Working in a dead-end job as part of your meticulously planned gap year does hold its advantages and chief amongst these is the fun that can be had creating wholly arbitrary mental lists as a way of preventing the seemingly inevitable slide into a state that resides somewhere between comatose and clinically dead. With that in mind, I’ve decided to type up the list that I spent the majority of yesterday creating whilst once again basking in the myriad wonders of high street retail. Although 2004 has, all things considered, been a great year for music I’m going to concentrate on the ‘artists’ who have managed to inspire levels of hatred inside me that I didn’t even know it was humanly possible to feel. So, at the risk of going all Q-esque on you, please allow me to present (in reverse order, with the top five to follow when I get my arse in gear) The Official 2004 Shit List.
10. Kings Of Leon
No, it’s not as if I hadn’t heard them before this year but yes, 2004 has confirmed just how offensively terrible this band are. After what I can only imagine was one too many lines of coke, a Q writer declared that “what can’t be faked is their obvious love of guitars and the nasty noises they make”. I presume the “nasty noises” he refers to would be the chords used to create their songs because frankly I’ve heard Busted generate more feedback from their guitars than these bearded mongoloids. Let’s hope 2005 sees them return to their roles as extras on the set of Deliverance when people finally realise that the preacherman father schtick is a total fabrication aimed at the demographic known as the really-fucking-stupid-fashionista.
9. The Lost Prophets
Louis Walsh is probably jizzing himself at the precision manufacturing that’s gone into creating this band. Credit where credit’s due, The Lost Prophets are a lesson to us all in the art of marketing: you’ve got the buff frontman, the garage rock guitarist, the emo one, the goth one, the indie one and…er…the slightly retarded looking bassist who’s never shown in any of their videos. I guess he’s the Gary Barlow of alternative rock or something. Blatant stage school antics aside, these guys are also responsible for some of the most cloyingly irritating faux-angst posturing seen since the heyday of nu-metal and could have been included in this list on the basis of Ian Watkin’s hideously whiney voice alone.
8. The Killers/ Razorlight
I’ve put these two together because I honestly cannot tell them apart; I spent two months genuinely believing Stumble & Fall by Razorlight was a Killers track. If that isn’t proof that every product of the NME hype machine sounds exactly the same, I don’t know what is. Oh, and did I mention both bands are complete and utter shite? It’s hardly surprising that Television and Gang Of Four have reformed when these guys are systematically raping their back catalogue. And of course Razorlight are fronted by the devil incarnate, otherwise known as Johnny Borrell.
That’s funny; I thought releasing a song that’s little more than a bad pastiche of previous singles would signal a paucity of fresh ideas. Unless of course you’re Eminem, in which case you’re the greatest poet of the 21st Century and just being ironic. A listen to the album would confirm these suspicions; surprise, surprise Marshall’s telling everyone that his ex-wife’s “a fucking whore” and he “hopes she dies”. But then again I’m forgetting that since 8 Mile, the heart-warming tale of a homophobic little shit who makes millions of dollars by telling people how much he hates them, Eminem has come to represent the awe-inspiring majesty of modern American society. Naturally his status as the archetypal All-American hero was only confirmed when George Bush realised Mathers is the only person who hates gay people as much as he does.
6. Fatboy Slim
Palookaville only served as confirmation that Norman Cook still hasn’t realised electronic music has progressed beyond tacking a really fucking annoying sample to the kind of beat you’d expect a moderately intelligent chimpanzee to produce on Q-Base within five minutes. The nadir of this horrible, horrible album has to be Slash Dot Dash, which is akin to stabbing yourself repeatedly in the face with a rusty knife in terms of enjoyment. The fact that the man responsible for such a crime against music is a sad, balding forty year old who looks significantly less cool than your dad somehow only makes it worse. This is music aimed directly at the kind of cunts who wear Ben Sherman shirts and spend their Saturday nights kicking the shit out of anyone they suspect to be foreign, gay or who just “looked at them funny”.
5. Funeral For A Friend
One of 2004’s defining moments was undoubtedly my realisation that listening to this band makes me physically sick. Following the lead of my other favourite band to have come out of Wales, F4AF (as they’re floppy haired, bed-wetter fans refer to them) have evidently realised that as long as they have a good stylist they can sell any old shit to people under the guise of music. And even if you take out the offensively terrible guitars (cos, like, Iron Maiden obviously had the best guitar sound ever), inane lyrics and Matt Davies’ Welsh-guy-trying-his-fucking-hardest-to-sound-American vocals, the fact remains that they still have a screaming drummer, which is surely the most retarded idea in the history of recorded music.