An email exchange with my pal Zac recently led me to an Onion AV Club article where the AV Club writers pussyfooted about cultural masterworks that they don’t really understand or don’t really like. I was led to this article by declaring that The Smiths are overrated and Morrissey is a pretentious, boring twat. See, that kind of statement is exactly the sort of thing those equivocators at the AV Club managed to avoid. Zac thought I could do better and suggested as much, which was like throwing 100 menstruating fat chicks into a tank full of starving sharks. So, without further ado, I present to you The Bollocks! List of Overrated Musical Bullshit, my list of sacred musical cows who should be put out to pasture, shot in the back of the head, and then ground into tasty burgers.
For starters, let’s talk about Borrissey. Er, I mean, Morrissey. Dear Mr. “Meat is Murder”: Food is murder. You think it’s all right to eat plants because they’re not cute, but they’re alive, you asshole. But that’s not enough reason to dislike Morrissey, who is regarded by many as one of the great grandaddies of indie rock. His music is boring beyond compare. The guy is basically a lounge singer and he’s a pretentious one at that. Add slightly better guitars to Borissey and you get The Smiths, who are also vastly overrated. Fuck Morrissey.
Oh, and fuck Led Zeppelin while we’re at it. That’s right, fuck them. Especially that banshee-wailing douchebag Robert Plant. John Bonham was a great drummer, but that doesn’t excuse Led Zep’s shameless skullfucking of some of the best blues music ever recorded. You can claim they invented heavy metal all you want, too. Know what genre I could give less than half a fuck about? If you guessed heavy metal, you get a gold star for the day. You’d be better off listening to the original Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson recordings than canonizing the self-indulgent, cock-grabbing Led Zeppelin versions.
Speaking of Robert Johnson, no white guy has dealt him a greater blow than Eric Clapton, another highly overrated musician. I know, I know, Cream was pretty cool, but Clapton steadily nose-dived after that, meaning his career has consisted of cheesy lyrics and decent guitar solos, a fact often excused by “But he’s a great guitar player.” So is John Mayer and yet, John Mayer still sucks a big fat donkey cock. I don’t care how well you play the guitar, if you write “Waiting on the World to Change,” you should be buried up to your neck in your own shit. Besides, why listen to a band just for the guitar? You don’t read books just for the word “the”, do you? Where was I? Oh yeah, Clapton. Listen to his atrocious Me and Mr. Johnson and you’ll realize that there is only one white guy who should be allowed to touch Robert Johnson’s music and it aint’ Clapton. It’s John Hammond, Jr., whose At the Crossroads album is the only album of Robert Johnson covers that comes close to the original spirit of that great music.
This one is especially for Los Angeles, a city that seems to think otherwise, but all 1980s hair-metal was shitty. All of it. And I don’t care how many reality shows that asshole from Poison has, he is, was, and always will be a hack musician. That goes double for Def Leppard, who are still, for some ungodly reason, putting out albums. Hit the state fair circuit and have done with it.
Also, for the record, I don’t give a shit about Van Morrison. I don’t think “Brown-Eyed Girl” is a particularly good song. I’ll give him Astral Weeks as a good album, but the rest of his stuff can go fuck itself to death in subway station.
To everyone who adored/adores Rage Against the Machine: you’re wrong. There is nothing Rage did that Public Enemy didn’t do better. Tom Morrello may be the most overrated guitar player in the world at the moment.
Speaking of overrated guitar players: Van Halen is included in my statement about ’80s hair metal but they get special mention because everyone thinks Eddie Van Halen invented playing the electric guitar or something. He is very good at playing fast and finger-tapping. But you know what? Finger-tapping is so easy that I could teach you how to do it even if you don’t know how to play the guitar. It’s a gimmick. I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t lavish special attention on how shitty David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar are. I have heard people argue about whether Van Halen was better with Roth or Hagar and it’s like arguing about whether you should have the shit sandwich with mustard or horseradish.
This will surprise no one, but if I’m talking about shit sandwiches, I can’t leave out Metallica. I’m not a fan of metal, but I know enough to know that Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” kicks the ass of every Metallica song ever written. Lars Ulrich is a shitty drummer and James Hetfield is a terrible singer and a worse lyricist. I could go on about Metallica, but it’s almost too easy to talk about how awful they are.
A lot of people like Peter Gabriel, but I am not one of them. His music is incomprehensible to me, to the point of irritation. What exactly does he do that the Talking Heads didn’t do better? And riding a fucking Seg-Way (is that how you spell it? I don’t care) around on stage? Give me a break.
Black Sabbath had one good song. It was “Paranoid.” Everything else they did was crap and Ozzy Osbourne should be put in a home.
I spent a lot of time trying to like Bad Religion, but I just can’t do it. The Empire Strikes First was mostly all right, but I just don’t care about their other stuff. A lot of people love them, but I’m sorry – just can’t get into it. They don’t suck as bad as The Smiths, but I’d still rather listen to London Calling than any of their stuff.
I once met a dude who told me Peter Frampton was the reason he started playing guitar. I was stunned. Peter Frampton is one of the worst musicians I’ve ever heard and I’m actually quite upset that part of my brain is used up knowing who he is. That talk-box effect is stupid and gimmicky and people who use it should be jailed.
U2 is one of the world’s biggest pop acts and, but for a handful of tunes, I couldn’t care less. Most of their stuff sounds exactly the same to me and I think the Edge has been stuck in a musical rut for most of my lifetime. Seriously, dude, time for a couple different guitar effects. Also, Bono is a douchebag.
A lot of folks here in L.A. love their home-town heroes, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. These guys really piss me off. Anthony Kiedis mostly writes and sings in baby talk and anyone who’s heard a Funkadelic album knows that there’s nothing that funky about RHCP. I’ve heard this band is on hiatus and I can only hope that’s a permanent thing.
Those are all the overrated people I can think of at the moment. If I think of more later, I’ll be sure to let you know.