1. Mean Nothings, Dead TV News (2004): Described as a combination of “music, theatre and spoken-word,” this rough cut of an impending album is the musical equivalent of taint. When singer-speaker David Hayes cries on “Society’s Disease,” “Nature is dead… or dying… or about to make a comeback,” one suddenly thinks that space exploration can’t be all that bad of it gets me away from shit like this. Look for this track in my upcoming splendorific documentary, Music for Sadists.
2. Eben Brooks, Just Me and My Guitar v.2.0 (2005): To the poor sap who just happened to meander into Lestat’s on March 6 when Eben Brooks was having his record-release party, my condolences. I feel your pain. Even the target demographic of fun-lovin’ neo-hippies couldn’t enjoy this skid-mark. Here’s hoping v.3.0 gets lost in the mail.
3. Manganista, I Make You Look Like a Movie Star (2006): An almost documental look into the world of shitty music. With religious undertones and “Why can’t we all get along?” sentiments, these guys play like a world-music version of Death Cab. “You gave me a new companion / With money to invest in music lessons,” sings Matt Rhea on “Spencer’s Accordion.” Obviously, that money was wasted.
4. Alex Britton, Stories From Space and Time (2007): Ever have to fart really bad and you force it out and end up shitting your pants? That feeling is similar to listening to Britton’s CD. It’s like Captain Beefheart trying to do minimalist electronica only to find out that in order for said electronica to sound good, this time you have to keep a beat.
5. Blue Dolphin Alliance, Spirit of the Islands (2008): A collection of Muzak-inspired techno, godawful alternative rock and holier-than-thou spoken word, all overlapped with annoying dolphin and whale noises… This music may or may not be good for a run under the sea, Free Willy 4 or a Greenpeace expedition, but it just made me want to club a baby seal.
6. BoomSnap, Live Demo (2010): Excruciating jack-off session by three ’tards who have pretty much stalked me to write about their band for the last two months. Well, here you go, boys: Your music is the worst white-boy funk / reggae hybrid I’ve ever heard. Expand your horizons beyond P.B. and Sublime, take two doses of fuck-off and call me in the morning.
7. Nick Z, Nick Z EP (2010): A self-described “gypsy MC,” Nick Z sounds like Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz butt-fucking on a Thai beach. God-awful white-boy acoustic soul complete with Jesus refer ences and lyrics so incredibly cheesy that Velveeta should consider legal action. This is, without a doubt, the shittiest CD I received this year—not because it’s all mellow-yellow, but because even by that genre’s already low standards, it’s still contrived and mundane.
8. Knights of Apollo, Demo (2011): I’m shocked that a statue of Bradley Nowell hasn’t been erected in O.B. If I hear one more Sublimely half-assed, rock-rap-reggae hybrid band out of that area, I’m gonna start picketing in front of Winstons like Fred Phelps. The band promises to “leave you with a lasting positive impression of the diversity in life,” but songs like “My Voice” and the Linkin Park-ish “Masters of Illusion” make me want to beat up a homeless hippie.
9. 321 Stereo, Lights & Late Nights EP (2012): 321 Stereo look like they were genetically engineered in an Axe Body Spray lab to suck ass and play Six Flags theme parks, and their music is just as bad. The band’s own description of their music is apt: “Part ‘80s dance. Part Electro Pop. Part Alt Rock. All Party.” Yeah, the party where you used the toilet seat as a pillow while your BF got rufied and raped.
10. SO3, 3-Song Demo (2012): There are three things worse than this half-assed, all-crappy attempt at blues-rock. The Holocaust, human slavery and forced female circumcision. Yep, it beat out AIDS and sweatshops. Deal with it.
Follow Seth on Twitter at @combsseth.