In the early 2000s, a new group of bands that played a stripped down and back-to-basics version of guitar rock, emerged into the mainstream. They were variously characterised as part of a garage rock, post-punk or New Wave revival. Because the bands came from across the globe, cited diverse influences (from traditional blues, through New Wave to grunge), and adopted differing styles of dress, their unity as a genre has been disputed. There had been attempts to revive garage rock and elements of punk in the 1980s and 1990s and by 2000 scenes had grown up in several countries. The Detroit rock scene included The Von Bondies, Electric Six, The Dirtbombs and The Detroit Cobras and that of New York Radio 4, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Rapture. Elsewhere, other lesser-known acts such as Billy Childish and The Buff Medways from Britain, The (International) Noise Conspiracy from Sweden, The 18.104.22.168's from Japan, and the Oblivians from Memphis enjoyed underground, regional or national success.
The commercial breakthrough from these scenes was led by four bands: The Strokes, who emerged from the New York club scene with their début album Is This It (2001); The White Stripes, from Detroit, with their third album White Blood Cells (2001); The Hives from Sweden after their compilation album Your New Favourite Band (2001); and The Vines from Australia with Highly Evolved (2002). They were christened by the media as the "The" bands, and dubbed "The saviours of rock 'n' roll", leading to accusations of hype. A second wave of bands that managed to gain international recognition as a result of the movement included Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Killers, Interpol and Kings of Leon from the US, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Editors, Franz Ferdinand and Placebo from the UK, Jet from Australia and The Datsuns and The D4 from New Zealand.