There have been a lot of bands in the history of the universe and most of them, at one point or another, have broken up. Surprisingly, we've found the majority of them have reformed despite themselves. Another surprise is the amount of bands still playing -- Better Than Ezra, Seven Mary Three, the Troggs, and the Zombies -- despite their lack of a mass audience. Last week, we waxed on our dream reunions. This week, we offer up ten bands we think should just stay dead, for one reason or another.
10. Cop Shoot Cop (1987-1996): If Cop Shoot Cop was going to reunite, it likely would have come hot off the heels of "Migration" being used in a 2005 Nike commercial. You never know with these rock and rollers, though. On a whim with any cause whatsoever, they'll decide to reform. Weirdly, the band dissolved because they started becoming a more stereotypical rock band. This means if they would reunite there would be the difficult decision of whether or not to invite one-time guitarist Steven McMillan on the tour (for those unaware, the band used two bass players, keyboards and drums and prided itself on its lack of guitar).
9. Funkadelic (1970-1981): The reason Funkadelic doesn't exist anymore isn't because the band broke up. George Clinton and many of the others are still working together in a number of facets. The reason they broke up is because Clinton was through with rock music. As much as we'd love to see Funkadelic play again, the R&B and rock mixture is what made it interesting. Seeing it now would likely be a funk and R&B driven reunion that wouldn't do the original lineup justice.
8. Mr. Bungle (1985-2004): Faith No More has reunited, so why not Mr. Bungle? Well, Mike Patton has given an excellent reason on why a Mr. Bungle reunion wouldn't be worth seeing: "It could happen, but I won't be singing." That might sound like a great idea to some, but Mr. Bungle fans likely would be a bit disappointed without the crackling-howling-vibrating tongue of Mike Patton spitting on the microphone.
7. The Wipers (1977-2001): There are some bands best left untouched by time. The Wipers are one of those bands. They've had plenty of opportunities to reunite with recent reissues, or the call to tour with Nirvana, but the band always denied these chances. It says something for the way they operated and despite being cited as an influence by Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., the Melvins and others, they've always kept away from the spotlight. A reunion would just be ill fitting.
6. Man is the Bastard (1991-1997): It's arguable that experimentation can only really happen once, but we think with a group like Man is the Bastard this is the case. If the members were to reunite under the moniker again it would likely feel forced, almost uneven. They broke up in 1997 and splintered off into their own individual projects because the group effort had reached a bit of a standstill (after all there is only so much one can do with the punk-noise-experimental format).
5. Guided by Voices (1983-1994): It's rare a band is so self-aware of their imminent demise that they plan a series of events that leads them to go out in style. Guided by Voices knew their time was up, playing a final hurrah of a four hour, 63 song marathon. If that wasn't enough, the whole thing was filmed and released on DVD as The Electrifying Conclusion. We're not sure how much more final than that you could possibly get. Besides, Robert Pollard's solo career is almost indistinguishable from Guided by Voices, so really it's like the band never broke up to begin with.
4. Jawbreaker (1988-1996): We're well aware that we're going to get a bit of flack for this one as Jawbreaker is the apple of so many people's eyes. It's natural that one of the bands that spawned so many hated tween-pop-punk acts would reunite to spite the kids, to perhaps pay tribute to the fans rather than themselves, but the reunion wouldn't hold the same sense of urgency that the band once had. Jawbreaker thrived on its fear of the unknown, depression and youthful anxiety. Seeing a bunch of college professors and people with their PhD playing these same songs would just be awkward.
3. Slowdive (1989-1995): If the My Bloody Valentine reunion didn't already blow out your eardrums or if Jesus and Mary Chain's reunion in 2007 wasn't enough, you might be thinking you'd like to see Slowdive reform. The members of Slowdive made a conscious decision in 1995 to change the name and direction of the band to Mojave 3. Asking them to step backwards in time to their youthful shoegaze days just seems counterproductive.
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2. The Smiths (1982-1987): There have been a lot of performing acts that do a lot of strange things on stage, from eating one's own vomit to drinking an audience member's urine. There is one thing we'd rather not see if at all possible and that's what Morrisey would have to do if The Smiths reformed: "I'd rather eat my own testicles than reform The Smiths, and that's saying something for a vegetarian." So, is that the name of the next album?
1. Refused (1991-1998): Most people won't dispute The Shape of Punk to Come is one of the seminal hardcore releases of all time. You'd think the looming dollar bills would be enough to reform this notoriously Marxist group, wouldn't you? Combined with crushing hardcore fans nostalgia for a great band (on record anyway), a reunion would subtract from the appeal of the awesomely named documentary Refused Are Fucking Dead.