should be a lot higher on this list. Put on one of the best live shows I have seen and their albums always deliver anthems! There's a new Welsh band we toured with, called Pretty Vicious, definitely worth checking out. Young band about to release their debut. Solid addition to this list
    Also seem to of forgotten about Neck Deep, they hail from Wrexham or Retro Youth who are also from the north Wales coast.. Plenty of talent building up this way, it's not all about the south
    Most patronising intro on a column you will see ๐Ÿ˜‚ Wales a natural born musicians ๐Ÿ‘Œ
    wow...when I watched that pretentious video to "scream aim fire" I remember thinking that's the most American music video I've ever seen...cringeworthy...surprise, they're brits...
    lol...downvotes because I don't know where a band I don't care for comes from...well done, fanboys!
    I came here to make a joke about Lostprophets not being on the list and then I actually saw them there. Damn, Wales really did get the short end of the stick when compared to the rest of British Isles.
    UG is right though. I haven't relistened to any LostProphets since the Watkins thing happened, but they had some great stuff. I just can't get over what that piece of shit did.
    Won't be long till Buck and Evans are on this list, they are brilliant, Budgie should be at the top they where so influential
    Every time I hear the name Attack! Attack! it reminds me of "Attack! Attack!" from Game of Thrones.