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The Atlantic Divide

Ten bands that weren't singing Yankee Doodle Dandy in '06.

7. The View: This group from Dundee, Scotland, gained a pretty important fan early on, when Babyshambles' Pete Doherty caught a live View performance in early 2006. Of course, it was both a blessing and a curse; drummer Steve Morrison was involved in one of Doherty's many arrests -- but only after Doherty got 'em the industry hookup, handing the View's demo to an A&R guy from Rough Trade. And it's a good thing too: The View is one of the few bands here that don't always have to prefix punk with post, as evidenced in "Posh Boys," a short, fast blast of minimal, two-chord fury. But it's still catchy as hell.

8. The Subways: Though not as overlooked as most on this list, the Subways are still likely to get a "Who are they?" from the average Yank -- and that just ain't right. This past summer's U.S. tour with Taking Back Sunday, Angels and Airwaves, and Head Automatica bolstered the Subways' trans-Atlantic popularity. But more important, it was good for their American audience, who got to hear something different from the usual alt-rock crap they're used to. And given the Subways' blend of jagged Brit pop and thick-riffed Detroit rock, they're the right Anglos for the job.

9. Buzzcocks: Sure, they've gotten plenty of credit for pioneering the first wave of Brit punk, and we've been reading about it for the past thirty years. But that's ancient history. The thing is, the Buzzcocks from 2006 didn't need to remind you of the Buzzcocks from 1976. They've been too busy doing new stuff to get fat on their laurels. Not only did Manchester's finest release Flat-Pack Philosophy this year (their fifth studio album since reuniting and eighth overall); but their decision to join the Warped Tour proved they can still keep up with the kids -- and show 'em what real pop punk is.

10. Paul Weller: Any Brit rock band worth a shit today will cite Weller and his long-defunct band, the Jam, as an influence. Those who don't are either lying or just not worth listening to, period. And in 2006, Weller's importance to British music was codified at the Brit Awards, where he received the "Outstanding Contribution to Music" award (or, what we in the States call a "Lifetime Achievement Award"). Still, America has yet to pay any real attention to the man known as the "Modfather." Maybe that'll change next January when Weller performs a three-night, career-spanning concert in New York City. Either way, it's bound to be out-standing.

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