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Taking the Piss: The WORST Punk and New Wave Bands Ever?

Taking the Piss: The WORST Punk and New Wave Bands Ever?

Above Photo: Debbie Harry of Blondie.

I recently came across one of the most outrageous band critique articles I’ve ever read. It was so “out there” that in the end I could only laugh at its dismissive, incendiary slurs and ridiculous reviews of bands that most people would put on their music pedestals. The review was on the US noisey.vice.com website, and once I understood that it was completely satirical, I lightened up and thought it was superb.

Mind you, for bands I hate, I thought they were spot on!

Below I’ve (mostly) featured their comments on the Punk and New Wave bands (and other musicians) mentioned in my ‘70s-‘80s music memoir, Bombed Out!, but they’re also outrageously rude about a vast swathe of other music and artists. I’ve put a link to the full article below, and also added photos for illustration.

The Clash onstage in the US.

The Clash onstage in the US.

“The internet has changed the way we think about music. Today, we’re flooded with more songs and artists than we can possibly process. It’s a wealth of information, and we can’t keep up. We’re constantly distracted by bands and artists who pollute our attention, and often times, we miss out on the real artists and the bands that really matter.

Here at Noisey, we know everything about music, and we’re well aware that music can be evaluated completely objectively. Which is why we took it upon ourselves to make this incontrovertibly correct list sorting out the bargain bin losers who’ve done their best to ruin everything we’ve come to know and love about the craft of music from the bands that really deserve your attention.

"One small step for Liverpool Bands". The Beatles prepare to make their famous road crossing in Abbey Road, London.

“One small step for Liverpool Bands”. The Beatles prepare to make their famous road crossing in Abbey Road, London.


It would make sense to call the Beatles a boy band except, lyrically, they fall pretty far short of the One Directions of the world. Songs like “Hello, Goodbye,” “She Loves You,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” could have been written by three-year-olds, while “Hey Jude” sounds like a bunch of dudes smoking pot and jerking each other off while yodeling. It says all you need to about this group that the most famous thing they ever did was walk across a street together.


If there were any justice in this world, we’d remember Blondie not for having played CBGB’s but because Debbie Harry was the first truly horrible white rapper.


Overdramatic, coked-out buffoon who could barely hit a note and whose career would have exploded in a flash of bad ideas in the mid-70s if he hadn’t hitched his wagon to Brian Eno.

Kate Bush in the early 1980s.

Kate Bush in the early 1980s.


Maybe if she stopped running up that fucking hill she wouldn’t sound so out of breath all the time.


If you wanna bum people out, play the intro to “Straight to Hell” and watch their disappointment as they realize it’s not the M.I.A. song. That’s right, M.I.A. managed to make a more popular song than the Clash. Thank God someone paid to fix Joe Strummer’s teeth or this would’ve just been another unmarketable British band.

The Cure.

The Cure.


This band just made music about crying, which makes sense considering their lead singer looks like a fat, wet baby.


Who would’ve guessed that songs about Ronald Reagan and Pol Pot would age about as gracefully as Jello Biafra, who, in turn, has aged about as gracefully an actual bowl of Jell-O.


Iggy Pop’s only talent was taking his shirt off, and now his only talent is looking like his body has been swallowed up by his own foreskin.

The mercurial Iggy Pop - a few wrinkles don't seem to have stopped him.

The mercurial Iggy Pop – a few wrinkles don’t seem to have stopped him.


This is just Mike Myers playing the piano.


Despite the fact that there are about two million Joy Division shirts out there, there are maybe two listenable Joy Division songs. That’s a ratio of one million shirts per listenable song, which is a pretty terrible ratio. But hey, cool shirt, bro!


Why would you name your band after a group of militarized, racist thugs?

The Police in the early 1980s.

The Police in the early 1980s.


Learn a new chord, dudes. The Ramones’ music sounds like if you found a cheap chainsaw at a garage sale and lit it on fire. CBGB never mattered, and leather jackets just look stupid.


Wow, it must have taken a lot of creativity to just blatantly rip off a bunch of black guys from America and do a bunch of drugs.


Rush is the soundtrack to being a fucking dork.

The Sex Pistols in 1977.

The Sex Pistols in 1977.


Oh, congratulations, you’re the pioneers of music’s dumbest genre.


Nothing screams punk like wearing a hobo clown hat and reading shitty poetry on stage at CBGB. Can anyone even name a Patti Smith song (again, not some hippie bullshit poem) that isn’t “Because the Night?” Thought not.


This is music for people who need to get the fuck over themselves made by a dude who really needs to get the fuck over himself.

The Smiths in 1984.

The Smiths in 1984.


Mumble-mouth anthem king Bruce Springsteen is the most talented person to ever come out of New Jersey, which is like being the skinniest person to ever come out of a Cheesecake Factory.


Rod Stewart is kind of like if scientists did an experiment in which they crossed the genes of Hulk Hogan, a glass of bad cognac, and your creepy uncle.


Hey David Byrne, here’s a dry, nonsensical lyric for you that might accidentally convey the oddity of the human condition: go fuck yourself.

Talking Heads in the late 1970s.

Talking Heads in the late 1970s.


The only time U2 sounds good is when they’re being played from a U2-branded iPod plugged into the sound system at a charity event for people who suffer from the rare disease where they can’t take their sunglasses off.


Velvet Underground is proof that if you want to create something truly terrible, you just need to start by telling a bunch of burnouts that they’re artists. Then let them fire away, get hooked on heroin, and keep perpetuating the cycle by influencing new generations of shitty wannabe artists. It’s the greatest conceptual art prank Andy Warhol ever pulled.



The Velvet Underground. didn't run out of gas.

The Velvet Underground. didn’t run out of gas.

A couple of readers’ comments at the end summed up this review:

“Clearly you cobbled this list together to evoke a bunch of Fuck You’s from the public, so let me not disappoint…

“Haha this was pretty fun to read. Anyways, I’m going to get back to listening to about 100% of the artists you just mentioned.”

Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php

Read the full article here: http://noisey.vice.com/blog/the-123-worst-musicians-of-all-time

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or signed paperback copies from:
News From Nowhere, Bold Street Liverpool; Waterstones, Liverpool 1 or Pritchards, Moor Lane, Crosby.

 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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