Alt. X: 5 Other 'X' Bands You Should Know

With The xx performing in our sunny island this week, we thought it’d be fun to look at other acts whose name starts with the letter 'X'. While not all of these acts are exactly X-rated, each of them has marked their own spot in the music world. Punk, rock, rap – it’s your pick.


The Los Angeles quartet is one of the first bands out of the American punk wave. While they never achieved a mainstream success, the band’s music has a long-standing influence on punk rock to this day. Their first album Los Angeles, which was released in 1980, is an essential punk record. Part of its success could be attributed to the album’s producer Ray Manzarek, who was an ex-keyboardist of The Doors.

X Japan

Interestingly, this Japanese heavy metal band first started out as X in 1982. Eventually, they decided to rename themselves X Japan so as to differentiate themselves from their American namesake. X Japan is one of Japan’s most successful rock acts, having sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. The band straddles between thrash metal and stadium pop ballads. Their dramatic and flamboyant image contributed to the visual kei movement, which was Japanese own version of the Western glam rock. Sky-high colourful hair – checked.

Xiu Xiu

This is not another Asian band. Xiu Xiu is an American avant-garde group conceived by Jamie Stewart, who has been its only mainstay member since its formation in 2002. Whether pronounced as “Shoo-shoo” or “Swee-Swee”, this is one band not to be messed with. Their lyrics are often dark, dealing with issues such as suicide, abuse… and even horse sex fetish. Don’t be fooled by the upbeat tunes of Xiu Xiu!


When the spelling of ‘ecstasy’ goes wrong, what results are quirky, lush pop tunes backed with some of the most original lyrics. The British lads first started out as a post-punk outfit, before eventually heading towards a more pastoral direction. In 1982, the band’s lead singer Alan Patridge had a mental breakdown on stage, leading to XTC not engaging in touring ever again. Thankfully, this didn’t stop the band from producing critically lauded studio albums, such as 1986’s Skylarking.


Okay, he’s not a band, but it’s only right that we feature Mr. Pimp My Ride. Before his MTV success with the car show, Xzibit was known as a rapper in the West Coast hip-hop scene. He had worked with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Having concentrated on his acting career in the past few years, Xzibit is finally back to face the music. Last November, he dropped a new album Napalm, which has done rather poorly on the charts. Yo dawg, time to pimp it.

Do you know of any other great “X” acts? Share your comments with us!