Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old Bands Suck: The Ones I Hate.

The previous blog, as mentioned, was meant to show that I don't have a bias in the way I approach the whole attack on overly-revered bands. That even bands I like are subject to the same criticism.

This time, however, I'm biased as hell. And I hate these bands and the reputation that precedes them.

Yessss. Embrace your blogspot criticisms.

To start, I was going to pick one or two specifics bands. But I realized that they, amongst others, share the same awfulness, and all deserved to be verbally shot firing squad-style. So let's line 'em up:

Poison. Or what I wish I was drinking as I see this picture.

Warrant. Or what I wish I had in order to arrest them.

Fun (but not a) fact: The last two pictures were taken in the same Sears photo studio.

White Snake. Or what I wish was choking the life out of me right about now.

And two juggernauts of the era:

Bon Jovi. Who clearly killed gay pirates and stole their clothing.

Van Halen. This picture makes my nonexistent soul hurt.

Before I fire, I'll make it clear the impact these ridiculous bands have had in music, as well as their overblown stature in the rock music picture.

Poison: Has sold 14.5 million records in the US, with six Billboard top 10 singles and one #1 hit (Every Rose has its Thorn)

Warrant: Two huge albums, particularly "Cherry Pie" and "Dirty Rotten Stinkin' Filthy Rich", both going double platinum.

Whitesnake: Named the 85th greatest hard rock band by VH1, with three albums going a total 22x Platinum in 3 different countries.

Bon Jovi: Inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, Songwriters' Hall of Fame, the "Award of Merit" (Whatever the fuck that means) from the American Music Awards, with an insane amount of number albums and singles, as well as a tremendous amount of sales.

Van Halen: Sold 80 million albums worldwide, is the 19th-best selling rock band in America, and Eddie Van Halen is widely hailed as one of rock's most legendary guitarists.

Where do I even begin? I don't know what gun to fire first. No wait, I do.

The style.

The entire decade of the 80s was seemingly more dependent on the way you looked than what it is you played. This is evidenced by the consistent look of these bands; they gutted the Ozone layer with their favorite bottle of Rave hairspray as they murdered the color palette with the gayest collage of clothes and makeup anyone has ever wore. Ever.


Truth be told: I don't know what particular band this is. But I'm pretty sure they're sodomites.

The lyrics.

It amazes me the hypocrisy that many rock fans show over lyrical content in hip-hop/rap on the Internet criticizing it for its shallow lyrics and objectification of women. Because seriously, these 5 bands, staples of '80s rock and dubbed "classic" by radio stations and your mechanic named "Joey", have the most piss-poor lyrics with the worst themes and messages. Let's plow through the first verses of their biggest hits in order:

Poison - Talk Dirty to Me:

You know I never
I never seen you look so good
You never act the way you should
But I like it
And I know you like it too
The way that I want you
I gotta have you
Oh yes, I do"

Warrant - Cherry Pie:

"She's my cherry pie
Cool drink of water
Such a sweet suprise
Taste so good
Make a grown man cry
Sweet cherry pie"

Whitesnake - Is This Love:

I should have known better
Than to let you go alone
It's times like these
I can't make it on my own
Wasted days, and sleepless nights
An' I can't wait to see you again"

Bon Jovi- Wanted: Dead or Alive (You might know it as that overplayed cowboy song):

"It's all the same, only the names will change
Everyday, it seems we're wastin' away
Another place, where the faces are so cold
I drive all night, just to get back home

I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive "

Van Halen - Hot for Teacher:

"T-T-Teacher stop that screaming, teacher don't you see ?
Don't wanna be no uptown fool.
Maybe I should go to hell, but I'm doin' well,
teacher needs to see me after school.

I think of all the education that I missed.
But then my homework was never quite like this.

Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad,
I'm hot for teacher.
I got it bad, so bad,
I'm hot for teacher. "

Admittedly, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake did well to avoid the derogatory women stuff. They failed to, however, avoid sounding yucktastic. I mean, seriously, I'm a cowboy; on a steel horse I ride? What does that even mean?

But where would we be without the very thing that makes them iconic: The music.

Poison, Whitesnake, and Warrant are nearly indistinguishable with their focus on glam rock, power ballads, and repetitive ass chords. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn, "Is This Love", and "Heaven" might as well be on the same goddamn album.

Oh wait, they are.

Same with their more signature singles like "Talk Dirty to Me" , "Cherry Pie", and "Here I Go Again".

Oh wait, they are.

Bon Jovi's lyrical prowess was a little stronger, but they still managed to sound incredibly trite and corny with songs like "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' on a Prayer", and the previously mentioned "Wanted". Especially "You Give Love a Bad Name"; because no one has ever accused a chick of being a shit girlfriend in a song before. Then you count its fantastically forgettable music and the cheesy guitar solo, and you've got yourself a lesson in controlling your gag reflex.

By the way, if Bon Jovi earns hall of fame statuses for this crap, I want the White Stripes getting inducted everywhere within the next 5 years.

They're far more talented and creative overall than any band in this blog.

I'll give Van Halen some leeway though. Musically, they were more interesting, with songs like "Hot For Teacher" not only showing off Eddie's guitar talent, but Roth's powerful vocals, and Alex Van Halen's headspinning drumming.

"Runnin' With the Devil", though, is a song that people like bringing up when they praise Van Halen. The song's intro and solo sounds great, but when you realize that the rest of the song is almost exactly the same as the intro, it becomes less special. And I can't help but to feel an embarrassing knot every time that chorus comes through and those Roth squeals scratch the background as the backup vocals repeat "Runnin' With the Devil" in the whitest way possible.

And I will never, ever, forgive them for "Jump". The synth riff and pre-chorus makes me wanna jump onto them.

And hope they disappear.

It's unabashedly '80s and corny, and is probably a rip-off of Journey's equally as ridiculous "Don't Stop Believing", which similarly uses a synth piano as a core part of the music, fuses it with guitar, and has similar notes. "Jump" is also the only song of Van Halen's that hit #1 overall on the Billboard charts, making it arguably their most popular song.

These are songs and bands that, by description, should've and could've been forgettable. Awful styles, absolutely meaningless lyrics, and completely trite and repetitive music; and yet, somehow, they've attained this immortal status as pioneers of rock music, with no one seemingly up to challenging their inscrutable standard.

Even Van Halen, which is the only band as far as I can tell from this group that actually displayed some strong musical skill, has garnered way more respect than it deserves, quite frankly.

And guess what? There's still one more band that's bigger than all of these, and deserve even more criticism. But they never receive it. Even when they released what is easily their worst album ever last year, we all kind of swept it under the rug. But that's for the next one of course.

Because this took me 2 hours to type.

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