The 10 Lamest Bands of the '90s
Talk to some people (we guess) and they'll tell you that '90s nostalgia is the only kind of nostalgia that matters. Sunday, the decade of Reality Bites, Doc Martens and frosted tips -- which, seriously, is the name of a San Francisco-based '90s cover band -- will definitely be back in full effect when alt-rockers Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge descend on the relatively new Midtown rooftop bar Proof.
Photo by Groovehouse 311 at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, July 2012
That sounds like a more than decent show, especially at that price. All four of those bands produced at least one song that dominated rock radio and has kept being spun to this very day -- except maybe for Sponge's "Plowed," and that one certainly deserves to be. (Stay tuned for an interview with Everclear's Art Alexakis a little later on today, too.)
But let's be honest: Within the '90s-rock spectrum, as far as quality is concerned, the Summerland groups (in our opinion) all land in the first couple of tiers. Others were a lot, lot worse.
But who, you ask, might those be? Wouldn't you know it, recently Rocks Off put that very question to a few of our writers.
311's music is all lame post-grunge/reggae/jam band horseshit with no edge or art. Face it: frat boys getting into alternative rock ruined it. Ever wonder why indie rock sometimes goes out of its way to be effeminate and twee? This is why. They don't want bro-dudes coming in and douching up the place again. Every time the band cares more about being rock stars than about their craft, you can bet the end result will be terrible. JOHN SEABORN GRAY
4 Non Blondes
I took an informal poll of worst bands of the 1990s and just one person returned with 4 Non Blondes. Good enough. I threw out Nickelback's hanging chads and elected this group. Warbling singing, inane lyrics, Linda Perry looking like the love child of Natalie Merchant and The Scarecrow in that video - and that was just one song, "What's Up," maybe the worst ever written. What's up is your band was hands down the lamest of its era. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Photo by Craig Hlavaty Dave Matthews circa 2009
Aqua knew how to write a dance hit. They could wrote some catchy dance backtracks, but when it came to the lyrics and the delivery, they had a little trouble. For one, their female vocalist sounded like she spent too much time watching Disney movies while eating massive amounts of candy.
Then there's the issue of male vocalist René Dif, who might be what pushed Aqua over the edge in terms of lame. Regardless, I'm sure there are plenty of ladies out there proudly sporting "Barbie Girl" as their ringtone. ALYSSA DUPREE
Dave Matthews Band
They're what lawyers and stockbrokers listen to when they want to pretend to be funky. I'm willing to bet DMB have been the soundtrack to more insider trading than every other band combined. From Dave's heavily affected voice to the limp-noodle meanderings of the Grateful Dead-lite band behind him, there's just nothing here for anyone who doesn't get a big thrill out of lighting up a joint at exactly one DMB concert a year, corporate random drug testing policy be damned. JOHN SEABORN GRAY