15. Cage the Elephant, 'Thank You Happy Birthday'
Cage the Elephant rock out like they're the national champs of college radio circa 1992 and their big mainstream breakthrough is just a nanosecond away – it's retro but undeniably fun, and one of the year's coolest throwback looks. The Kentuckians blast out sugar-punk noise riffs à la the Pixies and Nirvana, and cover them in bright, bracing Sixties garage- rock melodies as they complain about hipsters, school and TV. And they give their Nineties sound a modern digital polish. Singer Matthew Shultz's fake British accent only adds to the transporting sense of rock & roll fantasy.