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Unity
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:42 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:23 am 
 

Who, in your opinion, was the most overrated rock band of the 90's? And the most underrated?

In my opinion, the most overrated band was Nirvana. I can't understand for the life of me what was so great about them. I mean, Kurt was an average singer, a mediocre guitarist, and his lyrics pretty much made no sense (even he himself constantly admitted it in interviews). A lot of people feel that the only reason he became a legend was because he killed himself, and that's probably true.

As for the most underrated band, I'll have to mention Marilyn Manson. Back in the mid-nineties when they had their first hit singles ("Sweet Dreams" and "Beautiful People", that is) a lot of people said that they were only about image and shock, but the fact is that "Antichrist Superstar" and "Mechanical Animals" were two damn good concept rock albums. And if you notice, in the beginning the press constantly called him "a poor man's Alice Cooper" but as the David Bowie influence became more evident no one says that anymore.

Any other bands you can think of?
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acid_bukkake
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:14 pm 
 

The argument against Nirvana's impact usually comes from people who either loved the hair bands or weren't of the right age to understand why the change from "anorexic coke fiends in spandex" to "guys that you pass on your way to work" was a big one. It was more symbolic of the times than it was an out-and-out revolutionary moment, and Nirvana was just the first band to really get the press coverage. Kurt's mediocrity as a singer was made up for in the passion on display, often through the realism of his delivery, and his qualities as a songwriter are self-evident. Were they just a mainstream version of the college rock bands of the '80s that they idolized? Yeah. Was it important after a decade of teased hair, make up, and excess during an economic decline that coincides with an increase in disillusionment? You bet your ass it was.

For overrated, I'm going with Stone Temple Pilots and Tool. The former never really carved out their own identity and yet still amassed a large fanbase, odd since they were practically the kings of "let's write a song that sounds like our contemporaries" from that era, and the latter always came across as pretentious music that would be lost to time if not for the incredible rhythm section.

Underrated, though? We get a bit murkier, as there were plenty of bands in the '90s that, realistically, reached the levels of acclaim they probably deserved. I'll just go with a personal favorite, New Model Army, because holy shit I have so much trouble finding a bad song from them, let alone an entire album. While The Love of Hopeless Causes (1993) might be one of the weaker overall albums they've released, it starts with the single "Here Comes the War," which I count among their strongest songs. They also started the decade off with Impurity (1990), featuring "Bury the Hatchet" and the incredible "Eleven Years," and ended it with Strange Brotherhood (1998), which gave us "Wonderful Way to Go" and "Queen of my Heart."
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kluseba
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:28 pm 
 

Nirvana were already popular way before Cobain killed himself. When I was younger, I couldn't understand the hype about the band either. Today, I'm a huge fan. The band were a bunch of anti-heroes, artists and non-conformists doing their very own thing without caring about commercial success, large parts of their fans and the mainstream as a whole. Everything about them was exciting, honest and original. It's a miracle that such a band would have such a massive success and it's what ultimately broke them apart. I disagree that their lyrics don't make any sense, I find them very authentic, emotional and unique. Cobain didn't have technically perfect vocal skills but he had his very own style which was imitated many times but never equaled. Some vocalists are so imperfect on a technical level that they become perfect. Cobain's vocals were all about attitude and emotions once again. If you can't feel the anger, depression and despair in most of his songs, then you must be deaf.

Among the overrated bands, I would probably go for U2. I understand that the band members are important philanthropists but it often feels as if their music were only a pretext for the group's political activities. I find them rather unspectacular musically. The few songs I like are mostly from the eighties or from the new millennium.

Concerning underrated bands, there isn't any particular band coming to my mind. In general, I thought the nineties were rather terrible culturally and musically. I prefer the one and a half decades since the beginning of the new millennium.
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Oxenkiller
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:57 pm 
 

U2 really peaked in the 80's though, well before 1990. They were in their prime around 1985-1987- "Unforgettable Fire" and "Joshua Tree" albums. But yeah I get what you are saying about them being a bit pretentious with the social activism thing, but for what it's worth, their 80's music was still pretty good (in my opinion at least.)

Talking about 1990s- it was, as mentioned, more about Nirvana's overreaching impact on the popular music scene at large than what their music actually sounded like. They were a decent band, certainly not amazingly outstanding, but they almost single handedly revitalized what was popular in hard rock when "Nevermind" came out in 1991. It was a rather abrupt transition from hairspray and spandex to grunge and flannel, from clichéd glam rock to punk and indie-influenced 90's rock (I hate the term "Alternative.")

As far as underrated, I would think Kyuss would certainly qualify- they had some great, powerful bluesy hard rock with awesome riffs, while the Smashing Pumpkins- I gotta be careful here because some of their stuff was pure garbage (That electronic wankfest "Adore" album for example) and some of it, like their first 2 or 3- were unique sounding and absolutely brilliant.

There was a lot of 90's stuff I thought was overrated. Boring vanillafied "alternative" (ugh) bands, (like Gin Blossoms and Goo Goo Dolls,) Angry Guys Ranting About Stuff, (like Rollins Band or Rage Against the Machine,) Second Rate Pearl Jam Clones (like Silverchair and Stone Temple Pilots,) and well, even Pearl Jam themselves were never one of my favorites even though they were a decent band in all fairness.

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stainedclass2112
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:12 pm 
 

I'm not going to bother defending my opinion because it's futile, but Nirvana and Guns and Roses both rack up to be some of my worst hated bands ever. I despise their music with almost every inch of my being.

kluseba wrote:
Cobain's vocals were all about attitude and emotions once again. If you can't feel the anger, depression and despair in most of his songs, then you must be deaf.


To me he sounds like a drugged up asshole with zero musical know-how yelling at me with absolutely none of what you just described. "Must be deaf" is honestly a bit sweeping, because face it, he sucked ass as both a guitarist and a vocalist. I guess he did have that "emotions! feelings! ugghh!" appeal but to me he did nothing worthwhile. I am too young to have been apart of the scene, so I guess I just don't understand the appeal.

This entire message comes with a free grain of salt by the way.

I will agree with the mention of Stone Temple Pilots as underrated. They had some great hits, but beyond that were some surprisingly strong albums. Core is probably my favorite album from its respective scene. Their whole discography has its perks too. Great band, and the DeLeo brothers rule.
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Crypticide
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:36 pm 
 

I do really enjoy Nirvana's music, but come on, they are indeed overrated.

Stone Temple Pilots are awesome as well.

For Underrated I would go with Helmet. That band is just so fucking awesome to me. The heavy grooves, the pounding drums, what's not too love? And I definitely consider them metal.

Another one is Faith No More. Though they did have some success in the late 80's, their 90's work is phenomenal, and supremely underrated.

Also, King's X

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TrooperEd
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:15 pm 
 

Overrated: Anyone that wasn't power metal
Underrated: The power metal
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Erdrickgr
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:36 pm 
 

For overrated, if we can say that album purchases count towards this, I'll go with Creed. I don't dislike them as much as some, but according to wiki they've sold 53 million albums worldwide. That blows my mind. For underrated I guess I'll say Corrosion of Conformity, who I thought had some solid Rock/Metal-lite albums in the mid-90s after they changed direction, but even opening for Metallica a bunch didn't seem to get them much popularity.
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Expedience
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:34 am 
 

For underrated, I'd go with Red House Painters. They weren't part of any movement like grunge so didn't get much radio play, and carved out their own niche of sincere, heartfelt and low-key rock while maintaining a modicum of artistic integrity.

Overrated? It's hard to argue with Red Hot Chili Peppers or Rage Against The Machine. Take your pick. Also, I like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana but all those and similar radio rock bands of the 90s are way overrated. They're okay but never deserved anywhere near the attention they got.

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stefan86
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:52 am 
 

Erdrickgr wrote:
For overrated, if we can say that album purchases count towards this, I'll go with Creed. I don't dislike them as much as some, but according to wiki they've sold 53 million albums worldwide. That blows my mind.


I bought their first three albums when young and retarded :o At least this piece of brilliance exists because of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms61I54CeQA
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Rainbow
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:31 am 
 

Morphine is the most overlooked band from the 90s, easily. 5 perfect albums. And despite the whole 'sax, no guitar' thing, they are more rock and roll than all the heavy hitters that are now considered classic rock.
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Unity
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:28 am 
 

I just remembered another really overrated band: Bush. Completely untalented band who only became famous because of the singer's looks and copying Nirvana.
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acid_bukkake
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:41 am 
 

Bush was a band I was really into when I was just getting into music, I remember getting Sixteen Stone and Razor Blade Suitcase for my 11th birthday, so I have some fondness for them. They were a cheap Nirvana clone, but dammit if they weren't the (second) best one!
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Liquid_Braino
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:27 pm 
 

Overrated: Oasis were monsters in the 90's, especially with that second album of theirs. Personally, I liked the Gallagher brothers as famous smarmy assholes moreso than for their music. I hated Liam's vocals, which is why I could only tolerate "Don't Look Back in Anger" thanks to Noel singing. But man, singing along to their dumb WTF lyrics in a pub...Jesus. They had a real "bloated" sound too, hard to explain really. My least favorite of all those 90's britpop acts.

Underrated is tougher, but I'll go with Lush, as they never got the "cool legacy" tag much of the other popular shoegazer acts did, primarily for the band being down with partying rather than cloaked in mystique. But up to, and including, Split, they had such a great swirly sound, and I could throw their music on at any time and enjoy it...good for summer outdoor barbecues or winter by the fireside. Lovelife wasn't bad as britpop goes, but their earlier stuff deserves serious recognition. Seems they just recently reformed too, so they might be getting some finally after 20 years.

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metroplex
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:04 pm 
 

I always prefered Blur over Oasis. Blur's latest album is amazing, Damon Albarn is a genius.

Nirvana was awesome, maybe bigger than they deserved but still a good band. I didn't give a fuck about their image or what they represented. To me, it was all about the music. Yeah their lyrics were terrible, but i don't care about lyrics in my music.

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Unity
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:57 pm 
 

Oasis were really annoying, always saying in interviews that they were the greatest band in the world... And I too can't stand Liam Gallagher's nasal voice!
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Cosmic_Equilibrium
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:27 pm 
 

Nirvana's brilliance lies in the knack that Cobain had a phenomenal talent for writing what were essentially good memorable rock songs with huge hooks. He seemed to be in some dilemma over the clash between this and his more punk/indie roots but he had a natural genius for melodic sensibility and it really shows, despite the overlaying of more chaotic and rougher elements in the music. There is a good deal of punk/indie/avant garde rock influence in Nirvana but there is also a huge helping of classic 70s rock in their sound and it was that which underpinned their mainstream appeal.

As for underrated bands of the 90s, I'll have to go with The Offspring. Their output for the whole decade was pretty stellar in quality. Ignition is a very consistent, rewarding album but Smash and Ixnay On The Hombre are quite frankly outright classics and TBH I prefer them to almost any other punk rock albums. I just love those records. They are unbelievably consistent, just brilliant songwriting and hooks throughout, incredible energy and a real ability to tap into the darker side of California. Two of the best albums of the decade, without question. Americana is not quite as good but it's still a pretty decent record and Pay The Man at the end of it [which was originally recorded for Ixnay] is unlike anything else most bands in the 90s seemed to do and is amazing. Another point that raises is that The Offspring were quite fond of using Eastern scales and melodies in their sound which gave them a further edge over their contemporaries.

Sadly, after Americana their songwriting fell off completely and it's just never returned. Occasionally they will write a half decent track but the whole vibe they had in the 90s just isn't there anymore, at least not in the studio setting. They do still deliver the goods live though.

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Cosmic_Equilibrium
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:34 pm 
 

Also, regarding the Smashing Pumpkins, I can see why they annoy some people - Corgan is a somewhat polarising figure - but I think they deserve a lot of credit for Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. Not many bands in the 90s had the guts to go all out for a proper old-school 70s double album that sprawls across two hours plus, and even less had the ability to pull it off like Corgan and co. did. There are some not so gripping tracks here and there but on the whole it's an unapologetically ambitious cornucopia of songwriting and creative effort that carries a certain weight and grandeur to it and by God it works. Perhaps the last time any mainstream rock band managed to pull something like this off.

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Ancient_Mariner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:38 pm 
 

I was never a huge Nirvana fan but I've got a couple albums. I'll call them overrated to me now just because it sounds like crybaby bullshit to me these days. I'm in my 40's and not angsty and the lyrics say almost nothing to me anymore. And the music itself is nothing special. Pearl Jam is the same but to a lesser degree, at least they had good guitar playing.

Underrated I'd go with...hell I don't know. Any bands I do kind of like still are not underrated, and most of the 90's rock I don't listen to anymore. 70's for me all the way baby!

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into_the_pit
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:14 am 
 

I basically spent most of the 90's exploring black metal (and have been ever since) and didn't pay much attention to how those records were received, but nirvana definitely delivered one of the greatest mainstream rock records of the decade with never mind. that album is pretty much perfect (even though I really came to appreciate it in full much later). their unplugged album is amazing as well.
three of my all-time fave records are nirvana's never mind, rage against the machine's s/t and body count's s/t. these three are really flawless in my book.
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metroplex
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:56 pm 
 

In Utero shits all over Nevermind.

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Cosmic_Equilibrium
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:18 pm 
 

Nevermind is the more consistent album but In Utero's high points are higher.

My favourite Nirvana record is the Unplugged one though, I just think that's brilliant. From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah is a good companion piece to it, showing the other side of the band.

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godsonsafari
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:52 pm 
 

U2 in the 90s was basically garbage. Pop is unlistenable self-indulgent trash, made worse by it being a supposed statement against that. As far as a band with both popular and critical applause, they're way up there for me in the overrated bin. Oasis is there too. Actually, I can't stand almost any Britpop acts.

Underrated: That's a tougher one because most of the bands I'd mention get referenced over and over again on this. I guess I'd pick Screaming Trees or Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
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Ancient_Mariner
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:21 pm 
 

I do like Sweet Oblivion. Good record.

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alexo666
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:32 pm 
 

Underrated: Helmet, AFI (pre Sing the Sorrow), Failure, Toadies

Overrated: GREEN DAY

I never understood the "STP sounds like everyone else" talk.
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twistedknife
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:29 pm 
 

I'm a big Nirvana fan. I agree that Kurt Cobain's musicianship was lackluster, but his songwriting was genius.

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Niklas Sanger
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:31 am 
 

To me mainstream rock music as a whole died in the 90's, so naturally I consider most of those bands "overated". I consider myself a general fan of rock music until the 90's, then its onto extreme metal and some progressive rock.

And no I'm not one of those guys who hates grunge and Nirvana, those bands had their charms and its cool that they "killed" glam rock but its like those types of bands never really died out, now you have a million Eddie Vedder wannabes and this whole idea that you don't have to be good at music at all and advance beyond garage band stuff, its terrible and gave birth to the hipster movement.

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acid_bukkake
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:01 am 
 

Hipsters pre-date grunge, brah.
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Niklas Sanger
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:03 am 
 

Maybe I misworded that, there may have always been "hipsters" in one form or another and college/indie rock was a thing in the 80's, but I feel like when grunge cane around suddenly all rock music had to be like that, and a lot of that mindset still carries over today.

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Numerator_41
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:18 am 
 

Liquid_Braino wrote:
Overrated: Oasis were monsters in the 90's, especially with that second album of theirs. Personally, I liked the Gallagher brothers as famous smarmy assholes moreso than for their music. I hated Liam's vocals, which is why I could only tolerate "Don't Look Back in Anger" thanks to Noel singing. But man, singing along to their dumb WTF lyrics in a pub...Jesus. They had a real "bloated" sound too, hard to explain really. My least favorite of all those 90's britpop acts.


It's because the mastering on their records is fucking ridiculous. They layered like a half a dozen guitars playing the same thing and then cranked them up as loud as they would go, which gets completely out of control when they started adding additional string instruments and shit. It's just a massive, stagnant loudness with no dynamics whatsoever.

That said, I like the first two Oasis albums and the b-sides from that period. It might not make sense, but it seems to me like Oasis was so overrated that they are underrated in 2016. There are few bands that attract such intense vitriol from underground music communities of any type, and at least in America, they are just associated with douchebags playing Wonderwall on acoustic guitar.
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iAm
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:06 pm 
 

My Bloody Valentine lives up to all the positive acclaim they've gotten from magazines like Pitchfork etc. Loveless is one of the best albums of the 90s, what a massive wall of sound.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:14 am 
 

^I think Loveless is catchy but suffers from a problem a lot of the bands form the 90's had. They were a wall of sound, and that got old fairly fast. There wasn't enough dynamic change in song structure in the 90's in my opinion. Yes, I know people praise Nirvana for their "Bang-Stop-Bang" style of playing, but they were changing moods more than they were changing volume, tone, tempo, or production style.

That being said, I find a lot of 90's bands overrated, but none that I can really think back to and go they seriously should have gotten less attention. Most of the bigge- nevermind, I just listened to Bush which was mentioned above. Shit, fuck that.

For underrated, three things come to mind: Pavement, Sparklehorse, and Slint. All totally stunning bands.

Ever go to crowded basement shows on the fringes of college neighborhood communities, where everyone is pretty drunk and sleazy but somewhat musically informed and trying to enjoy themselves in front of a good show consisting of a few poor musicians with poor gear, low gain, and depressed vocals? Pavement is that, only they nailed it 25 years early and are pretty much the apex of that kind of scene.

Slint's Spiderland was a real masterpiece, very dynamic and hypnotic. This was one of the best attempts at creating very emotional music with the contemporary rock sound at the time. That's about all there is to say though, because I don't think they did anything else besides that one album.

Sparklehorse I could go on and on about for days. Just listen to Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot and tell me you've heard a better produced alternative album that draws in influences from southern rock.

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Lord_Jotun
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:00 am 
 

Cosmic_Equilibrium wrote:
Nevermind is the more consistent album but In Utero's high points are higher.


Very true. A shame we never got to hear where they could have gone afterwards. In his last interviews Cobain was hinting at something decidedly less abrasive and more acoustic, and considering how nice Unplugged turned out it's a damn shame.
Nirvana, like Oasis, seems to me to be a band which is overrated for the wrong reasons: lots of hype, too little attention towards the actual music. Oh, and fuck Oasis too for breaking up right after managing their best record since the first three; nothing Beady Eye nor Noel's Stupidly Named Solo Project have put out has come close to that.

The Smashing Pumpkins can qualify as both overrated and underrated as they have this knack for being so gicantically inconsistent, as in capable of skipping between emotionally gripping and superbly constructed material to vapid, snooze-inducing, self-congratulatory horseshit from one song to the other.
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SlevinKelevra
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:02 pm 
 

Just one riff...one rifff. One rifffff....

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volutetheswarth
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:54 am 
 

Underrated: Whoever said Failure and Morphine are right on the money.

Overrated: Counting Crows. Soulless garbage music designed to be as inoffensive as possible, sell records and be played in retail stores.

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quickbeam
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:09 am
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:53 am 
 

I'm a big Radiohead fan, but I have to say that Radiohead is the most overrated 90's rock band. 'OK Computer' is considered one of the greatest albums ever by countless fans and critics; I mean, it's a good album but come on. And then 'The Bends' is considered almost as good - this amazes me. 'The Bends' is a worthless album. Radiohead became great from 2000 on.

I'd say most British rock music from the 90's is overrated. Massive Attack pissed all over those bands, and that's by only using a couple of rock riffs in a couple of different songs.

I'd say that Pavement and Sonic Youth's 90's stuff is quite underrated, certainly in Britain.

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Lord_Jotun
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:02 pm
Posts: 2590
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:05 pm 
 

I absolutely adore Radiohead and even I would agree they used to be overrated beyond belief. Still like The Bends, though :(

Funny you should mention British rock and then Pavement shortly afterwards: the first time I heard their name was due to their sound being a massive influence of Blur's self-titled album!
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metroplex
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:28 am
Posts: 933
Location: Peru
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:30 pm 
 

Fuck off, OK Computer and The Bends are masterpieces.

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quickbeam
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:09 am
Posts: 104
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:26 pm 
 

I'm surprised to find acceptance of 'The Bends' on MA. We'll be singing the praises of Coldplay next.

Are the Stone Roses considered a rock band? Because they're another massively over-hyped band in Britain, who are still regularly played in public spaces as if it's acceptable.

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chaossphere
Metal Lunatic

Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 11:49 pm
Posts: 4829
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:16 am 
 

Not sure if they count as overrated but Hootie And The Blowfish sure did suck a lotta dick.
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