Last week The Rolling Stones announced their highly coveted, long-salivated-for new album, Hackney Diamonds, will be released October 20.

Wood, Jagger, Richards. Still from the “Angry” video. Photo from

“Angry,” the first single, is a welcome introduction. It’s a miraculous feat for a rock band whose median age is 80. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood will carry out the group’s legacy, holding high in honor their brother-in-drums, Charlie Watts, who passed away in 2021.

The Rolling Stones are Father Time to the music world. Other musicians’ careers pass through them like kidney stones. They laugh at your ten- and twenty-year anniversary albums, scoff at your forty-year reunion shows. They have managed to maintain a 60-plus career in popular music that, it seems, no other act will ever be able to mimic. Who else could possibly have the longevity, popularity, and mammoth discography of the Rolling Stones? Who else could weather internal strife, the law, changing styles, drug abuse, divorce, death and conspiracy, and still make great music? Their “bad” periods are brief, and even still littered with classics. The living embodiment of rock and roll, they are the first vision an infant child has when they think of a band playing music.

It has been 18 years since their last album of original material, A Bigger Bang, was released, but in that time they’ve managed to tour the world a couple half-dozen times.

Since 2005 the entire music landscape has shifted from physical to digital. A bunch of bands came out of retirement, Soundcloud rappers had their moment, festival culture exploded, Kanye reached the Sun, while Taylor and Beyonce world-dominated. Our increasing connectivity allows fads to alight with hot flame and burn out quicker than a Vine. Streaming has become ubiquitous with being online. The song is still powerful, but now can reemerge from any decade and revive hit status. Bands forgotten are found again. 

These are some of the best groups to form, and then break up, since the Stones’ last album in 2005. Great as these musicians’ output may have been, they are but fractal scuffs on the Stones’ steel wheel of time. It’s not easy for a young band these days. (Not included:  “supergroups,” or side projects. No Grinderman, How to destroy angels, etc.)



Crystal Castles (2006 – 2017)

Formed In: Toronto, Canada

Key Release: Crystal Castles (2008)

Reason for Break-up: The screeching half of Crystal Castles, Alice Glass, left in 2014. Producer Ethan Kath continued on, replacing Glass with Edith Frances. Three years later, in 2017, Glass alleged sexual abuse by Kath during the band’s early years. This put Crystal Castles into an indefinite hiatus. Kath may one day return with the name, but it won’t be with Glass. The sound they both built made trashy noise danceable. Glass went on to release the piercing Prey//IV in 2022.



White Lung (2006 – 2022)

Formed In: Vancouver, Canada

Key Release: Deep Fantasy (2014)

Reason for Break-up: After putting out an album every other year, White Lung became dormant after 2016’s Paradise. In that time, lead singer Mish Barber-Way became pregnant and had a child. It was bittersweet when, in 2022, they announced their return with Premonition, but also that the album would be their last. No real reason was ever given for the disbandment, other than motherhood and a general disinterest. 



Amazing Snakeheads (2010 – 2015)

Formed In: Glasgow, Scotland

Key Release: Amphetamine Ballads (2014)

Reason for Break-up: Only one year after their incredible debut album Amphetamine Ballads, the Amazing Snakeheads dissolved. Hot spitting frontman Dale Barclay replaced the other bandmates and it seems to have quickly fallen apart thereafter. Late in 2017 Barclay discovered he had brain cancer, and after months of treatment the disease took him under.



The Soft Pack (2007 – 2014)

Formed In: San Diego, California

Key Release: The Soft Pack (2010)

Reason for Break-up: They just did. After 2012’s Strapped, lead singer Matt Lamkin put out an an experimental album in 2016 and left the other members wondering. “After six years of touring we got burnt out,” Lamkin has said. “We went our different ways. We never really broke up.”



Yuck (2009 – 2021)

Formed In: London, England

Key Release: Yuck (2011)

Reason for Break-up: After the group’s lovely self-titled slice of indie rock was released, co-founder and guitarist Daniel Blumberg left and was replaced by Ed Hayes. They’d release two more albums and an EP before calling it in. The new songs were never quite able to land.




Yeasayer (2006 – 2019)

Formed In: Brooklyn, New York

Key Release: All Hour Cymbals (2007)

Reason for Break-up: No real reason given, only that it was mutual among the three bandmates. It’s still an open question as the group was mid-tour for their 2019 album, Erotic Reruns.


Avi Buffalo (2010 – 2015)

Formed In: Upland, California

Key Release: Avi Buffalo (2010)

Reason for Break-up: The band’s main songwriter and guitarist, Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, pulled the plug on Avi Buffalo after fulfilling their two-record contract with SubPop. Zahner-Isenberg seemingly lost interest in songwriting stating, “It makes me [feel] out of touch with myself and irrelevant to current music’s existence.” Also, in 2020, he was accused of rape by a former bandmate from the group’s early days. In response SubPop pulled every track from their stores.



Smith Westerns (2007 – 2014)

Formed In: Chicago, Illinois 

Key Release: Dye It Blonde (2011)

Reason for Break-up: After releasing three records, each with a fair amount of buzz propelling the next, the band all realized the only thing they shared was a lack of enthusiasm to keep going.



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