Top 50 Songs Reminiscent of A Night In A Shitty Provincial Rock Club Between 1999 and 2003: Part 3 – “All my heroes in the methadone clinics”
30. cKy – 96 Quite Bitter Beings (2000)
“Hey Raab, lookit Phil’s tummy…” Before we throw any zingers their way, ILB has to pay tribute to how dope the artwork was for cKy’s debut release, even with that weird late-90s Super Furry Animals font. On the other hand, if you wanted to name a single band who perfectly summed up turn of the millennium rock malaise… well, you’d go with The Used. But cKy couldn’t have been far behind, a band who rode the coattails of their lead singer’s brother, who wasn’t even really legitimately famous apart from when he and Johnny Knoxville Eiffel Towered Jessica Simpson , to making what must be Julio Iglesias loot from TV and video soundtrack royalties. I mean, they were basically 3SL in Criminal Damage jeans. Anyway, why not “enjoy” this fucking appalling rap track that samples the song in question. It’s like a Down’s Syndromed DMX.
29. Incubus – Pardon Me (2000)
I delayed writing this article for ages solely because I didn’t want to sit down and listen to an entire Incubus track in 2010. Still, needs must, here’s my brief liveblog of “Pardon Me”, a song that equates Shirtless Brandon Boyd’s emotional, yet shirtless, mental state with spontaneous human combustion: oooh, listen to that turntable scratching, presumably their DJ is a multi-time DMC champion? Why does this intro sound like someone stole Staind’s creatine? And then he starts off doing his little alt.rock whiteboy rap vocal delivery. I mean, you could slip “Chickety China, the Chinese chicken” into most Incubus lyrics and nobody would blink an eye. Also, “I was having a look/In a book” really needs to be up there in the pantheon of shit rhymes, along with “most”/”toast” and “commercial/commercial”.
28. Good Charlotte – Girls & Boys (2003)
Does it make you feel like pop culture has passed you by when you realise that if you type “girls boys” into the Spotify search bar, this song comes up below not just the Blur song, but also the one by Pixie Lott, as well as half the back catalogue of some Disney emo act called “Boys Like Girls”. There was a hipster-ish clothes store in Northampton that had a rack of clothes, t-shirts that were all “hey, remember this past-it fad? Wear it ironically now” vintage ish. Anyway, in 2005, they saw fit to include a Good Charlotte t-shirt among these wares. To me, it was a little too raw in the memory then to be remotely funny. Speaking of funny: this video was a lot funnier when the Bloodhound Gang did it five years earlier.
27. Lit – My Own Worst Enemy (1999)
The tragic death from a brain tumour of Lit drummer Allen Shellenberger was especially upsetting for me, as I was fully aware that his time on this planet was coming to an end, but I also knew that he was nowhere near famous enough to get a British national newspaper obituary and thus qualify for dead pool points. This may be my favourite track of the entire 50: that “zunga-zung-zung-zung” guitar intro is up there with “Sweet Child o’Mine” for “shit son, that’s my song” feelings, and you gotta respect any band who sought to reclaim the lounge lizard style of dress from the then-nascent swing revival movement.
26. Sum 41 – Fat Lip (2001)
The child from Sum 41, the one who knocked up Avril Lavigne, is now 30 years old. Basically, we’re all inching ever-closer to our deaths. In 2004, Sum 41 were invited to the Democratic Republic of Congo by the UN in order to highlight the poor living conditions in the country and put on a show. This was disrupted when Congolese militants opened fire on their Bukavu hotel room, and the band had to be evacuated in an armoured vehicle. A) how on earth were, in 2004, Sum 41 going to bring attention to anything? B) how the fuck would anyone in Congo know who Sum 41 were, unless “In Too Deep” was blowing up around the time everyone was having their village ransacked by machete-wielding troops loyal to the military C) so normal hotel workers would have got boyed up by these guns, but because son stuck his dick in Avril he gets the A-Team escape? Something fishy going on there, imho.
25. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – The Impression That I Get (1997)
Because it’s not a night at a rock club unless three morbidly obese guys with different coloured Mohawks are getting up and skanking in a circle, and also because there can be few better topics for a chartbusting up tempo floorfiller party anthem than the emotions a man undergoes while waiting for the results from an AIDS test. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones had it all: a career that went on far too long (they formed in 1983), about 74 members, those weird fat guy-friendly long shorts made out of pinstripe suit material, and a member called Johnny Vegas. And they also went away directly after this was a hit, leaving us only with pleasant memories. Which was nice.
24. Weezer – Hash Pipe (2001)
Before Twilight, Tumblr and me, fat girls had only really had Weezer to occupy themselves with. I’d like to hypothetically throw up 2001 as the possible year when it stopped being fun to follow Rivers Cuomo’s career, in very much the same way that I gave up on Desperate Housewives about three episodes into the second series: it’s all well and good being an insane tea-totaller with a four-year-old Vietnamese girlfriend and a database on which you’ve broken down every hit record every recorded into 500 unique metrics, but when that just results in you writing “Beverley Hills”, it’s kinda hard to care. This is better, though, especially for the radio edit which successfully turns a song about a gay prostitute turning tricks for drugs into a skateboarding anthem. And you thought “extra-terrestrial running over pedestrians” was a good way to cover your tracks?
23. KoRn – Got The Life (1998)
40% of KoRn are now born again Christians. I mean, that’s a higher percentage than you’d find in most Alcoholics Anonymous Steps meetings, so there’s got to be something going on under the surface there, possibly not linked to the fact that Slimkid3 from The Pharcyde turns up in this video for no apparent reason. Really weird to think now that not only were KoRn once one of the biggest bands on the planet, but they were a big band who you’d assume people would turn around in a decade’s time and go “yeah, I can see why they were massive back in the day”. Whereas all I get from this now is a reminder of how much Jonathan Davis looks like latter-period Janeane Garofalo.
22. Kid Rock – Bawitdaba (1999)
Did we ever get a Robin Carmody write-up of what “All Summer Long” getting to number one meant in terms of one of the major American recording artistes that Britain had, to that point, held off against finally breaking through? Doesn’t really matter, I still fuck with this. Kid Rock is, behind Tupac, the biggest selling rapper in recorded history, and when it comes to chart smashes that reference Lovebug Starski this probably shifted more global units than “Juicy”, but where’s his Complex.com retrospective? “Devil Without A Cause” used to get a lot of commons room play back when I was in sixth form, but fuck me was it awful. Like the future of music as decided by Vince Russo.
21. A – Nothing (2002)
I was recently clowning Muse on Twitter, noting that if the cards had fell differently a decade prior that maybe A would have been headline Glastonbury instead. Someone else chipped in with the pretty good zinger that “Hey, I bet they DO need a job at Starbucks now”, which was quite clever. Inaccurate, though: since splitting, most of A went on to write #1 singles for McFly, two of them are full-time members of Bloodhound Gang (admittedly that may not bring in crazy loot), and another one hosts a Radio 1 show I was unaware existed until five minutes ago. Yeah, A fucking sucked when they switched from being pop punks to nu-metal bores, but what are you gonna do? You gotta respect the hustle, even when it produces music as anodyne as “Nothing”