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Do They Actually Suck? Nickelback and Mumford & Sons

Some bands just plain suck. But why, specifically, do they suck? We investigate.
May 13, 2014, 5:50pm

Some bands just plain ol’ suck. You know how you can tell? Because everyone says they suck, that’s how. Of course, these bands still somehow manage to have millions of fans around the globe, but not in the real world. In the real world, you don’t know anyone who actually listens to them. Bands like Nickelback and Hoobastank have become synonymous with bad music and the butts of countless jokes. You’ll often hear things like, “Boy, I’d rather blow an elephant than hear a Nickelback song” or “Hoobastank is worse than gargling hobo jizz.” But why? How, specifically, is Nickelback worse than fellating an elephant? What exactly makes Hoobastank worse than a mouthful of a homeless man’s semen? Most people who claim to hate these bands probably couldn’t name the lead singer of Hoobastank or an album by Creed (Doug Robb and Human Clay, by the way), let alone give a reasonble explanation for their suckage.

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In this series, Do They Actually Suck?, we will take an objective and super scientific look at some bands who are generally considered to be a running joke and examine things like their music, behavior, and fanbase to determine: Do these bands really suck as badly as we all assume? Are they worth our ridicule or are they getting an undeserved bad rap? Does Nickelback really suck an elephant off?

Here are the first two bands on the list, Nickelback and Mumford & Sons, and their attributes, ranked on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most sucky…

NICKELBACK

Music: 6.0/10
The general consensus when it comes to Nickelback is that they come off as a little rapey. And they’ve lived up to their reputation with lyrics like “I like your pants around your feet/and I like the dirt that’s on your knees/and I like the way you still say please/while you’re looking up at me.” But really, if that’s the extent of Nickelback’s misogyny, it’s fairly tame, comparatively. Too $hort tops that within the first 20 seconds of any verse. Instead, Nickelback’s real musical crime is half-assing several musical genres all at once. They are a grunge band with no edge to them. They are a big arena rock band that should be playing a Jersey shore dive bar. They sound like a Christian rock band who forgot to make references to Jesus. In the Venn diagram of boring musical genres, they are right smack in the bullseye.

Appearance: 3.9/10
Nickelback’s songs are basically the goatees of music, so it makes sense that Chad Kroeger has been known to rock a ‘tee. Otherwise, these are just normal-looking white dudes. And if nothing else has come out of Kroeger’s marriage to fellow questionable musician Avril Lavigne, it’s that he at least stopped making his hair look like limp spaghetti:

Behavior: 3.0/10
Chad and co. seem to have largely kept out of the public eye when it comes to embarrassing or scandalous activities, which also probably accounts for their boringness. And they at least have sense of humor about their title as the worst band in the world, which is probably easy to do when you are filthy rich:

Fanbase: 8.4/10
Believe it or not, people do like Nickelback. A lot of people, actually. They’ve sold 50 million albums worldwide and have over 19 million Facebook fans who bravely tie the word “Nickelback” to their internet presence for loved ones and future employers to see. But who are these people? Even the thickheaded football-watching American public who jerk off to trailers for Michael Bay movies want nothing to do with Nickelback. In 2011, for example, over 55,000 people signed a petition to get the band removed from a Thanksgiving Day halftime show during a Detroit Lions game. Which is weird considering their band name sounds like a made up football position. The petition didn’t work and the band still played, although just one song since they were being booed. Even Packers QB and all around well-mannered corporate shill Aaron Rodgers has taken jabs at the band on Twitter:

That’s bad. When you are the butt of jokes by not just America, but ‘Merica!, that’s real bad. Truly, Nickelback fans attract the lowest common denominator of tasteless music fans.

Actual suckage rating: 5.325/10
They are just a boring band who are too rich to care that they are a joke and in a way, you gotta give 'em credit for that.

MUMFORD & SONS

Music: 6.8/10
While Mumford & Sons make music that is admittedly not totally unlistenable, it’s also completely full of shit. The four members make music that captures the gritty art of the blue-collar American working class, even picking up a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album. Except wait. They are actually aristocratic Brits from West London. Their banjo player (or one of them anyway) is the son of a billionaire hedge fund founder named Paul Marshall, one of the richest men in England. Sorta makes that “I Will Wait” song a lot harder to swallow, huh?

Appearance: 8.1/10
When you sound full of shit, you’ve got to look the part, which is why Mumford & Sons go out of their way to dress like characters in The Grapes of Wrath despite living 4,000 miles from Oklahoma and 80 years from the Great Depression.

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Behavior: 7.2/10
As has been pointed out, their “hilarious” video with Jason Bateman and Ed Helms demonstrates that Mumford & Sons are aware that they make bad music and are a parody of themselves. But unlike Nickelback’s self-awareness, Mumford & Sons seem to be cognizant that they are completely full of shit too, and are just wearing costumes to sell albums.

Fanbase: 5.7/10
Anyone who listens to Mumford & Sons, besides your mom in the car, is either idiotically oblivious to the fact that they are four fake British dudes wearing costumes or just choose to look the other way because OOOOH BANJOS! But either way, they are most definitely white.

Actual suckage rating: 6.95/10
They are four dudes playing dress up and appropriating a type of music for money.

Dan Ozzi will rate every sucky band even if it kills him. Follow him on Twitter - @danozzi