Look, the '80s are back in style in every way, and that's totally cool with me. I love it, actually, because it means pop music is more bearable than it's been in a long time. For someone who grew up on 106.9 The Point, this is a wonderful gift that I cherish.
But I'm noticing a disturbing trend in metal. It's not quite that some top acts are aping the decade's worst aspects, but they're definitely starting to verge into some of the less-flattering trends. For instance, much love to Dallas crossover thrash band Power Trip, but the reverb addiction has got to stop.
So to give some helpful hints on what to avoid in the future, here are ten metal bands from that decade who absolutely sucked, and you should avoid sounding like at all costs.
10. Tesla Christ, these guys were awful, and they have so much to teach about what not to do. First, it doesn't matter if the riffs and solos are hard to play. If they're strung together with as little logic as this, the song will sound like shit. Second, intellectual subject matter doesn't make your lyrics any less cheesy or horrible.
9. Def Leppard What you should take away from Def Leppard is, if you didn't glean this from Metallica, don't fucking sell out. Yeah, they made a lot more cash betraying their New Wave of British Heavy Metal roots, but you respect Iron Maiden a hell of a lot more than you do Def Leppard, don't you?
8. Twisted Sister Gimmicks like Dee Snider's can only hide how bad your music is for so long. At some point, people will notice, and your next stop is a fate worse than death: VH1.
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7. WASP Sex lyrics are one thing. Hell, good metal bands wrote some pretty nasty stuff at times. Megadeth's "Mechanix" comes to mind. If "I fuck like a beast" is the most clever thing you can come up with though, maybe you should stick to writing about other things.
6. Anthrax Stay away from rap. It's just embarrassing, no matter what. Also, even if you manage to snag the coattails of a movement, you still have to have good songwriting to back it up. Otherwise, you can join Dee Snider over at VH1.
5. Poison Are you noticing a trend yet? If you suck, you will be sentenced to VH1 for the remainder of your seemingly interminable life. Also, avoid writing a power ballad at all costs. I know even Iron Maiden did one, but it's uncouth.
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4. Warrant If you know your album doesn't have a chance in hell of having a hit, don't compromise your principles and write a goofy song you think might catch on just to throw a bone to the radio. It may come to define you for the rest of your days.
3. Stryper I think by now Christian metal bands have more than established themselves as a credible force (see: The Devil Wears Prada, Norma Jean), so I won't even rip on them for that. Just don't also suck and, for Christ's sake, don't dress like a bumblebee. You're going to ruin it for all the good Christian metal bands.
2. Nitro No matter how high you can sing, no matter how many arpeggios you've memorized, you can still completely suck. At a certain point, it's technically impressive but makes you sound like a joke band.
Ah, but who's No. 1? Find out on the next page.
1. Winger Don't, under any circumstances, be this guy.
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