I think about music constantly. Not just what types of music I like or dislike, but which bands are good and bad for the music industry. One day, I’ll focus on the good, spreading cheer and introducing people to some of the greatest musicians the world has ever known. This is not one of those days.
No, right now I’m going to focus on the bad. The ugly. The posers and hipsters. Bands that have sold millions of albums and made even more millions of dollars by convincing people that their crap music is some kind of work of art. The reality is, some of these Grammy winners and superstars are just untalented frauds keeping people from listening to actual rock music.
Before we begin, there’s some criteria to get to. First off, I’m talking about rock music. Not pop, not rap, nor bluegrass, nor disco. Also, the band (and its legions of fans) have to had taken their musically seriously. So, while Smash Mouth might think they were writing good music (they weren’t), even their fans laughed at it, so they don’t qualify. Lastly, the music had to be big enough to have a negative influence on the music industry. Your cousin Thad’s band he started in college that was “Depeche Mode meets Dead Kennedys with a Steely Dan influence” might technically be the worst band ever, but luckily only a few drunk 20-something’s that happened to be in the bar during their one and only show saw it, so that doesn’t count either.
10. The Black Keys / Dave Matthews
These two don’t really suck all that much. They can somewhat play their instruments, and more importantly, seem to like music where people actually do play their instruments. These are bands that are loved by both critics and fans, and any sort of critique about them is met with a lot of mean-spirited internet words. But they make the list based purely on their negative effect on rock music.
What I mean by that is both bands are used by their fans as proof that they are free-thinking, serious music people. To say you like either is to say, “Hey, I’m into blues/jazz things, and look, a semi-solo and, hey, a violin. Violins means art. Musicians! Oh wait, be right back, here’s that song they play on commercials a lot.” Fans of these bands don’t really like blues rock (ask them to name three Clapton songs not named “Layla” or “Tears In Heaven”) or jam music that really experimented with sounds (the only was they’d listen to Frank Zappa’s album “Guitar” is if you strapped them down and pried their ears open Clockwork Orange style). But The Black Keys and Dave Matthews give these radio-listening, Pandora-loving lemmings a “Get Out Of Not Knowing A Damn Thing About Music Free” card, and for that, they make the list.
These fucking guys. While nobody takes them seriously anymore (at least I hope not), they are responsible for all the good music of the 1980s being laughed at and seen as “hair metal”. This is a band that put music at the bottom of their priority list, caring much more about getting chicks, looking like chicks, and prancing around than writing a single decent song. When they did try to get serious, like in “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, it was so embarrassingly cheesy and lame that eventually even the hardest of the 80s bands had to cut their hair in order not to be associated with the genre.
When not ripping off music from artists more talented than themselves, Coldplay spends most of their time writing really big music for people with really small brains. Coldplay likes to use vocal effects that stopped being popular in 1998, backing tracks inspired by Dance Dance Revolution, and wear hats like this:
Easily digestible, pop-rock flem that looks better vomited out than it ever did going in. Everyone in the band has a half-beard that coincides with their hipster fanbase of middle class white dudes who all try to look like Silicon Valley engineers or internet poker players. Coldplay’s existence basically wipes out any good that way better but less popular bands like Canned Heat ever did, which is enough to ban their music for eternity.
7. Rev Theory
Give me a “Hell No”. Rev Theory is the culmination of lower-class bro dudes who grew up on Limp Bizkit, playing power chords to the FUCKING MAX, DAWG, spending close to six whole minutes writing shitty rock songs with the most fist-bumping chorus their Mountain Dew soaked minds could conjure up. This has replaced actual rock music on the radio, forcing millions of people who otherwise would be listening to Metallica or Pantera to endure this mindless slop of NRA-loving nothingness.
Hard rock has devolved into exactly what bands like Rev Theory think should pass for good music nowadays; Kid Rock’s energetic Americanism, hair metal’s blueprint of rock-ballad-rock songwriting, and Republican whining about just wanting to make a life in the good ole USA with a beer in hand and a supermodel on your dick.
6. Creed / Nickleback
Of course, when it comes to modern rock, nobody is to blame more than this duo of amazing suckitude. I’ve combined them because while 80% of people over the age of two are aware just how bad these bands are, that leaves 20% of blissfully ignorant toads, and with the population the size it is, 20% is waaaaaaay too many people.
Creed and Nickleback are a special type of horrible for one reason: they believe their music is really, super awesome and important. Nickleback’s frontman, Chad Kroeger, once said “I’m a walking penis that wants to take over the world.” He presumably wants to achieve this by writing a bunch of songs about his dad beating the shit out of his mom. I’m sure in Canada that’s pretty interesting, but spousal abuse is a national sport in America, with Rev Theory being the soundtrack to which we beat our wives.
Creed’s maestro, Scott Stapp, is one of those horrendous uber-Christians that thinks Jesus is Cool Dude Numero Uno, so the Lord is probably alright with the shirtless crooning that makes Eddie Vedder sound like Frank Sinatra. Creed is essentially the biggest Christian Rock band ever, which is like being the smartest retard or a Kansas City Royals All-Star representative.
Almost everyone hates the fuck out of these two bands, but almost isn’t enough.
5. Bruce Springsteen
The Boss sings for the people. The people are stupid. Bruce is responsible the single most stupidest fucking lyric in the history of music, Born To Run’s “Just wrap your legs ’round these velvet rims and strap your hands ‘cross my engines”. Holy shit. I guess to people from New Jersey, this passes as art or symbolism or anything other than a fourth-grade attempt at poetry. The public eats that shit up, along with his spastic energy and guitar strumming that evokes the shower stabbing from Psycho. He gutterly screams every fifth words because HE’S SO GODDAMN PASSIONATE JUST LIKE US, YOU GUYS.
Just thinking about this overexposed jackoff makes me hear his music, which in turns makes me want to jab a thousand Q-Tips in my ears like I was, well, Bruce Springsteen murdering his guitar. So let’s just leave it at that.
Come at me, hipsters.
Radiohead is the band the gave the musicians of the 21st century the freedom to not actually be musicians. This band likes to create sounds, not music. Ambition and creativity are Radiohead’s claim to fame, regardless of the value. They create droning, masturbatory digital ear-fuckery that only millionaires with way too much time on their hands would even consider creating. Thom Yorke has as much power as just about anyone in the industry, yet album after album sounds like a kid being forcibly finger-fucked by 8th grade bullies while simultaneously trying to figure out the meaning of it all. Then it gets downloaded by well-off white girls who listen on their iPhones while being finger-fucked by 28 year old bullies.
Radiohead is responsible for the death of the heart of rock music: four or five guys, picking up instruments and playing. Yorke needs more than that, you see. Something beyond creating art through mastery of a musical instrument. He needs a computer. And a dumb listening audience.
3. Bon Jovi
I’m not sure anybody is convinced more that they are a legit rock band and are more wrong than Bon Jovi. This is basically the Backstreet Boys of rock. Safe lyrics, safe music, safe look. The members of Bon Jovi are just really nice guys that really want to make you feel good. Here’s the thing about nice guys: they are boring as fuck. All the skin-tight purple pants and hair-poofing in the world can’t make up for the lack of insight that either the singing or playing brings. “Wanted Dead or Alive” is the music equivalent of the people behind “Two Broke Girls” rewriting “Deadwood”. Jon Bon Jovi sings” It’s My Life” as if anything that a guy with multi-platinum albums and million dollar movie roles has anything to fucking complain about. Who listens to this garbage?
Bon Jovi is just a pop band; music that you can dance to and not think about with a chorus you can mostly remember. But they have guitars! Must be rock and roll, bro! If Jon Bon Jovi was a dingleberry on Lemmy’s ass, Lemmy would drown his backside in alcohol and set it on fire.
2. Def Leppard
I’m typing this with one hand.
It’s amazing how many people think about Def Leppard as an actual rock band. Apparently, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” wasn’t a big enough hint that these wide-eyed rock wannabes sold out the minute Mutt Lange entered the recording booth. Leppard was signed for one reason: produce pop-rock hits. The record company brought in a producer to do just that. It worked. Girls through their bras on stage. Selling out was achieved. Yet, these guys and their fans STILL think there is artistic merit hidden somewhere in the middle of “Armageddon It”. Yeah, I’m not getting it.
Def Leppard is the stereotypical story of no-talent douchebags who took themselves way too seriously. Too much booze, too much partying, car crashes, groupies. They came out the other side of the 1980s overweight or severely underweight, in rehab and wanting to be recognized. Well, here’s your recognition: you are officially the second worst band who was ever played rock and roll music. Go play another benefit show.
Let me start off by saying: RIP, James Galdofini. And fuck you, Sopranos.
Why? Because I’m convinced The Sopranos is the biggest reason why the worst band in rock is still around. The show used “Don’t Stop Believin'” in its infamous closing moments, and since then has become the national anthem for bro-dudes and woo-girls in bars everywhere. It explains why the song is THE MOST DOWNLOADED SONG IN THE HISTORY OF ITUNES. Think about that. Not “Purple Haze” or “Stairway To Heaven” or “Blowin’ In The Wind”. Journey. I hate you all.
More surprising than its recent popularity is the number of people who still defend this band as something to be proud of listening to. It’s fucking pop music! It’s Britney Spears. Why, in the name of Christ (the most metal of all deities), do people consider this rock and roll music? Steve Perry sounds like a castrated twelve year old who falls in love more than Taylor Swift, the guitar solos are nothing more than scales that go back and forth, and there’s more synthesizers used than at a contest of who’s the best Yes cover band.
Journey made pop music for young girls in the 1970s, and is now adored by guys rocking barbed wire bicep tats and chicks guzzling Smirnoff. It’s literally the worst music ever made, regardless if anybody listened to it all. Now it’s being listened to by any and everybody, proudly. Ricky Martin fans had more claim to artistic integrity than people who jam out to “Any Way You Want It”.
Be ashamed, Journey fans, for you are literally the worst people on the planet.