Very simple premise: who are the worst bands ever to grace the stage?
Let’s leave aside one hit wonders and novelty acts. I’m talking groups who at one time had a reasonable following, but who nonetheless comprehensively suck donkey balls. Bands who are so poor that not even amongst the Massive, those perpetual champions of the musical underdog, can they find a defender or champion.
They may be bands who get mentioned on here all the time (ahem). They may be bands on whom you feel the spotlight of scorn is too infrequently shone. They may be U2. It’s entirely up to you.
I’ll start us off: Dashboard fucking Confessional.
The year is 2003: Dashboard Confessional, an indie vehicle for emo singer-songrwriter Chris Carrabba sit at number 2 on the Billboard charts with their appallingly named third album: “A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar”. They are in the process of recording “Vindicated”, the song which will play over the closing credits of Spider Man 2. They are, by most measures, a “very big deal”.
“Dashboard”, as they are known to their legion of fans, peddle strummy acoustic chant-a-alongs with self-consciously poetic lyrics, usually about break ups. To this day, it is hard to find a youtube video of one of their tunes without the lyrics proudly displayed onscreen.
This is one of their bigger hits: “Saints and Sailors”. It contains all the ingredients that make “Dashboard” an aural atrocity: the campire singalong vibe; the harmonised, whiney vocals; the lyrics – oh, the lyrics.
“Sitting here with hopes the phone will ring, and I’m thinking awful things, pretty sure that few would notice. And this apartment is starving for an argument, anything at all to break the silence. Wandering the house, like I’ve never wanted out, and this is about as social as I get now. And I’m throwing away the letters that I am writing you, because they would never do, they would never do.”
The sixth form poetry vibe is strong here.
Feel free to dig further: all the songs sound roughly the same, and each and every lyric has the tone of a 15 year old’s overwrought diary entry after their first bad breakup. This, from a band who had the cheek to cite as their influences Minor Threat, Rites of Spring, Fugazi, Bruce Springsteen and the Descendents. You may also want to check their equally insipid second album: “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most”.
But shit as they are, Dashboard Confessional aren’t the worst band in the world. Oh no, not by a long chalk. Because you can think of a group who are even shitter, an act who make Dashboard look like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. And you’re going to tell us all about them below, because the world must know of them and their crimes.
Let the crapfest commence!