Note: this article originally appeared on April 17, 2014. Happy Thanksgiving!
What is butt-rock, you ask? As usual, we've got all your answers, courtesy of Urban Dictionary:
The term comes from a nationwide advertising campaign on hard-rock radio stations in the 1990s that used the tagline "Rock. Nothing but Rock." Listeners quickly changed that to "Nothing Butt Rock." Though it refers to anything played on hard-rock stations, it commonly is used to refer to 'hair-bands' or used by people to distinguish the 'bad' butt rock from the hard rock that they like.
Example: "He sat around stoned all day listening to butt rock on the 'Wild Hare.'"
Butt-rock is that musical stank on your shoe that you can't get off. It's one part aggro noise, one part self-indulgent and whiny singer, and somehow a whole lot of douche.
The thing is, though, that (like us) you secretly like butt-rock, but it's not something you want other people to know. So when you do dare to listen to it, it's on the freeway with the windows down, as you're screaming the cheeseball lyrics while driving faster than hell and daydreaming about punching out car windows or some shit. No one can hear it but you.
But off the freeway? Nah, man. It's windows up all the way. You're way too refined for that., but we're going to wear our butt-rock badge with pride today. Here are the ten best butt-rock bands, some of which we'd even turn up at a stoplight with no shame.
10. Theory of a Deadman These dudes were signed by Nickelback, the reigning butt-rock band always and forever, which was an early indicator of their similar style. Then they released songs like "Bad Girlfriend" and "Lowlife," and that was pretty much the end of the story.
Truth is we don't mind TOADM, though. They're way better than the other contenders in this category, like Hinder. Hinder is terrible, and TOADM way less offensive by comparison, so they win.
9. Three Days Grace Three Days Grace's big breakout song was "I Hate Everything About You," which basically goes just like it sounds: angsty, whiny, and angsty again, which made 3DG an early contender for a top butt-rock spot. But then they backed it up with songs like "Pain," which they proclaim to like it rough or else they feel, well, nothing. That only solidified 3DG's rightful spot in butt-rock's top tier. Does it help that these angry alt-metal men are Canadian? Damn right it does, because Canada will never not remind us of Nickelback.
8. Puddle of Mudd The above track is everything that was great and awful about butt-rock, all rolled into one Wes Scantlin-sung tune. You should also know that Fred Durst, who is king of everything douche-rock, discovered Scantlin. He then formed Puddle of Mudd around the singer, whose band had broken up before the demo reached Durst's desk. Butt-rock through and through.
7. Chevelle When Chevelle, who brought us uplifting tunes like "Send the Pain Below," was first starting out, they accidentally signed with the Christian record label Word, which is accidentally hilarious. Unfortunately, Keith Miller of EvangelSociety.org didn't find it as hilarious as we do, probably because these guys are less Christian rock, more butt-rock. They also happened to be touring on Ozzfest with other butt-rock bands and the likes of Cradle of Filth.
6. Anberlin We're not really sure what else Anberlin has done that hasn't been the worst kind of butt-rock, but "Feel Good Drag" (above) is just the right kind, so we'll forget about the rest and just enjoy the sweetness of that tune right there. If nobody mentions "City Electric," it's like it never happened.
5. Breaking Benjamin Unfortunately, like a number of the other butt-rock bands on this list, Breaking Benjamin is no more. Well, not really, anyway. They broke up in 2010, but not before bringing us epic butt-rock hits like "So Cold," for which we will forever be grateful. Front man Benjamin Burnley has threatened to revive the band, but is not bringing any of the other members back with him, so we don't think it counts. Luckily, we'll always have the above "Diary of Jane" to keep us warm.
List continues on the next page.
4. Thirty Seconds to Mars There is no way that Jared Leto could be the lead singer of a band that was anything other than butt-rock. Thirty Seconds To Mars is totally butt-rock, but we like them, so shut up. Keep on with the butt-rock, Jordan Catalano. It's you, through and through.
3. Stone Sour Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor's song "Bother" was featured on the Spider-Man soundtrack in '02, just like their butt-rock bretheren Chad Kroeger and Josie Scott's song "Hero" was. They've toured with Chevelle and share a couple of members with Slipknot, a band that often verges on butt-rock. Basically, everything about Stone Sour is butt-rockish, but at least they're one of the better examples of this genre, right?
2. Seether Remember how much Seether front man Shaun Morgan dislikes his former amour Amy Lee? It's so much that he's written some pissy songs about her, and that alone gets him and his band the No. 2 spot. Any band that can own their post-breakup angst in such a public way is awesome.
1. Shinedown Listen, we are well aware that Shinedown is responsible for that horrible "barrel of a 45" song, officially titled "45." But the thing is, even after that hot mess they're our favorite because they went and did this little Lynyrd Skynyrd cover, which is so insane that they've forever been absolved of any butt-rock sins.
Very rarely does a cover even close to touching the original song, but we dare say Shinedown's version of "Simple Man" is better than the original. And we like Skynyrd's version a whole lot, but we're still not sorry.
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