Most Overrated Acts of the aughts

It’s been a while since I’ve done something like this. Actually, it’s been a while since I blogged. I remember back when I was an angry blogger I used to bitch about a lot of things I hated. I’ve been blogging about things I like or even love for so long now that I thought I may have forgotten how to write angrily. That was until a mega text conversation with HazMat on Tuesday, followed up by a ridiculously aggressive email debate with some WANARBers reminded me of what an angry bitter person I can be. Which put me in exactly the right frame of mind to write this list.

It wasn’t difficult to pull this list together, there are so many terrible acts out there, the tough thing was whittling it down to ten. My choice was made slightly easier by making it about ‘overrated’ acts, rather than just god damn awful ones. I had to ignore so many terrible acts, which is a shame, as they all deserve my anger and scorn.

I must say that although the number one spot has been filled for the entire decade by the same band, the rest has changed over time, some acts I maybe even used to like, but one bad single, one bad album, too much hype and bam! They’re eligible for the list.

Just one last thing, before I start the list, I thought I should include some dishonourable mentions, acts that nearly made it onto the list, but just didn’t make the cut. I’m talking about Leona Lewis, Coldplay, The Horrors, Nickleback, Limp Bizkit, Kooks, Fall Out Boy, The Feeling, Linkin Park, Haduoken! and The Strokes. Criminally overrated, all of them. But not as bad as this bunch.

10. The Klaxons

Charlie Brooker & Chris Morris. Psychics.

The golden boys of NME Editor Connor McNicholas assault on teens tiny little impressionable minds with his ‘Nu Rave’ bullshit. They single handedly coined the phrase ‘MDMAzing’, were poster boys for a movement that didn’t actually exist, and were, in my humble opinion, the manifestation of a Nathan Barley joke.

It took me seeing them perform live for my hatred to fully manifest, they couldn’t play their instruments, they couldn’t sing, they couldn’t do fuck all. It was just a fucking mess.

Remember the Test Icicles? No? Well, they were like The Klaxons, but better. ‘Circle, Square, Triangle’ shitted over ‘Atlantis to Interzone’ from a great height, and that’s really saying something.

Thing is, these jokers wouldn’t have made the list if it hadn’t been for one fact. They won the Mercury Music Prize. What a joke. If you had thought that it was a ridiculous award before hand, these prancing Nu Rave pretenders made it a laughing stock, and having Speech Debelle as the most recent winner just goes to show, it really is a fucking bullshit award. But I won’t start hating on the Mercury’s here; it’s about acts, not how much I hate that award, or how much I despise Jo Whiley.

9. Gossip

No comment.

HazMat probably put it best by saying “One good song in 12 years, and that was a Soulwax remix”, when commenting on why Gossip, or The Gossip should make the list. I couldn’t agree more. I would love to write more, bitch about how their sexuality seems to be more important than their tat music, complain that fatness shouldn’t be something to aspire to, cry that somehow Beth Ditto can be a ‘model’ who ‘inspires’ other women. I won’t, this small paragraph is enough, you can discuss it more in the comments if you like, but all of us at WANARB agree they 100% deserve their place on this list.

8. The Darkness

Words fail me.

Sold out arena shows? Check.

Headline festival performance? Check

Coke addictions? Check.

Christmas #1? Check.

Support of a North London Indian Restaurant? Check?

That’s pretty much it. They were fun, really fun, for a short period of time, a very short period of time. I mean they went from industry darlings to a laughing stock within 18 months. They had less staying power than the GLC for Christ sake, what’s even worse is they burnt out, and still managed to fade away. It takes a certain kind of act to manage to do both at the same time. It also riles me up when English folk pretend to be American and hold American flags, and do ‘thumbs up’, and wear cat suits, and sing “get your hands off of my woman mother fucker” in falsetto. Two words that best sum up The Darkness, and they’re “oh dear”.

7. The Killers

The 'eyeliner and dior' days. Apparently.

I have to admit, The Killers were one of my favourite bands back in the early aughts, only to turn to shit very quickly. I saw them at the Fez Club in Reading before Mr Brightside was released, and I loved every minute of the gig, I lapped up ‘Hot Fuss’ when I got my hands on a copy. Then came the second album, oh the terrible second album. I remember reading a review in NME, which said

“Eyeliner and Dior make way for leather and facial hair as Brandon and his gang prepare to take over the world”

It almost made me cry, and that was just because they used the words ‘gang’ and it reminded me of Gary Glitter. Then the NME said they’d gone ‘Springsteen’ on us, which was apparently a good thing (?!). It stopped the tear forming, and just made me laugh and laugh. The review, which can be found here hails the second album as an amazing rock n roll album whilst simultaneously trashing their debut. Wrong wrong wrong NME, you have massively overrated the Killers whilst adding fuel to my fire of hatred for you and your writers (Tim Jonze and Connor McNicholas I’m looking at you). I seem to have spent half of my time here bitching about NME, but when you think of a band highly rated, The Killers were highly rated by one of the most influential music entities in the country, when in fact they were terrible. #7 with a bullet.

6. Razorlight

"hey, new drummer guy who's not as good as original drummer guy, why don't you get a haircut like mine, then I might let you take some of the credit for that awesome song 'America' that you wrote but I'm gonna steal, because thats just the kind of guy I am"

God, another one which I’ll use an NME review to complain about a band. Again, another band I once loved, I saw live a few times during their first album tour, and then began to despise. It isn’t just musically I despised them either, lead singer, songwriter (or so he tells us) and general douchebag Johnny Borrell is the reason they’re above The Killers, his one man assault on your ears and eyes continuously telling us he is ‘better than Dylan or McCartney’ and the arrogance of this conviction jumped Razorlight into #6 on the list.

When I reviewed their second album back in 2006 I wrote this

“The album starts with a dreadful drum fill, pedestrian guitars, lazy lyrics and lacklustre singing, and continues in the same vein for the next 42minutes. If their first offering was punchy, poppy, rocky and vibrant, a great night out followed by a great shag, this album is the equivalent of waking up the next morning in the gutter with your trousers around your ankles with a fat old woman spooning you whilst the used condom lies inches away from your face”

Compare this to the NME’s review:

“It’s Borrell’s bid for Bono-stature. Except it’s actually good”

“Andy Burrows’ drums pounding through the album like voodoo maracas”

“With a poetic simplicity … could only have been penned by a true romantic.”

“It’s difficult to imagine anything rawer captured on record”

God I hate the NME, and I hate Razorlight, that’s got me all riled up again. Fuck you Paul Stokes.

5. Snow Patrol

Hey guys, look confused, or smug, or a cross between both. Thats the badger! Brillaint, I'm gonna make you all staaars.

I stand by my belief that Gary Lightbody is a decent songwriter and musician. The first two Snow Patrol albums and his work with Reindeer Section are testament to that. I also believe he’s probably a decent person, and after reading an interview with him back in 2003, I reckon he’s probably a fucking great laugh and back in the day, you could have a great time getting smashed with him.

The first Snow Patrol album was back in 99, so that’s out of the equation. That leaves one good album in the aughts, against three bad ones.

Good one, ‘When its all over we still have to clear up’ only peaked at 129 in the album charts, and has only shifted 100,000 copies. When you compare that to the other three albums they released in the aughts which sold in excess of 3million copies, i think thats the definition of wrongness, especially as the public who bought their useless later albums were too lazy to pick up a fantastic album which was on sale everywhere for a £5 after ‘Eyes Open’ was released. I hate the general public.

I don’t want to hate too much though, as after years of slogging away, they sold out, and sold out exceptionally well. I’d probably do exactly the same, and so would you.

4. Stereophonics

Sunglasses Indoors? Prick.

How are they still making albums? Who wants a ‘Best of’? Is there in fact, anything ‘best’ about anything they released past ‘Performance and Cocktails’? Definitely not.

All FIVE studio albums they released in the aughts were mediocre at best. When you realise that four of those five albums were #1 albums you will probably cry a bit. Then when you realise you can add the best of ON TOP of that, which got to #2, you may want to hang yourselves.

They deserve their place at #4 on my list, five shit albums vs Snow Patrol’s three gives them that status. Thankfully though, it seems other people have cottoned onto the fact they’re overrated and shit. Their latest album only managed #11 in the charts, and their singles have been slipping down and down and down the charts for the last few years, no more #1’s for you Mr Jones, oh no, fuck off back to obscurity please.

On another note, whilst searching for a photo to post, there are many with the ‘new’ drummer, who just has a face you want to smack, and then I found photos that looked like there were now 4 ‘phonics. When the hell did they get a fourth member? Why do I care?

3. Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Bringing Sexy Back.

Bringing Sexy Back.

Oh RHCP, what the hell went wrong? Blood Sugar Sex Magic was brilliant, Californication was pretty damn good and then boom! They hit us with massive amounts of mediocre crap, and decided that they’d even release a double CD album.

I’ve spent soo much time writing angry comments against the other bands I can’t about RHCP, they’ve had a fantastic career, but in the last ten years, they’ve just become a by numbers band, playing live a hell of a lot and generally boring crowds. I’ve run out of anger, it’s just sad what happened to them, they should have stopped but they didn’t. In ten years time if the Foo Fighters are still around, I’m sure they will be on my next decade’s list. I’d like to have placed them lower, but as the other bands on the list so far are only big in the UK or Europe, RHCP are a massive, huge global band. I won’t moan, I’ll just mourn.

2. Oasis

Ten pound for a tug, twenty for oral, if you choose Guigsy he'll stick a finger up your arse for an extra fiver.

Done. Finished. Thank Fuck. There is only so much flogging a dead horse anyone can really take. There are only so many “the best album since definitely maybe” reviews I can read. Only so many festivals I can go to and have to put up with stupid Oasis fans (they’re the third worst kind of music fans). The mid 90’s were Oasis’s, and they were glorious, the late 90’s and entirety of the aughts weren’t. It’s as simple as that.

They were constantly striving or pretending to be the best band in the world and telling everyone they were, the thing is, they weren’t. They were never ever really a proper band either, just a collection of individuals centred around the Gallagher brothers, as their various line ups have proved. This didn’t stop them garnishing awards and selling albums like hotcakes though, Wikipedia has informed me that

“As of June 2009, Oasis had sold over 70 million records worldwide.[2] They have had eight UK number-one singles, seven UK number-one albums, fifteen NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and five BRIT Awards, including one in 2007 for outstanding contribution to music.”

For this, I give them second place in my list of overrated acts of the aughts. Only one act I can think of deserve the topspot and they’ve sold double the amount of albums Oasis have (albeit over a longer period of time).

1. U2

All. Hell. Can't stop us now

If I had a ticket to Glastonbury this year, I’d be very disappointed. The supposedly ‘biggest band in the world’ will be headlining, and I fucking despise them. Most over rated band of the last ten years? Definitely. Most overrated band in the history of time? Probably. Especially when you consider they’ve sold over 145million albums. If I started to write about why these chumps are #1 on my list I’d be here all day and all night, such is my conviction in their inadequacies and my hatred towards them. So I’ll save myself the sore fingers and raging anger and leave you with my final thoughts on who’s actually been any good over the last ten years. Its even tougher, and I can’t list it but here goes.

I’d be hard pushed to say who I think has been the greatest. In my humble opinion, Death Cab for Cutie have had a fantastic ten years, and are still going strong, whilst Kings of Leon have gone from strength to strength to be one of the biggest bands around, and fully deserved, which makes a change. The ‘sleeper hit’ has to be Phoenix, from little known English singing French band, to sold out tours and album of the year accolades. Two bands who should certainly be up there as well are Mogwai, who continue to be far better than anyone has the right to be and A.F.I who slogged it out for 12 years before any mainstream success came their way (courtesy of ‘Sing the Sorrow’ reaching #5 in the US charts in 2003). So, who makes your list? Answers in the comments section please!


25 Responses to “Most Overrated Acts of the aughts”

  1. Simonmobiledisco Says:

    almost whole heated agree with you on them. Especially the RHCP who many will complain about. Good work

  2. Weird list for a site like WANARB. you’ll find very few people outside 40 year old Radio 2 listeners who think that U2, Razorlight, Stereophonics or Snore Patrol are anything other than pestilant welts on the face of music.

    The Darkness were a novelty band and aren’t (and never really were) particularly rated (certainly not enough to be OVERrated.)

    Is there anyone anywhere who can name more than 1 Gossip song? Two at a massive push?

    Would have liked to have seen someone genuinely rated and bummed to death, who may well end up being douchebag one hit wonders… Justice perhaps? Cross was amazing, but very of it’s time and Across The Universe showed them as idiot jocks…

    That’s kinda the reason I’d argue in favour of Klaxons. Although they are (so far) one hit wonders, Myths of the Near Future had one amazing indie song after another- Nu Rave had nothing to do with rave (music) and was only hung on Kjaxons cos they wore fluro colours. And bloody Test Icicles? Listen to the album. It’s pure shit. Boa vs. Constrictor and Circle Square Triangle were good, but they were rushed out trying to cash in on Klaxons and DFA1979 (Sammy Danger even remixed Black History Month) and if you ever saw them live, you’d know that even they themselves thought they sucked..!

    Sorry, rant over. Seems more like a Q magazine feature than a WANARB one though…

  3. I reckon, in terms of overratedness – Gossip should be at the top. They were a band for 12 years until lady luck smiled at them and they got remixed by Soulwax and put on the Skins advert.

    They were then famous purely because of that – Beth Ditto’s shock(ing) tactics of getting her booty out merely extended their 15 minutes of fame.

    They are gash.

  4. Oh and I thought the Klaxons album was amazing! True, they are overrated, but I feel slightly sorry for them because they got swept along by a fashion trend which launched then in to the stratosphere when really, they were just a normal, good band – not spokes people for a generation.

    But yes, highly over rated

  5. I don’t think that Q Magazine would call any of these acts ‘overrated’ as they are the ones that Q readers and music ‘fans’ actually like, the people that read Q are the ones that will buy these chumps albums. Most of these artists have probably been on the cover at some point in the last ten years. U2 and Oasis have definately been voted by Q readers as ‘most influential bands of ….” at some point.

    Yes, I agree that they are ‘easy’ targets when you look at them, but some of the bands on the list started with a good song, an acceptable album and a lot of promise with some kind of credentials. Snow Patrol had two great albums, Razorlight started well, as did Stereophonics ‘back in the day’ as it were. (I can see i’m gonna get crucified for this paragraph!)

    I guess when looking at ‘overrated’ it wasnt just credentials and acclaim, it was also mainstream success and album sales that i took into account, and also bands which i despise who continue to get forced down my throat. That and staying power, when looking over the last ten years, i’ve tried to not just look at the recent past

    When it comes to hating on generally rated, who out there can you think of as having one album, maybe more, that have continued to garner critical and mass acclaim who you think are rubbish, apart from Coldplay, there’s not a lot there.
    Beiruit for instance have a few albums, critical acclaim and cult status, but I rather like them.
    The only one I thought could go on there, depending on your point of view would be Radiohead, as I did hate on them around the Kid A time of their career, but In Rainbows was pretty brilliant, and seeing them live Summer 08 made me a believer. I also refuse to hate on REM, as its like kicking a dead dog, not much fun and a bit cruel.

  6. U2 have occupied that spot since before i care to remember, whenever i’ve run out of insults I think of Bono’s face and voila!, something so derogatory and heinous enters my mind I tend to question whether i should be locked up, away from the kiddies. It never fails. Also, Bono steals all the insults from ‘The Edge’ (An achingly ironic nick-name) Who is one of the worst guitarists of all time, I can’t say it better than Bill Bailey does here…

    Now, The Klaxons, truly awful. The first time I heard that album I thought ‘this sounds like the audio equivalent of covering a Capri Ghia in glue and ram-raiding a Central St. Martins classroom.’ And that guy, Jamie I think his name is, what a Class A dick he is, I must have seen him 3 or 4 times in the gutter somewhere in Shoreditch, you can spot him a mile off, he’s the one outside an off-license drinking Special Brew and talking to 17 year olds about validation being important in this industry. Douche.

  7. Matttttttttttttt Says:

    It seems weird to say that on the one hand an album is amazing and on the other it’s overrated. It seems like everyone who hates the Klaxons hate them xos they’re popular and they don’t get it, like all the Twitter haters (who have never really used it).

  8. Matttttttttttttt Says:

    Correction: Boa vs Python

  9. Klaxons upstairs at the Barfly 06 supporting Metronomy – tototally effing McMental!
    Klaxons Otherstage at Glastonbury 07 tototally effing Awful ( later found out this partly due to double dropping before going on stage) Hats off to the best shite band of their era!
    Rest of the list forgetaboutit!
    Jox x

  10. REM are shit.
    Beth Ditto CAN sing, after all she’s the magic ingredient in Har Mar’s Power Lunch and the new track she’s done with SMD is pretty sweet.
    I hate all the bands on this page but I personally think there are other bands who deserved to be included, like KINGS OF LEON.

  11. I’m trying to restrain my hatred for The Klaxons, but its tough. I have hated them for a while, and even started a FaceBook hate group called something like ‘The Klaxons are a manifestation of a Nathan Barley joke’ back when they made the cover of NME in their ‘Nu Rave’ issue.

    Whilst HazMat might think the album is amazing, I fucking hate it, and I fucking hate them.. They’re dire, talentless douchebags.

  12. Kings of Leon on the other hand, go back to first two albums, which were fucking brilliant, really fucking brilliant. Not overrated for that at all.

    I think there’s something in me which means I can never hate them, and thats the fact they were Ben Kweller’s wedding band, and are best mates with him. As Ben Kweller can do no wrong, KoL are in his forcefield of awesome, shielding them from any scorn.

  13. I don’t think saying that a band’s album was amazing and then calling them over-rated is a contradiction, because in the case of the Klaxons I think they were bundled into fame when yeah, they were good, but not THAT good.

    I’ll tell you who else I think should be in the top ten (maybe a bit too late on though) – Speech Debelle(end). How the fuck did she get a record deal, let alone the Mercury Music prize? Her album is AWFUL. Not a single good tune on there.

  14. My vote for “who else I think should be in the top ten (maybe a bit too late on though)”

    And the award goes to…… the abhorrent……the talentless……the ever boring

    Ting – fucking – Tings.

  15. loftandlost Says:

    Agree with all of these, except to make one point – Stereophonics “Dakota” is one of the best songs of the decade. Funny that a band that is often quite drab can suddenly produce a moment of absolute wonder.

    As for Kings Of Leon, frankly I’d rather listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival.

    Other than that, nice post. The Klaxons….sheesh. Appalling. The NME has turned into the Daily Mail of music; if they go on about something being good you just know it’ll be shit.

  16. Good list and a worthy read to distract me from my boring day at ‘work’. – Always overjoyed to hear someone ripping into Oasis, who’s ‘Beatles for bollockheads’ schtick and unfathomable popularity has always made me worry for the future of civilization. – To the list I would personally add: The Mars Volta (I worshiped them after their first album and have had my faith and soul crushed by them with every release of theirs that has followed. Way to go you pretentious arsecandles) – Artic Monkeys (Were they really THAT good? I didn’t think so!) – Basement Jaxx (Lame!) – Burial (*YAWN* Has his moments, but give me Photek anyday.) – Calvin Harris (Gashaggis!) – Pigeon Dectectives (I don’t think I now any of their songs, but I’ve included them here cos a mate of mine blew out seeing Q-tip so he could instead see the Pigeon ‘Dicks. What a cunt!!) – To finish, I’m just gunna add a quick list of “artists” who make me want to fill my ear trumpets with cement: The View, The Twang(k), The Feeling, Nickleback, Creed, Scouting for girls, Mika…They are so many more, but I’m writing and sending this from my mobile and it’s starting to lag like shit. – One last thing, whoever doesn’t rate Kid-A is a darned baffoon!! sx

  17. Who in their right mind would miss out on seeing Q TIP?
    Your friend is lame, Swab.

  18. I concur, that is a travesty.

    One of my ex-girlfriends admitted to me that she once snubbed NIN at Reading to go and see So Solid Crew…I never forgave her for that, in fact it might have been the wedge that drove us apart…

  19. loftandlost, I wouldnt say ‘Dakota’ was one of the songs of the decade. It is a good pop song, but not a great one. If you are looking for something poppy and summery and feel good i’d rather listen to Los Campesino’s ‘You! Me! Dancing! or Mumm-Ra’s “She’s Got You High” or Penguin Prison’s “Funny Thing”

    I could dance my twee ass off to either of these songs all freaking day long

  20. SWAB, I agree with all your hating. Mars Volta have continually dissapointed a friend live, who’s misplaced faith continually gets crushed. The rest, oh deary me, The Twang couldnt go on the list, as they are practically a budget Oasis, and seem to have disappeared to obscurity. I didnt want in any way to tempt fate bringing them back

  21. Hi, first I want to tell you that I try to follow your blog. Great post, I entirely agree with you. Have a good day mate.

  22. […] band. The music got increasingly bland, the audience ever commercial and the ticket prices higher. Snore Patrol were a million miles away from those early days. I know how it happens but it doesn’t stop […]

  23. rogelio cortez Says:

    I’m just learning about computers and stuff and I enjoy reading blogs and the interesting things people have to say about different things. Like for instense all the hating that people do, but I don’t give a fuck I just think this bunch of bullshit is pretty cool, so thanks for letting me share

  24. stop leak…

    […]Most Overrated Acts of the aughts « we are not a rock band[…]…

  25. Pretty much agree with a list, with exception of Gossip. It cant be overrated, because it wasnt rated either :). Personally I would push RHCP above U2, and The Killers would be higher in the list also.

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