Most of you already know my disdain for certain bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch, so I will refrain from bashing them any further, but rest assured, they're still awful. No, rather than cheat and include those two bands, I'm going to instead talk about five more popular bands that, to be honest, I just can't get into no matter how many tries I give them. But first, before I dive into the main list, I'll start with an dishonorable mention:
Dishonorable Mention: Korn
For anyone who knew me in high school, this straight up blows your mind. I breathed Korn as an adolescent. I knew every word to every song, I bought every t-shirt that had their logo on it, I spent countless hours on the internet reading anything and everything I could about the band members. At one point in time, I had memorized the release dates of all of their albums, I knew all of the band members' birthdays (I still remember that lead singer Jonathan Davis' is January 18th), and my nickname in high school was, in fact, Korn. Once Head left the band, everything went downhill, and they haven't released any album worth listening to since his departure. I've tried and tried, but no matter how much I listen, I just can't believe my ears. They epitomize the phrase "How the mighty have fallen." In the late 90s and early 2000s, they were the most gigantic rock band on the planet. My first concert ever was Korn and Rob Zombie, and to this day I would still rank it as my favorite concert I've ever been to. I was 13 years old, going to see my favorite band, who were at the top of their game. I have so many vivid memories from that show, and I screamed every single word along with Jonathan. Now, it's a different story. I went to the Mayhem Festival in 2010, where Korn was the headlining act, and I left before they even played, I'm just not interested. When I heard they released a dubstep album, I thought it was a joke. The worst thing about it though, is that it still sold decently well, reaching #10 on the Billboard Top 200. So maybe they haven't actually fallen that far. I recently saw a video where Head rejoined the band for a one-time only playing of "Blind," their most iconic song. While it was cool to see Head rocking out with the band again, and it took me back to being a teenager, it just wasn't the same. Korn, you will always have a special place in my heart, but I can't be with you anymore.
Now, with that out of the way, on to #5...
Let me start off by saying that I understand that three of the five bands I'm going to talk about are incredibly talented, and Mastodon is definitely one of them, and by all accounts, I should absolutely love them. So why don't I? Honestly, I have no idea. Out of all the bands on this list, I've given Mastodon the most chances, and outside of a handful of songs, I just can't get into them. I'm not a musician, so I can't give you breakdowns of why I don't like their sound, and I think that may be the reason I don't like them. Every musician I know tells me how great Mastodon is, so maybe you need a musician's ears to hear the greatness. Rolling Stone even stated that "Mastodon is the greatest metal band of their generation--no one else even comes close." That's pretty high praise from any publication, but coming from Rolling Stone, there's little room to argue.
One thing I do like about Mastodon is that every one of their albums sounds completely different. Usually when bands experiment with different sounds, it turns out terribly (see above), but all their albums are universally praised by critics, so more power to them, I respect people who leave their comfort zone to try something new.
My Favorite Song:
As far as generic rock bands go, Saliva is the cream of the crop. They make Nickelback look like pre-Black Album Metallica. At least Nickelback will be honest and tell you that they write the type of music they do because it sells, whereas with Saliva, I get the impression that they go around telling people "We just want to express ourselves, it's not about money," as they blow their noses with a $100 bill. You may be thinking how I can say this with such heart-wrenching emotional ballads like "Click, Click, Boom" and.....whatever other songs they have. Singer Josey Scott recently left the band, so at least now when I hear Saliva, I won't know it's Saliva, so there's a plus.
Let us not forget that Josey Scott teamed up with Chad Kroeger (of Nickelback) to concoct a song so amazingly and painfully mundane that it gives me conniptions just thinking about it. It's the most agonizing 3:19 in human existence. It's like that movie Awake, where you're conscious during surgery, and you feel all the pain but you can't cry out for help to make it stop, that's what the song "Hero" is, it's a musical purgatory.
My Favorite Song: Just pick one, they're all the same song.
#3: Chelsea Grin
I had never really listened to Chelsea Grin before I saw them on the 2011 Thrash and Burn Tour. I went because I liked other bands on the bill like Winds of Plague and Upon a Burning Body, and Chelsea Grin was the co-headliner with WoP. Not only were they one of the three worst bands I've ever seen live (along with Woe, Is Me and Taproot), but they were also incredibly disrespectful. The venue I saw them at was The Attic in Dayton, Ohio, which is a Christian venue. The cool thing about The Attic is that they bring all kinds of bands through there, not just Christian bands, and they're even cool with bands swearing during their songs. The only thing they ask is that the bands don't swear between songs when they're addressing the crowd. Chelsea Grin's singer dropped at least one F-bomb between every song. Now, some people are probably saying "They should be allowed to say what they want, it doesn't matter if it's a Christian venue or not." Well, my view is this: I'm not offended by foul language, in fact, I had to make a conscious decision to clean up my language, and I still have slip ups every now and then. I just feel like it was incredibly disrespectful. The owners are allowing you to play your music to your fans, and they have one simple request, and you can't do it? Winds of Plague was respectful enough to watch their language, and if there is one thing Winds of Plague is NOT, it's a Christian band. It would be like me being booked for a wrestling show, and the only thing the booker asks of me is not to fight in the crowd, and the first thing I do is jump out of the ring, hop the security railing, and kick a child in the face.
Despite this, I decided I would still give them a listen, because there have been bands that are terrible live but good on their albums, in fact, two of the bands I saw at that same show (Like Moths to Flames and In the Midst of Lions) are those types of bands. Chelsea Grin, however, is not one of them. It sounds like steel grinding against a chalkboard while forks scrape against plates. It's just a bunch of awful noise. I love metal music. All types of metal. Everything from Black Sabbath to August Burns Red and everything in between, if it's metal, I'll at least try it, and Chelsea Grin, despite having one of the most brutal metal band names of all-time, is just not for me. I was amazed to see how many people left The Attic when Chelsea Grin wrapped up their set.
I don't have a favorite Chelsea Grin song, but just listen to this and tell me it's not terrible.
#1: The Beatles
I already know that I'm going to get a lot of grief for this one. Let me say that I understand why they are one of the most popular, if not the most popular band of all-time. I see people of all ages that totally love The Beatles, whether they're my mother's age, my age, or half my age. I see teenagers rocking Beatles shirts all the time, although it's more likely just the hipster in them and they've probably never heard a Beatles song. It's almost as bad as seeing a teenager with a Ramones shirt, take that off you little jerk, you don't appreciate the Ramones. Sorry, I kind of went off there, I just hate hipsters.
Anyway, I've tried to like The Beatles the same way I've tried to like Elvis Presley, classic film and television, and Atari games. Perhaps there's just some sort of chemical imbalance in my brain that makes me unable to like things that occurred before my time. I understand their appeal, and if I had grown up in a time that they were new, I would have loved them. There's no argument that The Beatles are iconic to rock music, and without them, the evolution of the genre probably would have gone in a completely different direction. A rock music time-space continuum would occur, and I know with certainty that the alternate universe it would create would be much less interesting. It'd be like comparing the black and white Kansas to the striking beauty of the Emerald City.
The Beatles are timeless, and even if I don't enjoy their music, I at least understand their appeal and can appreciate what they've done for not only the music world, but the world in general.