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The 5 Worst Songs in the History of Rock Music

#2. The Poe's Law Hellscape

Poe's Law, when applied to art, is that thing where you can't tell if something is bad on purpose (spoiler: It isn't) because satirizing it would involve not making any changes whatsoever. It's so hopelessly, overpoweringly clueless that to mock it would just be futile. Instead of including the materials to deconstruct it, it is composed entirely OF them -- it's so shit that throwing shit at it just makes a bigger pile of shit.

Critic-proof, but in a bad way; timeless, but in an even worse way; and unmissable, but in the worst possible way: Poe's Law-level art is thankfully as rare as it is terrifying. And thus you could go ahead and stupidly click below and watch the video of "Fever for the Flava" by Fucking Whoever and have your mind shriekingly eat itself in a panicked attempt to rationalize something that's literally impossible to poke holes in (MY GOD IT'S MADE OF HOLES) -- something that is frankly a towering achievement in its own ghastly way -- or you could just skip to the next part of this list (which isn't any better, of course ...)

#1. Yes, It's Fucking Nickelback

I know, I know -- even I am sick of hating Nickelback at this point, and I'm the Hipster Lord Mayor of hating Nickelback, because, yes, I hated them before it was popular -- I hated them the minute I saw their first stupid video (and thought "Who are these douchebags?!"). I hated them every time I heard them on the radio (and I lived in Western Canada when they first emerged, so rock radio was literally just Nickelback and ads for tires). And I unyieldingly and fanatically continued to hate them, even when others lost their passion, because truly they are Mankind's Darkest Hour. So passe as it may be, I honestly can't make a list like this and not have them be #1, and thus I give you the Worst Song of All Time:

The thing is, it's also the best Nickelback song of all time (of the six songs I've heard, at least) -- the quiet/loud dynamic, the general catchiness, the energizing singalong lyrics (You got just what you wanted!), the drums lifted from "When the Levee Breaks" that are impossible to base a bad song around. How, exactly, is this the worst song in history, then? For the same reason every other song is on this list: Because it's good and catchy.

Nickelback aren't a band, you see -- they're quite literally the result of a small-town con artist/drug dealer finding out he could make more money selling CDs than he could running a telemarketing center (but don't take my word for it!). They're a transparently cynical attempt to use an art form for pure self-interest, and it actually completely misses the point to criticize their music, because it's not trying to be good -- it's trying to capitalize on a specific market in the same way that any similar product does. It literally doesn't count as music. But then you listen to it, and oh for fucking fuck's sake it's catchy and it's dynamic and it gets stuck in your head forever just like actual music does. This could easily be a list of the Top 5 Earworms, and that's the problem -- something comes from a place of mindless, talentless self-interest, yet ends up having the same desired effect as something slaved over by real artists. It's the same way Mr. Fucking Puddle of Mudd's stupid soulless stupid voice sounds exactly like Kurt Cobain's, and it's a hijack and it's absolutely the most mockingly unfair thing ever (OK, second-most). It's the real reason I hate these five songs, and it's the reason that preventing shitty music will always be impossible -- because even idiots can harness its power.

That's why the best Nickelback song is easily the worst song of all time -- because I can't get it out of my goddamn head (possible solution here). It's just not right. That doesn't mean they win, but it does mean I lose.


Winston Rowntree is also available in webcomic form. Like me on Facebook too, or I'll get you ...

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