Our panel of experts answer the age-old question.

Who are the 100 Greatest Shitty Bands of All Time?

November 13, 2015 / by , , , , , , , / 4 Comments

79. (tied) Lifehouse

Analysis: MEN WITH HAIR PRODUCT PLAYING ACOUSTIC GUITARS.

Also, was wearing long-sleeved shirts under t-shirts ever a thing? Because it shouldn’t have been a thing. ALSO also, wearing a suit jacket over a t-shirt and staring earnestly off in the distance while playing a guitar doesn’t make you deep or sincere, it makes you a fucking tool who’s going to make his living off of residual royalties from Adult Contemporary Sirius radio stations.
Commercial Success: 5
Influence: 4
Technical Virtuosity: 2
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 6
VARB: 2
Score: 3.8/10

79. (tied) Staind

Analysis: Staind represents all that was awful about the early 2000s — namely, power chords and absurdly terrible band names.
Commercial Success: 6
Influence: 3
Technical Virtuosity: 4.5
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 3
VARB: 2.5
Score: 3.8/10

79. (tied) 3 Doors Down

Analysis: When your “associated acts” on Wikipedia are Puddle of Mudd, Nickelback, and Shinedown, you know you’re in shitty company.
Commercial Success: 6
Influence: 2.5
Technical Virtuosity: 4
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 4.5
VARB: 2
Score: 3.8/10

79. (tied) OneRepublic

Analysis: TIMBALAND. Wait… did OneRepublic accidentally set the stage for sappy bands incorporating hip hop for pop success?
Commercial Success: 6
Influence: 3.5
Technical Virtuosity: 4
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 3.5
VARB: 2
Score: 3.8/10

76. (tied) Jonas Brothers

76. (tied) One Direction

Analysis: I honestly don’t know what differentiates the Jonas Bros from One Direction. Both brought on the resurgence of boy bands, though, which was a real shitty thing of them to do.
Commercial Success: 7
Influence: 6
Technical Virtuosity: 2
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 2
VARB: 2.5
Score: 3.9/10

76. (tied) 3Oh3!

Analysis: Electropartyyyy!!!! YAAASSSSS!!!!! [emoji][emoji][emoji][emoji]
Commercial Success: 6
Influence: 5.5
Technical Virtuosity: 2
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 2.5
VARB: 3.5
Score: 3.9/10

73. (tied) Toto

Analysis: Apparently Toto has released 17 albums, which means that they had to have written more than one song at some point in their career, I guess. But all that matters here is how shitty “Africa” is.
Commercial Success: 3.5
Influence: 1
Technical Virtuosity: 5
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 7.5
VARB: 3
Score: 4.0/10

73. (tied) Snow Patrol

Analysis: Even today, “Chasing Cars” sounds like the musical embodiment of Grey’s Anatomy.
Commercial Success: 5.5
Influence: 2
Technical Virtuosity: 2.5
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 6
VARB: 4
Score: 4.0/10

73. (tied) Slipknot

Analysis: Let’s give Slipknot one thing: they’re a band that will stop at nothing to give you the heeby jeebies. Good on you, Slipknot.
Commercial Success: 6
Influence: 5.5
Technical Virtuosity: 6
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 0
VARB: 2.5
Score: 4.0/10

70. (tied) Average White Band

Analysis: Uncomfortable racial politics mixed with middle school band arrangements in one stunningly mediocre band.
Commercial Success: 5
Influence: 3
Technical Virtuosity: 8
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 2
VARB: 2.5
Score: 4.1/10

70. (tied) Plain White T’s

Analysis: You’d never guess that the Plain White T’s were from Lombard, Illinois, but knowing that, it all just makes so much goddamn sense.
Commercial Success: 6
Influence: 3
Technical Virtuosity: 4
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 6.5
VARB: 2
Score: 4.1/10

70. (tied) Air Supply

Analysis: The OG’s of soft rock, the only thing more surprising than the fact that their shitty music was once absurdly popular is that these guys got treated as sex gods. Just try sleeping easy knowing that your mom has probably enjoyed multiple slow dances to Air Supply.
Commercial Success: 5
Influence: 2
Technical Virtuosity: 3
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 7.5
VARB: 3
Score: 4.1/10

68. (tied) Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

Analysis: “Good Vibrations” was the most important piece of music released in 1991. Try to argue against that. We dare you. That said, the Funky Bunch wholeheartedly deserve their own reserved slot on this list.
Commercial Success: 5.5
Influence: 2
Technical Virtuosity: 2.5
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 9.5
VARB: 2
Score: 4.3/10

68. (tied) Imagine Dragons

Analysis: Thanks for setting the stage for the inoffensive pastiche of rock we’re going to be hearing for the next ten years, asswipes.
Commercial Success: 7
Influence: 6
Technical Virtuosity: 5
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 1
VARB: 2.5
Score: 4.3/10

64. (tied) System of a Down

Analysis: Like “Fugazi playing Rush,” only somehow shittier.
Commercial Success: 5
Influence: 5
Technical Virtuosity: 8
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 2
VARB: 2
Score: 4.4/10

64. (tied) Metro Station

Analysis: Do you ever get drunk and tell people that “Shake It” was the best song released in the 2000s? If so, you should probably stop, but let’s still take the time to remember that Trace Cyrus was big before Miley ever was.
Commercial Success: 4.5
Influence: 3
Technical Virtuosity: 4
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 9
VARB: 1.5
Score: 4.4/10

64. (tied) ZZ Top

Analysis: Has there ever been as overrated a band (at least among dads and classic rock radio stations) that sucks as hard as ZZ Top? If there’s justice in the universe, John Lee Hooker should be permitted to find all of ZZ Top in hell (if they ever fucking die), give them a swift punch to the balls, and feed their beards to the devil’s army of copyright-respecting imps.
Commercial Success: 7
Influence: 5.5
Technical Virtuosity: 6
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 1
VARB: 2.5
Score: 4.4/10

64. (tied) The Fray

Analysis: Yet another entry (along with Train, Five for Fighting, Snow Patrol, etc.) into the “acoustic music aimed at mothers, daughters, and Nicholas Sparks soundtracks” hall of fame.
Commercial Success: 5.5
Influence: 2.5
Technical Virtuosity: 3.5
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 6
VARB: 4.5
Score: 4.4/10

63. The Calling

Analysis: Every single person in this video could use a good swift punch in the gonads. Also why does their lead singer have the voice of the guy from Creed and the appearance of a hung-over Aaron Carter?
Commercial Success: 6.5
Influence: 3
Technical Virtuosity: 3.5
Ironic Re-Listening Value: 7
VARB: 2.5
Score: 4.5/10

100-80 | 79-60 | 59-40 | 39-20 | 19-1


  • mysticnox

    You seriously have no taste.

  • Thaddeus lovelock

    A great list.

  • 136 or 142

    Agree with many here, disagree with some.

    The one very well known band that is considered to have made great music that I think are terrible are The Who.

    I like a lot of solo Pete Townsend and I guess Roger Daltrey is ok as well, but together I thought their music was loud, lacked melody and annoying and Pete Townsend mostly didn’t sing but shouted, and sounded very unpleasant doing so.

    I like Squeeze Box but that’s about it.

    I wouldn’t include them on this list because they’ve done some decent songs, but I also think Led Zeppelin is enormously overrated. I’d consider them as overrated as The Doors, who are on your list.

  • Isaiah Ounce

    Great list, but Pink Floyd should rank very high here.