The 10 Lamest Bands of the '90s

Categories: Flannel File

311-GH-0712.jpg
Photo by Groovehouse
311 at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, July 2012
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.

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.


REWIND:

The 10 Worst Rock Singers of the '90s


311
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.


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Photo by Craig Hlavaty
Dave Matthews circa 2009
Aqua
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


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168 comments
jerryreeder
jerryreeder

the author of this shit-stained article should be castrated.

midinerd
midinerd

"limp-noodle meanderings of the Grateful Dead-lite band behind him" 

I'm not a huge DMB fan - but their individual musicianship wasn't an accident.  Be very careful speaking of 'noodling' when excreting your way around another web deadline by making this article.  :)  cheers

whishmaster49
whishmaster49

Who ever wrote this does not know good music and I sure they love that new crap that's passes for music . I was at Woodstock99 and those bands were at their best

whishmaster49
whishmaster49

Who ever wrote this does not know good music and I sure they love that new crap that's passes for music . I was at Woodstock99 and those bands were at their best

_sid.
_sid.

This is by far the most poorly written and poorly researched music review/public interest story that I have ever read in the Houston Press. Embarassing this got through the editor.

Four Non Blondes - the songs title was "Whats going on?". Linda Perry went on to dominate the pop charts writing, and at times producing, many of the pop hits sung by, well pop stars, from Aguilra to Pink to... well,l them all! Like the music or not - it clear that your sentances were a random rant.

STP - Zeppelin Cover band - doesnt deny it - still sells out small arenas - as does 311.

Sugar Ray! Sucks.

Hootie - safe for familes and stockbrokers. Nice guys. Three cord melodys lkke the early Monkees. 

And if you had an opportunity to actually see Filter, Sponge, Everclear and Live today at their free concert at Proof Bar - you would realize that you missed three bands. Because only Live should still be playing....

Horrible writing.

Ricky Hill
Ricky Hill

worst article ever...delete "like" Status

Zac Elizondo
Zac Elizondo

Eh....it's your list not mine...I'm not mad at yah!

Adam Aune
Adam Aune

You should take 311, STP, and The Offspring off your list and just add Dave Mathews Band three more times.

Deja Cain
Deja Cain

DMB was my 90s arch nemesis.

drc326
drc326

DMB should be #1. His voice makes me want to torture puppies.

Koree Smith
Koree Smith

Also, this list is completely judging based on image, not on talent.

Koree Smith
Koree Smith

Top # lists are kinda lame, actually.

Craig Wilkins
Craig Wilkins

Spot on except for STP. STP NOW, yes, but not then.

Lindsay Joseph
Lindsay Joseph

DMB? Seriously? You lost all credibility with that one.

Andy Young
Andy Young

Remember this day, Houston Press. it's the day I unlike you on Facebook. Offspring for LIFE!

eljalapenoloco
eljalapenoloco

Sugar Ray is coming to Houston!!! Can't wait to burn them up with my hot chile! Anyone want to come with? The show is Saturday August 17th, 2013. Can we bring our own food to the Arena Theatre? Wonderin' what we can throw at the bands!!!

Stephanie Elena Suarez
Stephanie Elena Suarez

This is the third time you've put this story on your news feed. Give it a rest !

Lea Brice Hougland
Lea Brice Hougland

You lost me at Dave Matthews Band. Although, I'm not a fan now. But they were great in the 99's! I agree with you on most of those.

Jamie Martin
Jamie Martin

It's hard to read this article and not wonder how it got published.

Laura Jenkins
Laura Jenkins

Ok this list was made by an idiot. The only lame bands really on there were like Aqua, Hootie and the blowfish(sorta) and Savage Garden.

perzianverzian
perzianverzian

Great list of shitty bands.  The 90's were awful.More to add to this list are Nirvana, Pearl jam , uncle kracker, crash test dummies,  jamiroqui, "stereo mc's"  who were unintentionally funny like 4 non blondes) P.U.S.A. , radiohead, green day, chumbawumba, ratm, they might be giants.  GAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! the fugees, blind melon,

johnya
johnya

I have 3 Savage Garden songs on my i-pod. Should I delete them? 

Zayre Santander
Zayre Santander

DMB lame?????wtf!!! DBM is a great band and still very much relevant !! i say whoever wrote this lis has a lame taste in music, most of the band mention in there made the 90s music decade relevant and worth listen!!!

bridgetp311
bridgetp311

Only if you could fathom the fan base that 311 has, you would be beyond amazed. If you could experience the love and unity we have every time we go see a show, you would understand. 311 has been 'strong all along' since 1988. That is along time. The songs and lyrics are far more than "horseshit with no edge or art", it fills us up. 311 connects with their 311familia. I have been a fan of theirs since 1996. Thanks for the post on the 10 worst bands, but 311 doesn't belong in my opinion. I will always love being part of the 311 hive.

Erica Murphey
Erica Murphey

Kiss my feet, Houston Press! I liked Savage Garden and Hanson. They got me through a lot of tough times as a teenager.

Jackson Myers
Jackson Myers

"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." Haha

Chase Thorn
Chase Thorn

AS USUAL, WAY OFF BASE!!!!!! How can you throw in STP and 311 into that group? They were very legit bands for a long time. Whoever did this list know piss about music.

wallypeterman
wallypeterman

Fuck this!! 311 is the shit and you suck!  Have you ever been to a 311 show?? The people are amazing and the vibes are incredible.  If I hated people you would be on the list hahaha

Mike Campion
Mike Campion

I'm just happy to see that 'THE BAND NOT FORMERLY KNOWN AS KISS' did not make this list! David DeCasper

thomasttu
thomasttu

Houston Press, for shame.  Vomit of the keyboard.  


rtroute
rtroute

Now that you've listed the Top 10 lamest bands of the 90s you all need to list your Top 10 Coolest bands of the 90's.

Greg O'Brien
Greg O'Brien

STP but not Ticklesack? Are you kidding me? Go kill yourself.

Downtownisthriving
Downtownisthriving

You decided DMB was lame because their fans were preppy. Look what he did for a deserving fan above. Or is she pretending? I'll let you decide.

Revidescent
Revidescent

Fine. Linda Perry also sounds like she's being strangled by a loan shark while singing, Dave Matthews is best remembered as penning an ode to voyeurism, 311 butchered a perfectly good Cure song and their music is NOT exactly aging well, Mark McGrath is a narcissistic douchecanoe who seriously made a 'concept' album called "Music for Cougars" and otherwise panders to preteens who want to 'party' at skating rinks, and Darius Rucker only is capable of singing in vowels when not pining for the Miami Dolphins. Limp Bizkit, well, they ARE the punchline, no setup needed. I'm a huge 90's nostalgtard, and even I admit 75% of this list is spot on. They missed Counting Crows and Goo Goo Dolls, but otherwise pretty complete. I do think STP and Offspring don't belong here.

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