Independence Day

What's indie rock? Who cares? Here are 10 great CDs that will blow you away, no matter your definition.

Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, Thatís What Iím Not (Domino)

This past spring, the Arctic Monkeys were on the tongues of tastemakers and (ack!) hipsters everywhere. The hype machine was stuck in overdrive, and I swore that I wouldn't fuel it. In the end, though, I finally succumbed and bought in to the quartet's spunky, tangled, three-chord rock 'n' roll swindle. I was drawn in by the messy, frenetic bedlam of "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and "Dancing Shoes," and now I can't get the monkey off my back. Sucker? Guilty as charged.

She Wants Revenge
She Wants Revenge (Geffen)

Kevin Devine
Kevin Devine
Brightblack Morning Light
Brightblack Morning Light

There are plenty of reasons I shouldn't dig She Wants Revenge. For starters, the act's sound is completely derivative. (Obviously so. I mean, really, a song titled "Tear You Apart"?) And the skuzzy, minimalistic electro come-ons seem just a little too calculated in a Hot Topic goth sort of way. In spite of all that, though, there's something oddly riveting to me about a band that can deliver lines like "She's in the bathroom/She pleasures herself" with a straight face.

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