Tag Archives: Kurt Cobain

Kurt & Courtney (1998 dir. Nick Broomfield)

19 Jan

Posh documentarian chats to down-and-outs about the death of grunge Christ.

2/5

The Worst Albums Ever Made – ‘Come Clean’ (2001) by Puddle Of Mudd

2 Apr

By Slick Nick

If there’s one thing this bandd will go ddown in history for, it’s teaching the masses (or maybe just their impressive 9815 Twitter followers) that ddoubling the letter D in things ddoesn’t make them any better, for example Puddle Of Mudd’s name and song-writing ability.

These chaps were part of the ‘nu grunge’ phenomenon that polluted rock charts during the late 90s and noughties – a genre that when dissected really means ‘to want to be like Nirvana whilst actually presenting music that is a million times shitter.’ Thus, Puddle Of Mudd brought these 13 or so crap songs to the table in 2001 and in doing so, effortlessly crafted one of the worst albums ever made.

Merely six seconds into opening single ‘Control’ and one thing becomes tragically clear; listening to this album will be as interesting as watching paint dry at a bus stop. Anyone that has been listening to rock for even a couple of years will likely have heard all these riffs in far better songs by other bands.

‘She Hates Me’ is another mindfuckingly awful single, sounding like a rejected song from Grease and quite unwelcome in an album that is fundamentally slow, grungy butt rock. Given how  different and obviously commercial it sounds compared to the other songs on the record, it just screams of gimick-single-to-get-band-on-the-radio, so much so that it makes Offspring’s noughties work look like fucking Despised Icon by comparison. Appalling.

Perhaps, given the overall listening experience, the most accurately-titled song on here is ‘Bring Me Down’. Its only point of note is the attempt at a tempo change that underpins a middle eight, but executed by musicians as talentless as Puddle Of Mudd, the piece is just clumsy and awkward, like admitting you watch Loose Women without irony to a small group of friends.

The final single ‘Blurry’ is passable I’ll admit, with some enjoyable moments. Apparently about the end of frontman Wes Scantlin’s marriage and not getting to see his kid, it’s the heartfelt tale of a woman not wanting her only child to be associated with a sub-par Kurt Cobain wannabe, and no one would blame her. Poor lyrics do undermine this tolerable pop song though.

Scantlin: 'I've written this many crap songs today.'

Considering how shit this music is, and how underwhelming the lead singles are, I did start to wonder what on earth any respective A&R professional would deem worthy enough in this band to invest valuable time and money in getting them on the music channels and into the music collections of people that like extremely crap songs. Delving into the Mudd biography it all became crystal clear – this lot were signed to Fred Durst‘s label for their big break. No further explanation is necessary after uncovering that nugget of music trivia, considering Durst is a man seemingly hellbent on bestowing the world with as much bad rock music as humanly possible.

Puddle Of Mudd have managed to sell a mind-boggling number of records, stretching into the millions. I’d love to meet a genuine fan of the group to ascertain what made this music good enough to purchase. Is it the boring guitarring? The excitement of the slow, ploddy music relentlessly executed in that barely explored 4/4 time signature?  The memorable lack of melody? The mediocrity of Scantlin’s entirely derivative vocal delivery? Perhaps I will never know. But one thing I do know for certain is that if an individual even has a single Nirvana MP3 in their music collection, it pretty much makes this group’s complete discography entirely fucking pointless.

‘She [metaphorically representing people that enjoy good music] fuckin’ hates me.’

The Worst Albums Ever Made – ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ (2008) by Oasis

26 Feb

By Slick Nick

There is no doubt in my mind that Oasis were the best pop group of the 90s, using a slew of extremely uncomplex singles and albums to end the musical careers of countless raggae and eurodance acts that always seemed to top the British charts at the time. Led by unambitious song-writer Noel Gallagher and starring his knobend brother Liam, the world was theirs for the taking – before Pop Idol, of course.

As enjoyable as the early Oasis compositions were, musically they were never anything more than basic as fuck. ‘Live Forever’ from the debut album ‘Definitely Maybe’, had an opening drum beat that any child could perform after two lessons, and generally you’d be lucky to get three or four different chords in a song. Listening to Oasis and then puting on a bit of Blur, their mortal enemies, was like listening to fucking Mozart by comparison. Sadly, their most ambitious riff from another early single called ‘Cigarettes And Alcohol’ had already been written by heavy metallers T Rex around twenty five years earlier, so they couldn’t lay claim to that.

But, like a lot of bands that start out well, after a few albums and a shit ton of record sales, Oasis could no longer muster the effort to record decent music, and the decline in quality of output during the noughties was quite staggering. The band broke up soon after releasing their final album ‘Dig Out Your Soul’, one of the worst albums ever made.

These crap songs sound like the kind of music you’d find buried on a 100-track bootleg set of long-forgotten Beatles demos that were never intended for release – lifeless, boring and poorly recorded. For all the Gallagher brothers’ rock ‘n’ roll swagger and tabloid punch-ups, this final effort is like someone retiring by leaving the office quietly after an insincere presentation from their boss in front of their co-workers.

There was magic in the initial Oasis singles. Hell, if ‘Wonderwall’ came on the radio during my short commute to work every day, I’d probably punch the air (roof) with elation; I don’t go to nightclubs anymore, I wasn’t reared on a tough inner city estate and I don’t fall for the Simon Cowell PR/marketing machine, so I get very little from the British charts these days. Comparing the songs from that era to the singles from this album is like puting Manchester United against an Albanian school football team – they just don’t compare.

Lead single ‘The Shock of The Lightning’, bolstered by a staggering two chord changes for the most part, sounds like an idea for a song that still needed to be finalised in rehearsals. ‘I’m Outta Time’ is the only listenable effort here, but it still annoys me because the verse always makes me think I’m listening to Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’. Pleasant chorus though, reminding fans that they could still write the occasional hook when they weren’t sitting by swimming pools guzzling Director’s Bitter.

Apart from sounding like the Beatles and wearing John Lennon spectacles, Liam Gallagher even started to look exactly like George Harrison at one point. On ‘Dig Out Your Soul’, the tribute act was completed with the aping of the rather self-indulgent, ploddy sitar-driven stuff that John, Paul, George and Ringo were experimenting with in the mid–to–late sixties. If it didn’t work for the greatest band to ever set foot in a recording studio, what the fuck was it going to do for Oasis?

Noel Gallagher’s lyrics have always been appalling at the best of times. Incoherent rambling sentences ending in words that mostly rhymed with ‘away’, ‘mind’, ‘far’, ‘you’, ‘me’ and ‘why’, they tended to make even less sense than Kurt Cobain’s insane poetry. This final album didn’t break tradition; the problem was the songs were now as equally terrible as a whole. Before, no one paid much attention because the melodies and singing were so effective.

It’s a shame the band that recorded ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ could end their careers with such an underwhelming collection of crap songs. Even their b-sides collection ‘The Masterplan’ was one of the best from 1998, better than most other bands’ proper efforts. Noel Gallagher was supposed to keep rock ‘n’ roll alive, at least from a Sunday Times supplement point of view. His declining song-writing ability combined with Simon Cowell and increasing levels of illiteracy amongst young people have now rendered the British charts almost unlistenable. And this is even before Liam Gallagher kick starts an inevitable solo career for more cigarette money.

 

Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannon ball, where were you when we were writing shit music?

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