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January 27, 2009 |

By TK Burton | Music | January 27, 2009 |

Last week, we talked about the Golden Age of Metal, and I confess that I was pleasantly surprised by how many of you not only loved the artists I listed, but also had a strong appreciation for some of the more obscure artists that I left off. Unfortunately, towards the end of that era, a new age began… a dark age. An age when metal became corrupted by eyeliner and hairspray, by animal print lycra and lipstick. Just as the Golden Age was in its death throes, a new evil rose from the depths. Born of an unholy corruption, they took the worst of metal, merged it with the likes of Journey and Foreigner, and like some harlot-born abomination… glam metal was born.

Glam metal, in a word, sucked. It was shit. It was shit that was packaged by record execs and bands who dressed and acted only to receive attention, with no genuine interest in music. This lack of interest is painfully obvious, as most of these bands really ever evolved past their douchebag, date-rapey, G n’ R wannabe roots. Don’t give me that “Tommy Lee was a talented drummer” and “Nikki Sixx was a good guitarist” crap. BULLSHIT. They may have had some technical know-how, but have you seen that Tommy Lee video (yeah, that one)? I mean yeah, he’s got a horsecock, but he’s a fuckin’ moron. And their music was just awful. Yeah, that’s right Rowles, I said AWFUL.

Yeah, in retrospect, there were some amusing tunes. Most of these bands were so laughably wretched that they can now provide us with a great deal of comic relief, But they also did irreparable damage to metal’s credibility, which is why it’s never been nearly as popular as it was then. The Dark Age was rife with wannabe tough guys, shameless posturing and some truly horrifying costume choices that were, sadly made without any ironic intent. The sad thing is, they are pathetic excuses for metal, and are in no way deserving of that descriptor. And yet, time and time again, they are described as such.

Anyway, here they are. The worst of the worst. The guilty, the damned, the Dark Age of Metal. Last week we started with the Horsemen of the Metalocalypse. This week, we begin with the The Three W’s of Woe, also known as the Three Horsemen of the Suckocalpyse: Warrant, Winger and Whitesnake.

warrant.jpgWarrant: Cherry Pie
[Columbia Records, 1990]

Ugh. On a list of really awful bands, this is one of the worst. Forget about Slayer — “Cherry Pie,” both the album and the song, are signs of the true coming of Satan. Ruining the reputations of both delicious cherry pie (suck it, Sarina) and rock and roll, it’s altogether possible that Warrant was nothing less than an insidious communist plot. Something meant to take things sacred to America and violate them. For all the greatness that delectable cherry pie showed in the wonderful “Twin Peaks,” Warrant spit it back in our faces. Also, the lead singer’s name was Jani. Jani Lane. How do you trust a man with a name like that? That’s right — you don’t. Watch the video below, if you dare. For the number of leather-pants-and-suspenders combos alone, they should be shot into the sun.

“Cherry Pie”

winger.jpgWinger: Winger
[Atlantic Records, 1988]

What to say about Winger. Their lead singer’s name is “Kip.” Strike One, Their hit song, “Seventeen,” clearly shows that they prey on the young, and are pedophiles. Strike two. He and the guitarist, Reb Beach, were former members of Shock Rock God Alice Cooper’s band, and yet this is the best they could do? Strike fucking Three, Kip.

Oh, and just in case you need more:

I think I’ve said all I need to say.


whitesnake.jpgWhitesnake: Whitesnake
[Geffen Records, 1987]

Whitesnake is actually perhaps the most frustrating band on this list, because they were born out of something genuinely great. Formed by David Coverdale, formerly of the classic hard/progressive rock band Deep Purple, they’ve got some genuine rock pedigree to them. Their follow-up to this eponymous effort, the charmingly named Slip Of The Tongue, would go on to feature guitar prodigy Steve Vai. But Whitesnake, their eighth album, is probably their worst, and the most “glam” of their discography. Tracks like “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love” (a ballad so cheesy it can give you heart disease) exemplified all that had gone wrong with the band, and basically pissed blood all over the memory of Deep Purple. Damn you, David Coverdale. While you would later redeem yourself with the decent Coverdale/Page, Whitesnake is unforgivable. Damn you to hell.

I will give them this though — the forced seriousness affected by the band, as well as their posing, in this video is nothing less than hilarious.

“Here I Go Again”

skidrow.jpgSkid Row: Skid Row
[Atlantic Records, 1989]

Sebastian Bach, lead singer for Skid Row, is a notorious douchebag, renowned for throwing bottles at girls and punching fans. His macho affectations were even more incongruous for a guy who probably weighed 130 pounds and looked (and sang) like a 13 year old girl. Their self-titled debut album is a wreck of an album, filled with screeching and caterwauling that makes your ears bleed. Skid Row would actually go on to make much better records — none of them good, mind you, just better, mostly due to the absence of Bach.

Here’s a homework assignment for you: Someday when you’re bored at work, look up the lyrics to “Youth Gone Wild.” Then google the video to Finger Eleven’s “Paralyzer,” and sing along. Yeah. When you’re stealing riffs from Skid Row, you are a monumentally sucky band. For shame, Finger Eleven. For shame. Anyway, for today I give you this:

“18 And Life”

Poison-Flesh_%26_Blood.jpgPoison: Flesh And Blood
[Enigma/Capitol Records, 1990]

It’s really a toss up regarding which is the worse Poison album, this one of its predecessor, Open Up and Say… Ahh!. The selection is almost arbitrary, since their both so amazingly, laughably awful. Besides having some of the most douchetacular band members in rock and roll history (Bret Michaels: scumbag. C.C. Deville: egomaniacal cokehead. Rikki Rockett: Named himself “Ricki Rockett”), their music was the worst kind of meathead rock, aimed more at getting girls to lift up their shirts than out of any kind of musical dedication. While “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” off of their prior album is easily their most well-known bit of ear-rape, Flesh and Blood had more than its share of garbage to sift through. But of course, the true tragedy will always be this one, complete with chaps, lasers, headbands, and super duper special effects:

“Unskinny Bop”

crue.jpgMotley Crue: Dr. Feelgood
[Elektra Records, 1989]

Let’s get this out of the way before Dustin has a petit mal seizure: Motley Crue is not a good band. Their earlier efforts, like Shout At The Devil, deserve some credit for being basically anthemic, Satanism-light screech metal, and I can appreciate that kind of anti-establishment, fuck-you ethos. However, once they caught wind of the sex-and-big-balls-metal-lite trend, they promptly went from mildly entertaining to godawful. Gone were the raucous delights like “Shout At The Devil” and the instrumental “God Bless the Children of the Beast,” replaced instead with auditory vomitus like “Slice Of Your Pie” and “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).” Another band composed of moronic mental adolescents, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx (God, these names are brutal), Tommy Lee (he of the horsecock), and Mick Mars (perhaps the most talented of the lot) churned out increasingly idiotic releases, culminating in Dr. Feelgood, their most popular album, and probably their worst to boot.

<a href="'t-Go-Away-Mad">Mötley Crüe - Don&#8217;t Go Away Mad</a>
“Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”

This is just a small sample. I didn’t bother to torture you (or myself) with the works of Slaughter, Dangerous Toys, or Def Leppard (mostly because that would have resulted in me taking shots at a one-armed man, and no one likes making fun of the disabled). But I believe the point has been made clear — the late 80’s and early 90’s were dark days indeed for metal and rock and roll. These were the bands that led to people becoming disaffected with metal, to the market becoming oversaturated, and metal never really recovered. The best we could ask for from these bands is to take Crue’s advice. Just go away.


TK can often be found staggering around his back yard, wishing for a zombie attack and shouting at leaves. He studies the dark arts of cheeseburger-making and cultivating the Merciless Pepper of Quetzlzacatenango. He wastes valuable time at Uncooked Meat.

Pajiba Music

Metal Up Your Ass

The Dark Age of Metal / TK

Music | January 27, 2009 |

TK Burton is the Editorial Director. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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