The Audacity of Rock: Part 27

Let me negate your great instrumentals with my voice.

Some people's voices inexplicably drive me crazy, as in make me want to drive a knitting needle through my tympanic membrane so I no longer have to listen to how much they're destroying a perfectly good song. While I realize a vocalist is a huge part of a band's identity, sometimes I can't help wondering if I would like a band better with a different lead singer.

"How Soon is Now" The Smiths (1984)

Morrissey sings so far back in his throat, he can only etch out some pansy, poorly enunciated drivel. In "How Soon is Now," the train-like sounds, distorted guitar lick, and heavy drums could be gritty and awesome, but instead get diluted by a limited vocalist.

Luckily, Love Spit Love took a crack at it in 1995 and brought some grit to the haunting melody.

This version was also the theme song for Charmed. This might explain the accompanying pictures.

"Cath..." Death Cab for Cutie (2008)

I cannot even express my disdain for Death Cab for Cutie. I actually don't mind their music...until Benjamin Gibbard's voice comes in. He's like the vocal equivalent to a wall lined with egg cartons: he just absorbs any resonance the music might have. His scoopy, barely singing style, with a muppet-like love of holding out the second half of a dipthong and/or the last consonant phoneme, cuts off any chance his voice will carry. It makes me so incredibly mad because it makes his bands' songs suck. AAARRRGGGH!

You know what makes me like this song? This dude named Shawn's 2008 cover on YouTube. A complete improvement because the vocals resonate. It's like he's actually singing or something:


1. Am I alone in my opinion of these bands?
2. Which vocalists ruin bands for you?

1 comment:

  1. hmmm.. I can't say that I hate either of their voices toooo much - but I do agree with you, youtube guy sounds better than ben gibbard!