In the wake of the showerless grunge exfoliation of the early '90s, a slew of post-grunge bands emerged with diluted ditties filled with watered-down lyrics, all seemingly revolving around suffering through romance. Based on the endless stream of crap these bands churned out, these test tube babies were clearly breastfed on Soylent Green. Keep reading for the ten shittiest post-grunge bands.
See also: The ten shittiest nu metal bands
10. Candlebox Jumping on the grunge bandwagon a year before Cobain's death, Candlebox achieved radio hits like "You" and "Far Behind," spitting up new pop-filled grunge and turning up the agony of love lyrics to charm romantics. Along with signing with Madonna's label (Whaaat?!), this was new evidence that major labels were acting like girlfriends: making them get more professional day jobs in the mainstream, scrubbing the grunge away and sneaking Prozac into their morning coffee. This humdrum transformation was the height of the band's downhill career, sticking to the same skim milk formula, lacking any versatility and creativity when it came to songwriting.
9. Three Days Grace A cultivator of radio-friendly music, Three Days Grace's sound is clearly a diluted swallow of post-grunge bands from the '90s, like little brothers following in big brother's footsteps. Trying to put on a front as an aggressive alternative rock band, they could at least beef up their songwriting with a stronger structure, lyrics that don't immediately go out the other ear and riffs that don't sound like their last song -- and the song before that, and the song before that.
8. 3 Doors Down 3 Doors Down is a step away from a Taylor Swift country-pop rope burn. The band holds itself back from roping in authenticity with its sound, churning out three chord riffs, Matchbox Twenty vocals and songs you forget by the next song. "Kryptonite" was one of those songs radio stations couldn't stop playing, and if you've already unintentionally heard it a million times, you've already reached the peak of this band who has only focused on snagging hit singles instead of creating quality albums.
7. Finger Eleven With eleven fingers you'd think Finger Eleven would shred a better guitar instead of sounding like they play with one finger. This band took post-grunge on a wrong turn down to an unrecognizable stripped quarry sound of pop rock. What kind of music is "Paralyzer" (the video above)? Dance pop/rock pumping off of the same vein of Kiss's disco rock? It's a song leads you to the dance floor with two left feet and eleven fingers, but kicks you back out with clashing cheesy pick-up line lyrics: "Well, I'm not paralyzed/But I seem to be struck by you/I want to make you move/Because you're standing still." Bleck!
6. Bush Bush stepped out from across the pond in England and invaded American airwaves within months of the fall of grunge. The first big post-grunge band to swoop in and dramatically change the image of grunge, Bush swooned all the ladies with a dreamy frontman who looked like that one dick from high school. With each progressive album, Edward Scissorhands couldn't have trimmed bigger chunks of their sound with any more precision than their already minimalistic guitar and lyrics with random phrasings of nonsense.
5. Live Okay, technically these doofuses emerged during the grunge era, but Live didn't really take flight until after. By then it had honed its already empty sound with lyrics that were trying to be poetic, but came off as an over-dramatization. The band's songs were like pseudo pop poetry that was too generic for a poetry café, yet too weird for mainstream. Live was just another in the wave of acts that labels tried to cash in hoping it would be the next Nirvana, not aware that they had already strangled the essence of grunge.
4. Puddle of Mudd Still an existing band, it's surprising Puddle of Mudd hasn't completely dried up by now with its regurgitated soup of absolutely shittiness. This band rolled in with an even more watered down post-grunge sound than most but it was just in time to sell albums like the rest of them. The name is fitting: Mudd backwards is about what you'd expect from a band signed to Fred Durst's label.
3. Lifehouse At the frayed corners past the ass end of post-grunge, even newly developing brains could tell something hideous was breathing its last breath of air into music with Lifehouse. By early 2000, a good dark thing like grunge was cleaned up to a bad light-blinding sub-subset. Band's like Lifehouse couldn't have torn down any more of grunge's sound and groundbreaking structure to appeal more to the masses without crumbling to a pile of dust.
2. Creed If Creed could really stop time like it does in that one video, maybe the dudes could find the time to realize they are singing the wrath of God to their followers. Who crowd surfs to Creed? Really? Can you take them higher with arms wide open? No, really. It's not a trick question. Please, sweet Jesus, take them up well above the clouds.
1. Nickelback No shit, song-searching Sherlock. No monocle was needed to see this one coming. This band is the undisputed, reigning, featherweight champion, douche, punching bags of post-grunge. Monkeys playing bagpipes, banjos and violins make better music than these dudes. Sex and rock and roll have gone together since grandpas and grandmas roamed the earth, but Nickelback's lyrics objectify women with an overabundance of confidence and diabolical laughter. The weird thing is that their female fans haven't slapped them back for this behavior. Nickelback's musicianship is as annoyingly noisy as American travelers, yet as dull as dishwater.