KROQ's Curious Five: Rise Against, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars

Categories: radio musings
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It's not KROQ's fault copious amounts of sonic garbage spew from their massive antenna on Tonga Peak in Glendale. No matter how cutting edge they purport to be, they're a mainstream radio station with salaried programming directors who strictly adhere to a business model. As such, they are going to play a handful of songs (or more) with mediocre (or less) artistic appeal.

And like any mainstream radio station, they're going to play those songs ad nauseum.
It would be interesting to find out who was at fault for this unfortunate assault on the ears--slack-jawed music fans for requesting these sonic atrocities or the station itself for cramming it down their throats. That may be a blog post for another day. Until then, here's a list of the five most gag-inducing artists in heavy rotation on station 106.7 today.

1. Linkin Park - This group is just horrible. Forget for a second that rap metal is as irrelevant today as it was in 2004 when inter-band strife led Limp Bizkit douchebag Fred Durst to hang up his backwards ball cap. What is most irritating about these guys is that every super-produced measure of their music and over-the-top, sing-song vocals are firmly planted in steaming piles of inane, obsessively rhyming, hollow lyrics. These are in turn hyped by ominous synthesizers, record scratches and insipid open-chord strums to sound more significant than they actually are.

"I've become so numb/I can't feel you there/Become so tired/so much more aware/I'm becoming this/all I want to do/Is be more like me/and be less like you." And the listening public can't get enough. At any given time of the year, this band might have as many as four songs in rotation played multiple times throughout the day. Ear vomit.

2. Rise Against -  This band out of Illinois plays an über-generic brand of punk rock bearing the footprint of the genre's 90s-era resurgence. As a beacon of mediocrity, it would make sense that they too have multiple songs in rotation on KROQ, among them, the shiteous "Savior."

The tune begins with singer Tim Mcllrath doing his best to invoke his inner Sinatra with a melodramatic pseudo croon. McIIlrath oozes faux profundity about an unknown girl, the color of whose eyes he's forgotten.

He follows this intro with the lyrical gems: "There is no reconciliation that will put me in my place/And there is no time like the present to drink these draining seconds/but seldom do these words ring true when I'm constantly failing you." Be sure to check them out at the LA Rising Festival with Muse and Rage Against the Machine July 30th.
 



3. Red Hot Chili Peppers-  Perhaps the most baffling band on this list, the Chili Peppers remain in heavy rotation with boatloads of songs more than two decades after they're past their prime.

Like the previous groups on this list, the Chili Peppers play a rap-infused rock that lacks the explosive musical elements that made them great on albums like Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Even though the band has seen guitarist extraordinaire John Frusciante return to the group periodically after stints with heroin addiction and preoccupation with other projects, the frenetic guitar playing he demonstrated on songs such as 1989's "Stone Cold Bush" lacks. The guitarists they've gotten to replace Frusciante at various points during the last 15 years, including Janes Addiction axeman Dave Navarro, haven't done much better. 

It also seems like bass virtuoso Flea has been phoning it in lately with a lackluster rehashing of his previous work.

But leading the scatological charge in this cavalry of dung is singer Anthony Kiedis, who's rap-funk rhymes are both tired and flaccid. Though the opening bass line and guitars on the band's new single "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" strike a promising groove, hopeful anticipation is shattered by Kiedis's annoying, staccato, white-boy raps about lipstick junkies and a woman named tugboat Sheila. The song features this bit of pastiche poetry: "I want to rock you like the 80s/Cock Blocking isn't allowed." Mmhmm. Good to know.

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4. Weezer-  A quick qualification before trashing these deified alterna rockers: Weezer created one of my top five favorite albums--1996's critically maligned (at the time) Pinkerton.

Frontman Rivers Cuomo must be pleased with the bevvy of songs that have gotten airplay since the band's last good single, 2001's "Island in the Sun." Pick from the list of winners:  the Timbaland edifying "Pork and Beans" or the incest-themed "Where's My Sex?" off the album Hurley, which edifies the eponymous local clothing company.

Perhaps the most glaring example of Weezer's stellar fall from grace is the droning, musically simplistic "Beverly Hills,"  featuring sluggish, chugging guitars, which belie Cuomo's ample musical abilities, and childish lyrics obsessing over fame and fortune--A long way from the literary narratives of Pinkerton, which focused on a star-crossed, trans-Atlantic love story.  Big ups to KROQ for playing this song til eardrums rupture.

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5. 30 Seconds to Mars-  The rabid fans of this band, who refer to themselves as "The Echelon" will never understand how bad their musical tastes are.

One of the more popular groups in KROQ's galaxy of dubious stars, it features teen heartthrob Jared Leto, who some of you older folks will remember from the short lived CBS high school drama My So Called Life.

If you get a chance, check this band out live. In addition to amorphous, hookless songs such as " King and Queens"  featuring Leto's overwrought, reverb-heavy howl, you'll get to see him use his acting chops (endless twirling and incessant banter with the audience) to disguise the fact that he can't really play guitar that well.

We could post a clip of one of the band's songs here, but we'll do one better and post a song as it appeared in a recent Sunkist commercial. Enjoy!

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29 comments
OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Chris: Sorry, what was that? We got distracted after "hookers and weed"

Michael McCracken
Michael McCracken

KKOK is terrible. Remember the days of rap metal and spikey hair wax? It never left apparently.

Chris Austin
Chris Austin

What an awesome way to recycle substandard "journalism", OCW. Just proves that you might know your hookers and your weed, but you certainly don't know your music.

C-Zar Jaime
C-Zar Jaime

Dead on! All these bands suck ass!....horrible music, terrible lyrics just shitty in general. There is NOTHING on the radio thats worth listening to..everything playing on KROQ SUCKS!! Music has gone to shit lately...

guest
guest

m8 u're a retard :P

Kyle Mitchell
Kyle Mitchell

your an idiot. Every single thing rhcp has put out has been money. Their songs are original, and each have their own appeal to them. If you are someone who truly has knows how to loosen up and listen to a good jam, you know this. However, you sir, have a very tight butthole i presume.

BeyondPluto
BeyondPluto

KROQ is kind of like the drug dealer who became addicted to his own junk years ago. Yeah, snorting another line of Sublime or RHCP might seem like a good way to survive another day, but eventually, that sh*t's gonna kill you. 

J Smith
J Smith

fuck ocweekly.. nuff said

Overdrivemotors
Overdrivemotors

Holy shit balls this article rocks. You haters of this article are the cattle of the music world. Almost all these bands have great songs but its obvious they, overtime, have been diluted into crappy Ford commercial pop songs. Keep up the good work Brandon!

Vincent Vuong
Vincent Vuong

Leave him alone -- his critique of the standards to which radio play is decided is on point.  There are sooo many great bands out there, some greater than these listed, that will never receive radio play.  In a sense, you should be insulted that you are sheeped along into a musical box, forever trapped in the commercialism of life as we know it.

madayou
madayou

AMEN! You put into words what I have been thinking about for years. Bravo!

Chizzledman
Chizzledman

I want to double like this. People who disagree please open your ears to music you don't hear 5 times a day. It tends to be more dynamic and original.

NY
NY

Wow, this article is really really bad.  Even the writers style is complete rubbish.  See, it's easy to be a critic...

Romit_varerkar
Romit_varerkar

this is the worst journalist ever. no one even asked for ur shit dude. 

Echelon
Echelon

Absolutely awful. This article is built up on nothing but stupidity and judgements. Just so you know, the Echelon DO NOT have a bad musical taste. Their music taste is each to their own and SHOULD NOT be judged for it. Looks like we all know who has a "bad musical taste" here.

Stewie
Stewie

Yes, brandon, but then again you are probably listening to Lady GaGa and touching yourself, so...your opinion does not count.

Peaveu
Peaveu

While I agree in the sense that I don't like some of these bands, this article is complete trash. Sure we both find Rise Against to be unbearably awful, but people enjoy them, and their music sells. So why is it "baffling" to you that these groups get radio play? Clearly you just don't like any modern alternative rock, well, other people do. So let them listen to it

Douglas Lau
Douglas Lau

U R so critical, cant u just enjoy music and be thankful that there r people out there hu r actually trying to entertain people?? besides, linkin park is actually helping the poor thru Music for Relief. maybe u are so dumb and stupid and u dont hav an open mind. so forget about calling bands horrible. ur the horrible one urself. i agree with Indianate7, ur the one hus sad. all u and ur kind do (haters) are going all around trying to defame people and trying to rise above them all. TO ALL OTHER READERS, DONT LISTEN TO THE STUPID SHIT BRANDON FERGUSON SAYS IN THIS SHITTY ARTICLE, ITS FULL OF BULLCRAP.

To Brandon Ferguson: Maybe you shouldn't go around criticizing people, maybe you should go criticize yourself and do something good for once.

Meteorhero26
Meteorhero26

Yet, I see no rants about lets see... the music that actually sucks (O wait every pop act) 

Here's your real five:Niki MinajKe$haJustin BeiberLMFAOMiley Cyrus

Call those more substantial than these five bands, and you have my ears.

OC
OC

With the possible exception of Weezer, this article rings true. There's nothing fresh or edgy about KROQ, and almost all of the artists it plays are probably the same artists that it played 10-15 years ago, but strangely enough, those are the artists that many, many people would still name if randomly asked on the street who the best new artists are, and that speaks volumes for how much marketing and clout they still are able to generate. The artists are a safe bet, and the music they make is a safe bet: vague, steady, and packed with artificial grit.

A couple of additions I'd make to Brandon's list would be Incubus (heavily-played post-grunge bore rock at its finest, save Nickelback) and the Foo Fighters/Nirvana (Dave Grohl must have at least partial ownership of KROQ, as even the lone Queens of the Stone Age song that KROQ plays features his drumming...one could make a drinking game out of how many times we hear Mr. Grohl's work on KROQ). The only drinking game that could beat it would be how many times we hear "don't know" or "this" in one of those Linkin Park songs. Of course, it's part of the formula...the more vague the lyrics, the more they will resonate with someone; it's the old Eagles trick.

Still, you've got to have hope, and maybe someday OC will have its own radio station that can compete with KROQ, with maybe an arty, exciting or more polarizing vibe. There is so much weird, original and purposeful music out there just waiting for a solid outlet. Until then, we might as well keep counting Grohls.

Swtcorn2
Swtcorn2

what stupid shit do you like brandon ferguson?

John
John

Speaking of good music...Kitty Pawz!!!

theburningdown
theburningdown

@Douglas Lau Who wants to "enjoy" the same 4 single hits from each funk metal/rap metal/post grunge/pop punk group from the early '00s? I guess we should all be lucky that they don't play Creed and Limp Bizkit anymore.

Don't Worry About It
Don't Worry About It

Seriously? Can you come across anymore retarded? Learn to spell words and punctuate like the rest of the educated adults that surround you on a daily basis. Reading your "post" is like reading the scribbles of a mental disabled 7 years old. People like you make me want to use physical violence against.... PEOPLE LIKE YOU! 

Did any of this make sense to you? Or, do I have to write it like this:  Srsly U R so ghey and dum !!! Y dont U no how to spell ??? lololololo

John
John

These bands are not played on KROQ douche bag. Did you even read the headline of the article?

John
John

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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