Where oh where did all the dance-punk bands go? In the first decade of the new millennium, amid the countless other genres that looked back at older music through rosy glasses (chillwave, freak folk, neo-psychedelia), few dominated both the mainstream charts as well as the underground as heavily as dance-punk did. Though the sound’s essential properties came down to a fusion of punk and disco, its purveyors ranged from award-collecting pretty-boys (Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chefs) to aging hipsters carving out new territory (LCD Soundsystem, Le Tigre). Some groups leaned more heavily into their funk forebears (Electric Six, VHS Or Beta), while others embraced a pop-friendly mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation, shooting for the festival stages while riding a steady wave of blog buzz (Matt And Kim, Two Door Cinema Club).
Though often fairly accessible (it is dance music after all), bands that practised the sound often thrived on an indie-schooled sense of cool, never straying too far from their rock roots as they attempted to bring guitar music into the 21st century. You can still hear the echoes of the sound in indie rock today, even if most of its original architects have been left by the wayside. But with dance-punk luminaries Franz Ferdinand returning in February with their fifth album, Always Ascending, we took the time to revisit some of the genre’s most definitive moments. Hit play, and bust out those MySpace moves.