The Jussie Smollet Award for Song Most Likely to Commit a Hate Crime Against Itself of 2019

2019. Here we stand on the edge of oblivion, staring down a hopeless and yet limitless horizon of wretchedness, repugnance and defeat. It’s the end of a decade and music continues to reach unfathomable new low points, plunging as far south as society itself can reach. This year’s award is in honor of a certain gay black Frenchman who took it upon himself to orchestrate a Machiavellian grandstand of career suicide, and as Dave Chappelle put it, “if you’re racist and homophobic, you don’t even know who this nigga is”. Again, we’re toning down the whole “name the award after a terrorist or pedophile” theme that dominated the year end rankings of sonic fecal matter over the years on this site, but in no certain terms does this mean these songs are any less offensive than any earlier years’ offerings. As per usual, there’s a criteria to meet that ensures I don’t just list the songs off of both of Weezer’s 2019 studio album releases, but there’s also a new boundary being set to lock that result in.

As of 2019, I am officially retiring Weezer from eligibility for these lists. Weezer has been so consistently terrible over their post-Pinkerton years that I can’t take it anymore, they are such an easy target and always an available option for worst song of the year due to their misguided proliferation. Weezer are not alone in this distinction either, I am also retiring Machine Head from consideration from this honored ceremony. Not only is Machine Head’s frontman Robb Flynn the Jussie Smollett of metal, he has also led this band in such a spectacular downward trajectory from an already not-so-good baseline in the last few years that I have had enough of this band. They already made these lists three times, and while their newest release “Do Or Die” is absolutely worthy of one of this year’s awards, I’m over it. There’s no fun in giving a beaten to death horse another smack. Fuck Weezer and fuck Machine Head, but their depths are no longer noteworthy, they are just the norm.

3. Opeth – Lovelorn Crime

Just a short decade ago, the thought of the mighty Opeth ever making an appearance on a worst songs of the year list would be incomprehensible. Opeth were unmistakable legends, releasing quality album after quality album for many years in their prime. However, beginning in 2011 with the Heritage album, Opeth made the transition from prog-metal titans to Emerson, Lake and Palmer and 70’s dad-prog-rock tribute band. Mirroring the career arc of longtime collaborator Steven Wilson, Opeth did away with anything metal related in their sound and moved forward by looking back to the worst, most overindulgent aspects of ancient prog-rock past. This has all spiraled into an all time low with 2019’s In Cauda Venenum, an album released bilingually in English and Swedish versions. I am not being purposely obtuse here. I actually saw Opeth play the entire Heritage album live and I liked some of the songs from 2014’s Pale Communion as well, but 2016’s Sorceress was without noteworthy material and with the new one, I am completely checked out. The low point of this album is “Lovelorn Crime”, or “Minnets Yta” for those of you rocking the Swedish edition. As far as 70’s dad rock goes, not only does every Emerson, Lake and Palmer song rock harder than this ever did, but even Rod Stewart and Barry fucking Manilow have more gravitas than what Mikael Akerfeldt and company have to offer up here. We’ve got four agonizing minutes of piano balladry in awkwardly translated lyrics due to the bilingual nature of this release, all leading up to the most snooze inducing guitar solo this band has ever put to record. I’m only being so harsh on this guitar solo because guitarist Fredrik Akesson said It started off in the demo stage of the album, Mikael had this beautiful ballad. He asked me, ‘I want you to do a long solo. I want this to be the solo that people will remember you for when you die’. I thought, ‘Okay, thank you for the pressure, mate,’”. While Fredrik may have only joined the band in 2007, Mikael Akerfeldt thinks this is the best guitar solo ever on an Opeth record. Also the first time I ever heard this song, a semi-truck ran me off of the freeway, true story. Fuck everything about this song.

2. Lana Del Rey – Doin’ Time

Where do we even begin here? Well first off, let it be known that I am not going soft by not giving the esteemed title of “washed up weirdo pop girl covers alt rock classic and turns it into garbage” title to Miley Cyrus for her butchering of not one, but two Nine Inch Nails classics back on the worst episode of Black Mirror ever released. Unfortunately, those were not even the worst thing to involve both the Cyrus family and Trent Reznor in 2019, and that in itself just might be a testament to how truly bad things have gotten here in the 2010’s conclusion. Lana Del Rey on the other hand has always attempted to pass herself off as some sort of “alternative” to the likes of Miley type vapid pop hoes, but really was just a parallel in being mundane and uninteresting pop music in my opinion. Her rich white girl with depression shtick was painful and played out to begin with, but now Lana is releasing a cover of a Sublime song that was an interpolation of another song to begin with, and it’s worse than you’d imagine. This was the single from her new album Norman Fucking Rockwell, maybe the stupidest album title I’ve heard in a while, and the only song of hers I’ve heard in years, but this is just as boring as ever. Incredibly fucking uneventful, lifeless and background noise worthy. Lana sounds more doped out and droning than Bradley fucking Nowell did, and he was literally beating on death’s door from heroin addiction at that point in his life. Brad fucking died of a heroin overdose a few weeks before the Sublime album released, and yet even he sounds full of emotion and energy compared to Lana’s lazy delivery on this. It’s absolutely hilarious when you compare the renditions here, while Sublime were a bunch of junkies that nailed it, Lana sounds like she took fentanyl and was five minutes from flatlining. If this is a tribute, it’s even worse than “Sublime with Rome”.

1. Puddle of Mudd – Uh Oh

Why?

Why did we deserve a comeback from Puddle of Mudd in 2019? They may have been the band people wanted least to return after witnessing Wes Scantlin’s performances live such as the video above, and they also made some of the worst post-grunge nu-metal butt-rock bullshit in their early 2000’s heydays. Time wasn’t kind on this band, they’re right down there in the race with Nickelback and Theory of a Deadman for worst band in that entire category of bands. They were propped up by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, there’s your seal of fucking approval. Puddle of Mudd is responsible for some of the most bottom pile fucking bullshit in that era with “She Hates Me”, “Control” and “Blurry”, and even had a slight resurgence before falling apart all over again in the late 2000’s with the song “Psycho”. I unfortunately remember all of those songs and I don’t wish to ever hear them a single time again. Fortunately, Wes Scantlin was all but willing to drive whatever career he had straight into a grave, proud to commit career suicide. He became a joke, living a lifestyle comparable to the characters in Trailer Park Boys. At some point, people had to be showing up for this band’s shows in order to heckle Wes Scantlin instead of hearing his awful music, and that would probably be more enjoyable than hearing it anyway. In 2019, Puddle of Mudd released an album called Welcome to Galvania, which now overtakes Norman Fucking Rockwell for the stupidest album title I’ve heard since I began writing this, and I had to listen to an album named In Cauda Venenum to hear the other one. What the fuck is up with these album titles in 2019?

The short story is, Puddle of Mudd wins this award simply by existing to release new music. I heard this song once, once was more than enough, it is just as bad as they were in 2001. Puddle of Mudd will always be a horrifying, inescapable stain upon music as among the absolute worst of their time and of all time. “Uh Oh” is right down there with such classics as “Away From Me” or “Control” or “She Hates Me”, Puddle of Mudd are as great as they were originally almost 20 years ago, they’re still beyond all fucking expectations terrible. Fuck Puddle of Mudd, fuck Wes Scantlin and fuck the old guitarist who inspired a registered sex offending felon to impersonate him too. Fuck Fred Durst for funding this band’s steaming rise to the top of the absolute dogshit heap back in the early 2000’s, among other crimes. Fuck the three million people who bought Puddle of Mudd’s debut album and fuck the three people who bought Welcome to Galvania.

As we sail on into the new year and decade, we’ll keep the hate flowing with something that’s been a long time coming. Join the Suicide Watch Party for the Jeffrey Epstein Award for the Worst Album of the Decade. Who’s the most offensive now? Ten albums will define the worst music of the entire 2010’s. Hang around, but don’t off yourself.

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