If you thought rock bands always had to have a frontman, then think again. There are so many different female-fronted rock bands that know how to blast out tunes and keep their fans entertained.
So, here is our list of 35 female-fronted rock bands that we believe will rock your socks off.
1. Nova Twins
This English rock duo consists of a female guitar and bassist that have been throwing out some fantastic rock tunes for years. But expect a blend of some hip hop thrown in with rock music, and their lyrics tend to be spot-on with the message they put across.
It’s witty. It’s forceful, and best of all, it’s impressive stuff to listen to.
2. The Starbenders
Finding a rock genre that The Starbenders have yet to explore is tough. From glam metal to hard rock and even some electropop is thrown in their repertoire for good measure, there will always be several of their songs that appeal, no matter your personal preference. We love their vibe and how their choruses have a hypnotic feel to them.
3. The Cranberries
This Irish rock band wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for Dolores O’Riordan leading. Her haunting vocals added something special to their music, and yet their songs just flowed effortlessly. This isn’t heavy rock, but it has a rough feel to it that helps their albums stand out.
4. Siouxsie and the Banshees
Huge in the post-punk time, this band had its own style that stood out from the crowd. As a vocalist, Siouxsie is one of the best ever, but it’s the way they manage to blend rock with psychedelic tones that help them stand out. This may have been post-punk, but their sound is different from anything you will have experienced.
Fronted by Debbie Harry, Blondie was one of the biggest bands in the late 70s and 80s. They crossed over between pop and rock with their hits. They were both stylish and cool at the same time. Songs such as Heart of Glass and Atomic cemented their status as an amazing band. We love how they create pulsating energy through their music, filling you with that same energy as you listen.
Fronted by Shirley Manson, this American rock band gets on this list thanks to its rough rock sound that involves heavy guitars and great riffs. Her vocals are astonishing, and their music has a real grunge vibe to it as well. It can be dark and brutal, but their songs stay with you forever.
7. Arch Enemy
This Swedish death metal band blasts through their songs with heaviness and with the amplifiers turned up to full. However, they manage to balance this out with a melodic feel to their songs, so even if you do not love death metal, then their music may still appeal.
8. In this Moment
Lead singer Maria Brink knows how to take control of their songs and prepare yourself for her to deliver some stunning performances. With a focus on metalcore, this band goes at it 110%. We are talking about sheer raw power, but only listen if you love aspects of screamo in your music, as Bink goes high, loud, and long with her vocals to amazing effect.
Formed in the late 60s, this band went through several name changes before ending up as Heart, but all through their names, this hard rock band kept on pulling in the crowds. Crunchy guitar playing is blended with keyboards, resulting in an eclectic sound that is rock but not the type that will hurt your ears, and that’s what we love about this band.
This band has covered everything from emo rock to post-punk and even some pop thrown in for good measure. Yet, that’s something to love about them. Hayley Williams has a fantastic rock voice, and the way she puts across the lyrics will hit you hard.
The thing about Evanescence is the way they are a rock band, and yet they can produce something that is quite haunting about their music. This is thanks to the vocals of Amy Lee, who can produce raw power before switching to a sweeter voice, significantly softer than you would expect.
12. Pale Waves
This rock band is from Manchester and produces good old indie rock. You will find aspects of influences from bands such as Paramore in their music, but that’s not a bad thing, in our opinion. Their rock songs are evocative and anticipate a whole lot of feeling and emotion to pour out when listening to them.
13. Icon for Hire
This band is something of a cross between punk and Led Zeppelin, and that’s quite a cool mix. Their latest music even introduces some sense of electropop into their songs, but if you want to get a handle on what this band is like, then you need to check out the album Scripted. It’s real rock and leaves you wanting more.
What we love about Halestorm is how they effectively carve and craft out stunning songs blended with outstanding lyrics that pack a punch. Sure, they also know how to rock, but the way they put everything together stands out. They play with your emotions, but that’s not a bad thing, in our opinion.
15. The Pretty Reckless
With a focus on an alternative rock style of music, this band not only knows how to rock, so you should check out their concerts if you get the chance. Led by Taylor Momsen, they tend to produce those epic rock songs that can only be performed in front of huge crowds. Momsen also knows how to be the perfect frontwoman with solid vocals and a somewhat hypnotic appeal.
16. Against Me!
This band manages to blend anthemic rock with punk, so expect a lot of noise when you turn them on. The way they put their music together is so slick, and they rip through their songs in no time at all. This is like rock music on steroids.
We love Flyleaf because this is an alternative rock packed full of emotion. It’s all thanks to the gorgeous voice of the frontwoman, Lacey Sturm. However, do also check out their stuff when Kristen May was the lead vocalist. She, too, added that emotion to the lyrics meaning this band could pull on your heartstrings whenever they want to.
18. Tonight Alive
Known for epic guitar riffs, this Australian rock band is often compared to Paramore, but they have their own sound and take on the sort of pop-punk musical genre. Also, if you love drums in your rock music, then their albums should be perfect as they play a leading role in the overall sound that is typical of this band.
19. New Year’s Day
One thing we appreciate about this band is how they incorporate so many layers to their songs without sounding too busy or complex to listen to. It’s common for them to start off with a whole lot of power before tailing off into something slower, more laid-back sort of rock and then build again through various instruments. They offer such a flow to their music that it’s hard not to be taken along for the ride as a result. But a warning, expect a rollercoaster of emotions with so many highs and lows you will feel dizzy as a result.
20. The Runaways
Huge in the 70s, this band was an all-female rock band, and boy, did they know how to rock out. Even then, they had something of a retro feel to them, but we had to include them in our list simply because their raw and ready sound remains as impressive today. It’s just a shame they didn’t last too long, as they could have continued to make stunning rock music for decades.
21. The Distillers
This band has a habit of coming across as quite angry in their music, but it does give out a strong vibe that’s hard to ignore. With a particularly raw feel to their music, it’s not as smooth as you get from other bands, but we see that as part of the appeal. Sometimes rock just needs to be blasted out with all that anger and rage, and that’s exactly what you get here.
22. Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac members were superstars and way more than your usual rock band. Fronted by the wonderful Stevie Nicks when at their peak, they incorporated aspects of blues into their rock music, often delivering a softer tone than you would expect. Fantastic at telling a story, Fleetwood Mac was one of the biggest rock bands ever, with catchy tunes and melodies that gently guided you through the song. They were quite simply amazing and have produced some of the best soft rock songs ever.
23. Cinnamon Babe
This Nu-Metal band is led by the enigmatic Stormi Maya. We love this band as they are not afraid to experiment with music giving a real edge to whatever they produce. We also appreciate how she blends aspects of hip hop with her music, and you feel her enthusiasm for music pouring through each song. Expect Maya to burst through your speakers and dazzle you with her talents. It’s amazing more people have not experienced her.
24. Destroy Boys
This trio delivers intense punk rock music, so if that’s your scene, then they are worth checking out. With a tendency to come across as snarling and angry, their music is fueled by sheer power, and that’s a feeling you simply cannot ignore. This music is perfect for anyone who loves heavy guitars and thrashing drums but still done with style and their own strong rock rhythm.
25. Automatic Love Letter
This rock band takes more of a pop-punk line to their music, but they still manage to stick to their rock roots. However, for us, it’s the vocals of Juliet Simms that stand out. She is slick and a stunning vocalist who undoubtedly carries the band. Honestly, who knows where they would be if it wasn’t for her. Her ability to make anything catchy is astounding, and we know that you will also experience her pull as a vocalist.
26. Florence + the Machine
The reason why we love Florence + the Machine is thanks to her ability to be very quirky in her lyrics and how she delivers her vocals. This UK rocker has had fantastic success around the world, and it’s astonishing how she plays around with different things in her music to ultimately deliver a unique sound that sits and stays with you. She is both haunting and melodic at the same time.
27. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Joan Jett is perhaps one of the most amazing rock stars to have ever existed. Her vocals are famous for being raspy and quite raw, but that adds so much to their music. They loved to play tough and would always turn the dial up to 10 with great instrumentals backing up that stunning voice. We just love that this is unpolished rock music played just the way you expect rock music.
28. Dead Sara
Dead Sara is an explosive power rock band that only exists to rock you out until you cannot take any more. Their music is often exhilarating and anthemic in nature, which is exactly what you want when it comes to this rock genre. Turn it up full, as there’s no other way to experience this music. It’s just a shame they are not more prominent, as their power rock has so much fun attached to it that it’s impossible for it not to put a smile on your face.
29. Bikini Kill
This punk rock band started in the 90s, and they exploded onto the scene with their strong punk vibe and sheer ferocity in their music. With a preference to be strong in their lyrics and a determination in their melodies, expect them to scream their message in your face, but for you to be glad they did. This will be nasty but in a fun-filled way.
30. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Karen O is great as a frontwoman, but she’s not the only reason we love this band. There is a certain magnetism to them that’s tough to replicate. They fume through songs, they sneer, and yet they don’t just throw their message at you and hope for the best. Instead, we love the balance in their music. Still, this band would have missed the mark without Karen O. She not only holds it together, but instead, she delivers consistently brilliant performances you cannot ignore.
Chrissie Hynde is remarkable and could easily be the queen of rock. They effortlessly blend aspects of rock, punk, and even new-wave into their music, and that’s something special. Known for the energy in their music, we have always enjoyed the ease with which you can listen to them while simply absorbing the sheer talent in the band. This is just amazing rock music for anyone to enjoy, so get the family around and love the experience.
32. The Go Go’s
Starting off as a punk rock band, their ability to produce a tight sound while emitting this highly infectious energy is what sets this band out as different. Some describe it as bubblegum punk, but we don’t have a problem with that. Instead, it’s the fresh lyrics, the bouncy nature of their punk rock sound, and just the overall feeling of fun that draws us in. It’s punk rock, but not as you would expect from a band.
33. We are in the Crowd
This band brings both rock and synth together, resulting in the development of their own unique sound. With a heavy reliance on drums, what makes a difference are the sharp vocals from the frontwoman, Taylor Jardine. She races through her songs and delivers the vocals with a real punch resulting in a highly enjoyable experience every time. We promise you will be glad you found this band.
Echosmith does one particularly brilliant thing: to create hooks that really do grab your attention. They are masters at pulling you into their music and keeping you there until they have delivered their message to you. Thankfully, they do this time and time again, thanks to solid vocals and steady riffs throughout. This is music you will grow to love.
35. Alabama Shakes
Fronted by Brittany Howard, this American rock band incorporated their southern roots into their rock music resulting in their own unique rock sound. They have sheer confidence about them, and this seeps through in every song they produce. But we also love how they are not afraid to suddenly throw in some funk or more of a bluesy rock vibe into their songs, managing to keep you on your toes in the process.
Barry has worked as a freelance writer for over a decade and has developed an eye for detail when it comes to unearthing cool and interesting facts.
His love of music stems from his student days checking out up and coming bands playing in the darkest corners of bars and clubs in Edinburgh.
The love of uncovering something new also remains with him. With an appreciation for music that’s best described as eclectic, his musical tastes range from Eric Clapton to Eminem through to Snow Patrol and Incubus. The memories that music can bring back to the fore is something he tries to portray in his writing.
For him, the voyage of discovery and unearthing something new is what makes this task of writing for MusicGrotto.com so interesting.