An ordinarily awful work can be So Bad Its Good, becoming popular and genuinely liked because of its unintentional comedy value. Others are far worse. These don't attract proper fandoms and aren't enjoyed, as such, but draw some attention out of a perverse sense of fascination. Prolonged exposure can cause wooziness and weakening of the grasp on reality.Here are some our favorite examples of metal that's so bad it's just bad...
If you were a teenager who liked metal in the late 80s or early 90s, it is very likely you spent a lot of time digging through the bargain bin at your local music retailer, hoping to find some $2 tape that had somehow been undiscovered by the masses and, like junk bonds in the late 70s, was undervalued by the market. And if you're like me, you probably saw the same familiar faces again and again: RDP, Dead Brain Cells, and Gang Green's "Older... Budweiser." It is perhaps the epitome of "so bad it's horrible" in that it combines excruciatingly dull, derivative thrash metal riffs with the tiresome, juvenile rebelliousness of punk and tops it off with a generous helping of moronic 80s beer humor that wouldn't even make the cut for a Tankard b-side. Basically it's the crossover equivalent for those singing bass things. It's not charmingly offensive like, say The Mentors. You don't love to hate it like Mordred. It's not so retarded it's awesome, it's just fucking stupid, and when you press "play" on this tape, you will immediately be looking for "stop."
This song is seriously called "Solitary Solitude." Really!
Somebody mentioned Meliah Rage in the comments the other day, and what better occasion to bring them up than in a post about bands that are so bad they're horrible? Because Meliah Rage aren't just bad, they're fucking awful, and not in any kind of endearing, fun way like, say Nitro, Def Leppard or Accept. Listening to their records is about as much fun as taking a standardized test, except unlike the GMAT there's no reward for suffering through it. The riffs drag on for what seems like forever. They're never heavy enough to be heavy or melodic enough to melodic. Never fast, never slow, just plodding and dull to the point where you want to stab yourself in the brain with a machete. It's like that feeling of rage, disgust, and irritation you get when you're trying to explain to a woman how to use a piece of electronic equipment: "It's not on. Press the big green button that says 'POWER' on it. No, that's the remote for the DVD player. Here, I'll just do it for you." As many people will point out, Sully from Godsmack played drums in this band for a while. It shouldn't surprise you, though, that I love Godsmack, so I don't hold it against them. You probably will, though.
I wrote quite extensively about Annihilator in my February post entitled "I have disliked Annihilator for 18 years." There is no need for me to repeat it here, but if you are interested in things that I don't like (and who isn't??), give it a read! They still suck, so the post is as relevant today as it ever was.
You would think that I would love a band with "slam" in their name, but you couldn't be more wrong. Much like the recent US financial crisis showed that the financial system had run amok and needed oversight, Uncle Slam showed that the thrash metal scene was in dire need of quality control. This band was most generic of generic thrash; they ripped off the rip offs and copied the copycats. The only interesting thing I can say about this band is that there is absolutely nothing remarkable or unique about them relative to the incredible flood of awful thrash bands in the late 80s. Punny name? Check. Chopaholic riffs? Check. Shallow sociopolitical lyrics? Check. I could go on forever- there's even an Ed Repka oil painting on the cover like so, so many other 80s thrash records that are completely indistinguishable from each other. Like Mortal Sin, Beowulf, Agony Column, Hirax, Acrophet, Laaz Rockit and Holy Terror, there is absolutely no reason to ever listen to this band again for the rest of eternity, unless you love misery.
I will end this post with something a little more controversial. I loved the Origin's self-titled debut when it came out. It was totally fresh and unique, mostly because of the unpredictable, distinctive drumming. I still listen to it pretty often, and it still sounds great to me. So, you can imagine how upset I was when I heard their second album and they decided to change things up a bit and become a bland, reptitive, brutal death metal band that was nearly as dull as Hate Eternal, Nile and Vital Remains. OK, that was a little harsh- Vital Remains have the distinction of being the single least interesting death metal band to ever play a note of music. But you get the point. I think they could save themselves a lot of time by just setting a drum machine to play a blast beat at 250bpm for 35 minutes while someone plays random, tremolo-picked notes at the same time. Scratch that, just have a computer play the guitar part too. It would pretty much sound the same as their actual records but they wouldn't have to go to all the hassle of "writing songs." Because I still love their first album, though, I included a video above of one of their good songs- but don't be fooled! This band is now awful!!