Bands that sound like The Cure?

Bands that sound like The Cure?

The Cure has been around since the late 1970s, if you can believe it. Right out of the punk & post-punk era with amazing songs like Killing and 10:15. It’s been a long long time and everybody thought Robert Smith would quit or die. But no, he is still around and touring, but the ghost of bygone days of gothic pop rock glory. And this is why it is amazingly hard to give a good list of bands that sound like The Cure. What The Cure? Faith era with gothic synths? Deep goth rock as in 100 Years or The Hanging Garden? 80s British pop? US radio friendly pop rock like Friday I’m in Love? Attempted return to the roots with Bloodflowers? And what about those recent albums nobody cares about?

So here, we are going to have two groups: recent / still active bands that sound like The Cure overall. No we are not going to put Coldplay on that list, but The Killers, definitely yes. In fact, The Killers is a perfect example, although their recent release Battleborn was a letdown. The general idea here is the lead vocals, the melodic structures and the British feel. The idea is to be alternative rock, with a good ratio of gloomy songs (rare these days – everything has to be uplifting), good melodies, a mix of guitar / keyboards…

By the way, here is an interesting review (by a fan) of their Concert for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Also, The Cure was touring in 2016 and coming to the US West Coast (see their site for updates on dates and this page for videos)

Then we’ll also have older bands (probably defunct) that are still of interest.

Updated 02/2017: The Cure Is Us 2017
For The Cure fans, check out featuring the new album “Around My Head”

Here we go: === SECTION 1 FOR THE ACTIVE BANDS ===

#1 The Killers

This is no a big surprise. Everybody though, when The Killers became huge in the 2000s, that they sounded like a British band (from Las Vegas) with an overt retro synth sound. It worked great. The voice was very Curish, not on purpose it seems but it just came out that way. Their Live at the Royal Albert Hall is a must have. Here are two classic tracks. Let’s hope that their next release will be a return to that sound… Among the bands that sound like The Cure (or at least used to), you have to put The Killers on the list…

#2 Snow Patrol

These guys have been around for a long time and they seem to be working on their next release, so active they are. There are just too many songs that have that 80s Brit feel which, for real bands (no drums machines and minimum synths) ends up being timeless. Everybody knows Chasing Cars, perhaps one of the greatest songs ever written (at least in that general league), but there is of course Run and Chocolate.

#3 The Beautiful Sky

This is us, writing his post and doing so become a lot of people said: “hey, you guys sound like The Cure! It is on purpose?” No, it is not on purpose, our lead singer just has that voice and often wished he hadn’t. Plus The Cure hasn’t release anything decent in decades it seems. But heck, The Killers did great in spite of the label, and so are we… Here are two tracks for you to decide…

#4 Parade of Lights

This is a new band that is relevant because 1/ they are cool and up-and-coming 2/ they evoke the back to the synth with male vocals trend that is very much part of the story of The Cure. Here again, 2 tracks:

#5 Bastille

It’s one of those bands everybody was talking about not so long ago. A buzz of sorts, the new cool. So you have to get to know them anyways, and there is enough of that British current & throwback style that puts them in the “sounds like The Cure” category.

#6 Death Cab for Cutie

A US alternative band that belongs on your playlists with The Cure:

#7 Shout Out Loud

This Swedish band has been around since 2001 and they are still active. Check out a track often associated with their Cure-ness…

#8 through 10

We are opening these slots for public recommendations. Please contact us at for current bands that have vocal and a general feel in line with The Cure’s overall sound. Thank you!

Here we go for more : === SECTION 2 FOR LEGACY BANDS ===

First we should mention, just list a whole bunch of bands from that era that may be of interest, but they are mostly obvious. This is really to be comprehensive:

  • The Smiths
  • Depeche Mode
  • Bauhaus
  • The Essence
  • New Order  (still active)
  • U2 (vaguely)
  • Real Life
  • Indochine (for French speakers out there)
  • Interpol
  • Sisters of Mercy
  • Clan of Xymox
  • The Verve
  • Dinosaur Jr (famous for their cover of Just Like Heaven)
  • The Chameleons
  • Venice is Sinking
  • Sad Lovers and Giants

Here is a selection of videos: