The Ten Bands I Will Be Forced to Listen to In Hell

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  1. Too much of the “It sucks because I hate it” style of bashing. I would have liked a little analysis into why. Pick a terrible song and deconstruct why it fails; that would be funnier for me.

    Of course, I know that music tastes re subjective and that you often can’t describe why you don’t like something, so, to each his own, I guess.

    Just glad you didn’t mention my favorite oft-maligned band. And no, I won’t tell you, because I’m sure you’d add them to the list.

    • I agree. This is very much a “these bands were very popular and I heard them a lot and got really tired of people talking about them so now I hate them ohsomuch” list.
      A lot of the descriptions sound like pseudo-clever statements the author wanted to make but had no forum, until now, to do so. The entire Weezer description tells me nothing other than that the author is tired of hearing Undone and is kind of bitter than this band that he doesn’t like is more popular than this band that he kind of likes a little more.

  2. Ron Neely II says:


  3. wellokaythen says:

    At least most of those vocalists can sing more than one pitch, even if they’re occasionally off-key.

    Offspring has to be on that list. The lead singer is practically tone-deaf. When he wants to go up in pitch, he just sings louder. Eternity listening to tone-deaf music is my definition of Hell. Give me Sting singing a scale over and over forever instead of Offspring.

  4. Funny. Disagree about the Beach Boys and R.E.M., though.

    Brian’s honesty and distress shine through on a bunch of numbers. If you don’t get “In My Room” and the stuff on Pet Sounds you might not get rock ‘n’ roll.

    Stipe tried a bunch of different vocal styles. The only time he really irritated me was with some of the maudlin stuff on Green. Can’t think of a time when he was truly off key. But again, if you can’t bend the rules, it’s not exactly rock ‘n’ roll.

    All those other acts pretty much suck though.

  5. The (white) comments are silly and I don’t know how you can have a list that includes Clapton and excludes Maroon 5. It’s mind blowing. Granted, I don’t listen to solo Clapton either, but Adam Levine is one of the biggest, most pompous d-bags in history. Surely an entire circle of hell shall be devoted to spending eternity suffering under him.

  6. AnonymousDog says:

    Glad you got all that off your chest, Sean, but your article was long on subjective opinions about those bands in general, and short on actual musical criticism.

  7. 7. Oasis

    Britishness stripped down to its worst and most cynical cliches: arrogance without due, rhyme without style, sarcasm without wit, pose without prose, booze without tolerance, chav without street, repetition without foundation, Wonder without Wall. Oasis is one long watery dump taken on decades of English pop mastery that came before it. It’s held-up-lighter music for an empty EnormoDome tour, big sweeping choruses that lead straight to the merch table or vomiting in the alley. It’s all that was wrong with the nineties encapsulated in one inane, brain-worm lyric.

    other than ‘wonderwall’, i was never was enamoured with oasis’ music (nor with blur’s – too knowing by ‘alf). the oasis sound was just a slow-moving chordal drone

  8. Totally agree on Weezer and Counting Crows are definitely for me among the worst ever. Rather listen to a commercial on the radio when they come on.
    I would disagree on Pearl Jam though. I would replace them with either Coldplay (whiny, piano, slit-your-wrist music about how much Chris Martin loves Gwyneth) or Collective Soul (just nothing redeeming whatsoever).

  9. Wow, Sean.
    You are vicious. Pretty witty, but vicious. I used to catch shit for my opinionated rants on poor music, but you have me beat. I bow to your superior asshole-ness.
    I can agree with a lot of what you said, if not so much with your scorched-earh enthusiasm. Re. Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder has a beautiful voice, but yeah…I agree with the mumbly thing. And yes, Sting does put the ‘middle’ in middle-brow.
    And yes, you *are* going to hell. But it won’t be the above bands you’ll be subjected to. After 2 or 3 millenia of Slim Whitman, Yanni, and Conway Twitty, you’ll be *begging* for Eric Clapton.
    Good luck and drink plenty of fluids.

  10. Paul Weller is going to run over your nads with his Vespa for all eternity for referring to Pearl Jams as “(captial T)The (capital J)Jam.” Serious.

  11. Kudos for not taking any easy shots (apart from Creed). I can empathize with having zero tolerance for bad music. I’m definitely that guy who makes a show of noticing how bad the overhead music is in restaurants and stores.

    Do we get to hear what everyone would have to listen to in Heaven?

    I’m curious, but mostly worried that you’re stuck in the 70s. Hopefully not, because when anyone lets themselves get stuck in any era it makes their tastes…how can I put this topically…not only old mannish, but much less than manly.

  12. Steve Jaeger says:

    I nearly got in a fist fight with a friend in 1968 when he said Clapton was a better guitarist than Jimi Hendrix
    I always thought Clapton was a technician without a lot of soul. I do like the Beach Boys though.

  13. Clapton is dull and had always been somewhere between middle-aged or elderly.

  14. How in the world does hipster narcissism like this reflect on being a Good Man? Most other posts on this excellent site reflect open-mindedness – this sticks out like a sore thumb. I’m surprised it was included.

    • I agree with you to a point Matt, but I also think it is healthy to highlight that we should be angry about being bombarded with middle-of-the-road art, especially with music, that gets stuck in one’s head. The revolution will only begin once we can throw overboard the business models that insist on serving up limp, half-baked musical offerings. I liked this post, a lot. (I am 40yo)

      • Sure, and we could get into that all day. I find it telling that you criticize m-o-t-r art and half baked musical offerings, when his post contains very little manufactured pop. He doesn’t go after the Spice Girls, nor The Biebs, nor Gaga, nor… so on and so forth. Everyone makes fun of them – for him to do it would be too mainstream. I exactly share your frustrations with that kind of manufactured garbage.

        No, he takes shots at REM and the Beach Boys. These are two well-regarded and well-respected bands who, for their time, stayed true to their music and made what they wanted – and who, critically and socially, are very much acclaimed.

        He needs to be cool, he thinks he can do that by liking things others turn up their nose at, and by cutting down things others enjoy. He has purposefully decided robe an asshole – that’s his word, directly from his article. He offers no useful thesis and provides no lessons. Hell, he might have said “mainstream music sucks, here is what I am doing to help young musicians keep to their own creativity while the major label system crumbles around our ears”. THAT I could have respected, if not agreed with 100%. There’s nothing to respect here.

        As I said originally, this post certainly has a place somewhere – maybe over at Pitchfork? – but I amazed that it passed editorial standards here.

  15. Matt, he doesn’t mention hair metal, but I’m pretty sure that a Good Man wouldn’t countenance much hair metal in his life. That would merely be a taste thing (and of course a goodness thing), not a hipper-than-thou thing.

    Curious to know the author’s age. I’m guessing he was born around 1975.

  16. I’m pretty sure Satan wouldn’t bother with REM or Oasis when he could just torture you with plenty of reggaeton and Miley Cyrus. As a previous commenter pointed out, you’ll be begging for Sting after three hours of Justin Bieber.

    Or maybe that’s exactly the torture Sean fears: people coming up to him and explaining exactly WHY he should be enjoying Sting’s greatest hits.

    In any case, I thought this was hilarious.

  17. Cornelius says:

    Woah, there, Encyclopedia Brown. Take it easy with the SAT vocab.

  18. Alyssa Royse says:

    I cannot tell you how happy I am to know that someone else hates Pearl Jam. But, you forgot Dave Matthews. There is lots of Dave Matthews in hell.

  19. Thanks Sean, this was a wonderful Sunday morning read!

  20. The implication here is that in Heaven one might find the likes of The Archies, The Bay City Rollers, and the pride of the Ukraine – Peter Hnatiuk. Unfortunately I’ve long ago lost his treasured classic – If I was Prime Minister – never mind the vinyl, it’s worth acquiring for the cover alone!

    You may have a helluva time finding a copy, so here’s where you can at least get a taste of it. Be careful though . . . you may wind up getting hooked!


  1. [...] giddily welcome me into his brass kingdom. Although possibly not before a stern lecture about slagging other people’s favorite bands. In my defense, should I choose to argue with His Wrathful Omniscience, having to deliver three [...]

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