Seven Bad Singers in Good Bands

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Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth
I'm willing to bet you've heard more than one band and thought, "that guy can't sing." Maybe you even liked the music, but the singer was just so awful it ruined it for you. It's not simply the domain of local bands who couldn't find a decent singer off Craigslist either. Some popular bands have singers so bad they can ruin the whole band, though more often than not it can thankfully be overlooked.

It's hard to understand how it happens. Maybe they just really like the person, or maybe they just really couldn't find anyone else and got stuck. No matter how though, it's a recurring issue, and these are just a handful of the bad singers you find fronting great bands.

Dave Mustaine, Megadeth
Musically, Megadeth was one of the early forerunners of the thrash metal movement and has inspired countless metal bands over the last almost thirty years of their existence. On the other hand, many have struggled to enjoy the band for a fairly decent reason: front man Dave Mustaine has never been able to sing well.

He was kind of a victim of circumstances. After he got fired from Metallica and started Megadeth, he didn't have a singer, and he had always been a lead guitarist. He just started doing it himself for reasons of expediency. That's understandable, and hey, it's carried the band over the years. It's certainly never stopped me from loving Megadeth. But his bizarre, snarling voice has always been either outright bad or ridiculous as best, and it's only diminished with age.

Anthony Kiedis, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Let's be fair, he did start off mostly just rapping and making weird noises in the earliest days of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and that worked for their aggressive funk rock, punk rock style. When they started writing ballads though, it was all downhill. I love their ballads, and obviously his voice couldn't be too off-putting considering the massive success of songs like "Under the Bridge."

I don't think anyone would argue that he's a great singer though. He has just enough to carry a tune and get the band by, but that's it, and his enunciation can get downright grating at times. As the band has gotten softer and less and less funk based, his voice has only grown more annoying over time. Not to mention their success allowed him to get indulgent with it. Blech.

Jacob Bannon, Converge
Though massively influential on the hardcore scene over the years, Converge is mostly notable for their musical accomplishments, not vocal ones. Jacob Bannon is revered in the scene, but it's for altogether different reasons. His lyrics, artwork, and energetic performances are unparalleled.

He just can't quite scream with any great ability. Screaming is really not hard, and he can do it passably enough to get away with it. That being said, over the years he's tried on various styles from high screeches that sounded more like bizarre bird mating calls and growls that made him sound like an 80 year old chain-smoker, and none have ever turned out well. Good thing he's amazing at everything else.


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14 comments
Tim Thurmond
Tim Thurmond

Morissey, Morissey, Morissey. You have no idea what you are talking about.

Michael Terry
Michael Terry

You have no clue. Dave's vocals made Megadeth. As David's vocals made those early Van Halen songs what they are. Pretty much can be said for all the bands you list. You are trying to make a vocalist into a singer.

Chris Glazier
Chris Glazier

Really? You have to post this twice in two days? And why did you remove the honest coments that others made about how awful your writting was and how biased the fish wrap you write for is?

Jussi Tinnemeyer
Jussi Tinnemeyer

Gosh, spent a couple of minutes reading this... Conclusion: poor article in a decent publication by a bad writer. Boring. Next.

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

Yeah, because hearing Pavarotti singing Holy Wars would sound so much better, right?

Chris Glazier
Chris Glazier

This coming from an ignorant writting working for a biased fish wrap

michaelbell.1975
michaelbell.1975

Hey look, the HP did another article about things they don't like.  

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