We’ve all read the lists ‘best guitarist of all time’, ‘best bass player of all time,’ ‘Best Prog rock band of all time’. What do they all forget? ‘All time’ includes the future. But they never mention the best acts from the future.
This brief article will hopefully redress the balance a little. Let’s dive into The Best Prog Bands of All Time (that were formed after 2025).
5. Jellyhoop Express
Formed after the original Jellyhoop/Blamp Collective disbanded due to bass player Felicity Argentine’s mysterious disappearance, Jellyhoop Express took the original band’s prog-funk soul to new heights. Fronted by Jellyhoop Lennon (no relation) and with the inimitable Ned Bladger on kit, and Gareth Cole on guitar, the band released many notable albums.
Biggest hit: Can you funk in 5/4? A double album that dares you to dance in impossible time signatures
Deep cut: Napoleon gave me sugar lumps A 40-minute prog-funk retelling of the Napoleonic wars from the point of view of Napoleon’s horse.
The economic woes of the mid 2020s didn’t have many upsides, but the formation of economics themed Prog-metal masters Coinbastard is certainly one of them. Some bands write concept albums, but few have stuck to the same concept for quite so many albums. From Choked By The Invisible Hand, to Thatcher’s Corpse for Chancellor, the Wigan prog metal bands have been scaring and educating audiences for 23 years with no sign of slowing down. Expect tech-death riffs, blistering solos, brutal polyrhythms, and an album long screaming exposition of the macro-economic ignorance that led George Osborn to incompetently ruin an entire country.
Biggest hit: Cutting taxes, cutting throats A history of taxation in 21/8
Deep cut: Reigning Keynes Slayer riffs and the essays of John Maynard Keynes shouldn’t go well together and yet somehow they do.
Cut from a very different cloth to CoinBastard, Floatyhead are a throwback to the glory days of prog – the 1990s. Lead singer and main songwriter Jim Bradford’s floaty falsetto and lightly strummed guitar are the centre and heart of this indie-prog band, but it’s the creativity, exploration and drive of the rest of the ensemble that truly give them their edge. From Gareth Cole’s guitar to Timothy Pickering’s oscillating basssynth, the group weave bizarre rhythms and bewildering countermelodies around Bradford’s self-indulgent whiny songs. Miserable, but epic.
Biggest hit: Why do all the girls hate me? A tale of thwarted love in two simultaneous keys, with Pickering playing seven home made synth instruments at once.
Deep cut: I was happy once but then my dog died and was eaten by a bear. An off-cut from their seventh album, and only released for the 20th anniversary 70 disc re-release, this was always a fan favourite at live shows.
What can be said about Mellotronitis that hasn’t been said before? Pastoral mellotron soundscapes, slow, tuneful solos, lyrics about dragons and fairies.They would have been at home in any era of prog. Rapper and turntablist Jessica Longturk fronts the band, spitting bars at a hundred-miles-an-hour over the mellotron soundscapes the rest of the band conjure up, easily the most talented of the prog rappers since the genre finally embraced the hip-hop crossover it had been flirting with since 2027.
Biggest hit: Gangsta Gonna Get Dem Elves. The prog-hop anthem that needs no introduction.
Deep cut: Guns and Hos in the Court of King Alfred. Knightly quests, mellotron solos, break beats and a ten minute excursion on what would happen if you used an uzi in medieval battle. Classic.
1. Quantum Lariat
No surprises here. Quantum Lariat are the prog band’s prog band. Known for their commitment to the classic instruments of the genre, you can’t move on their stages for classic loop stations, guitar synths and drum machines. They’re not just about nostalgia though, Quantum Lariat are all about pushing boundaries. In 2032 they split into three different sub bands or ‘quantas’. One third of the nontet began playing their epic Three Marionettes One A Sea of Cheese while the other two quantas continued to compose the piece. There have been three band change overs so far and the piece is now into its fourth year. With the first batch of band clones currently in music school and the second batch currently gestating, their plan to still be performing the piece in 2000 year’s time seems to have got off to a great start. With seven births in the audience and only three deaths, the chances of there still being people in the concert hall to listen seem pretty good as well.
Biggest hits: Supper’s Tongues in Transatlantic Oceans Their tribute to the epics of yore
Deep Cuts: Fountainhead or Milkshake? The band’s first attempt at a multi-year epic. The first three years are really captivating, especially for bass player Felicity Argentine’s mysterious reappearance in the middle of the twenty eighth chorus, but years four to seven are an acquired taste. Whatever was planned for years 8 onwards we’ll never known, as the audience uprising put an end to the performance and to several original band members.