Florida is a swamp filled with crazy people -- mostly rednecks and political refugees -- who are so far removed from the rest of civilization and its myriad, sanity-sustaining social contracts that their screws can't help but loosen more every day.
To be fair, crazy people have their place in society. Sometimes, somebody needs to get the party started, and it's usually the person in the room with the least number of metaphorical "marbles." And very often, nutzoids are responsible for some of the best tunes making their way around the Facebook reshare circuit.
However, crazy people have also been known to make really shitty music too. And because Florida has a higher-than-average percentage of whack-jobs, County Grind is sad to report that we produce an exorbitant number of bands and solo artists that make us ashamed to admit we were born here.
Roll up your sleeves and double-dose the klonopin and/or omeprazole. 'Cause we're about to list the ten worst bands from Florida of all freakin' time. We mean every last word of every single thing typed after the jump and believe what we've written with the infallible orthodox mysticism (and old-world bloodlust) of a Muslim cleric in tribal Kurdistan.
Underoath (we refuse to use "ø" again), has the deck stacked against them... And they're the first band! Which means we have our work (talking a tremendous amount of radioactive bullshit) cut out for us. So, yeah, in addition to spelling its name with "ø," this crew is a Christian Metal-cøre band from Tampa. We would repeat that heinously raw string of adjectives for emphasis, but we're neither sadists nor masochists. We are nihilists. And nihilists don't care about Jesus, moshing, or anything.
An Orlando nü-metal band nobody cares about is only slightly less acceptable than evangelical mosh music. They were originally called "JoJo" but that was not nearly as mooked out as the band's final selection, or, rather, the selection RCA label execs made for them. Those dudes had MBAs that clued them into the fact that "Skrape" lends itself much more to being licensed for montages featuring skaters wiping out hard. Though we must admit: This band is most certainly the aural equivalent of bashing your femur on a handrail while filming a skate video with your brahs.
8. Backstreet Boys
What exactly constitutes a Boy that may be described as "Backstreet?" Does the tag denote a young man with a keen sense of his respective towne's shortcuts and esoteric arteries? Or are the backstreets in question of the disreputable, cheap thrills and fast livin' variety? The answer is: neither. BSB was merely just the codename for Lou Pearlman's first round of Orlando-based mega-lab production of test-tube-bred boy band moneymaking clone drones.
7. 'N Sync
We know what you're thinking: "How can you possibly tell the difference between 'N Sync and The Backstreet Boys?" The honest answer is: We can't.
If you found it necessary to rearrange the list by flipping their positions, we wouldn't care. Both groups were spawned by the aforementioned Herr Pearlman in Mickey Mouse's backyard. And both groups should be banned from public consciousness for the rest of human history (and/or until The Singularity). This will require the development of a psychic Green Beret Thought Police that ties the shoelaces together of anybody who has even the most deeply embedded, imperceptible remembering of when Top 40 radio was caught in the throes of a boy band outbreak of Outbreak proportions.
6. Lynyrd Skynyrd
The deep-fried county fair honks in the Jacksonville rock band originally named Leonard Skinner are responsible for manifold crimes against good taste. Here are the three most disgraceful. Consider this a bonus list. 1. "Sweet Home Alabama". 2. "Free Bird." 3. Taking shit about Neil Young in "Sweet Home Alabama" because Neil hurt their Dixie-dickhead feelings with "Southern Man." Of course, we stand with Shakey.
5. Jimmy Buffett
James William Buffett was not born in Florida. But he has certainly spent more than his fair timeshare of time here. The Sunshine State is responsible for his entire career. In turn, he is responsible for the codified proliferation of the militant wing of the Conch Republic's leather-skinned party animal contingent. Parrotheads were bad enough before they were fucking calling themselves parrotheads. A pox on you James William! You make us hate the beach, frozen mixed drinks, and being alive!
The state capital, Tallahassee, is responsible for the thick-necked Jesus-and-groupies lovin' Christian butt-rockers Creed. By the way, "Butt-rock" is what we're going to call that mad-watered down, Eddie Vedder-style muppet warble grunge-lite that still plagues us today in the form of aural diseases like Nickelback. Hey, at least Nickelback isn't from Florida!
3. Matchbox 20
And back to O-Town for some billy-goat butt-rock-lite that makes Creed look like fucking Rush. Kurt Cobain made the right decision by offing himself, because he never had to listen to Matchbox 20. And, if you think about it, if he had made it that far, and then heard Matchbox 20, he probably would have ended it right then and there on the spot. Rob Thomas has that effect on people teetering on the edge.
2. Dashboard Confessional
The evolution of "emo" (shorthand for "emo-core") from a post-punk response to hardcore's default aggression, and into a hyper-stylized, self-indulgent, subtly misogynistic unintentional parody of melodramatic sad bastard music, is probably the most embarrassing development in the entire history of rock 'n' roll.
If punk was on its death bed (and not already kaput, with its grave pillaged by Fat Mike, the Warped Tour, and Hot Topic) -- Chris Carrabba -- the "Dear Diary" eunuch behind Boca's endlessly embarrassing, Dashboard Confessional -- would have snuffed it out with a pillow. Personally, we would like to see Woody Guthrie rise from the dead and smash Carrabba's tear streaked acoustic guitar right over his teeny widdle noggin.
1. Limp Bizkit
As though being the town in which "Freebird" was written wasn't bad enough, Jacksonville can also boast about being the city in which Fred Durst composed contemporary classics of white-male-rage rap-metal like "Nookie" and "Break Stuff."
Take a moment to process that information.
Limp Bizkit is, next to KoRn, arguably the most successful nü-metal band in the history of shitty sounds. They are the band that was on stage at Woodstock '99, stoking the hateful flames -- literally and metaphorically -- as the Peace, Love, and Happiness brand was forever-sullied by shirtless frat bros pillaging concession stands and turning the entire festival into one giant masculine angst mosh pit. Limp Bizkit is without a question the worst band from Florida of all time.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.