The Best Embarassing Rock Music Of The Early 2000s

2000-2004. My high school years. They also coincided with the release of some of the most embarrassing awesome!! rock music of my lifetime. I’ll be honest – I was hating on these bands last night at the bar, but while compiling this list I was kind of confronted by the fact that I genuinely like a lot of these songs. They’re embarrassing now, but at the time people liked this music. I liked this music. My adolescent years wouldn’t have been the same without these bands. I liked headbanging and black nail polish and like, wearing plaid. These bands gave me something to listen to while I Wednesday Addams’ed the eff out. I know I’m not alone here. Right?

Band: P.O.D.

Featured Song: Alive

P.O.D., aka TEAM EXTREME, was known for I guess, these sort of troubled youth anthems. “Alive” had strong spiritual/religious undertones – a very “So grateful to be here, I feel you God” vibe which, if I’m honest, made me feel a bit uncomfortable. But like hell if I didn’t get all “P.O.D. is on, turn it up!” Because I did. “Alive” makes me think of an extreme sports bro who’s about to embark on some really dangerous and unique skateboard trick. I think it was featured in a Gatorade commercial once, so that might be where I got that impression.

Band: Papa Roach

Featured Song: Last Resort

I didn’t want to pick “Last Resort” – my favorite song by Papa Roach (yes, I just said that) is “Between Angels and Insects,” that song used to make me rally hard. But “Last Resort” became a meme so I’m basically required by internet law to mention it here. One of my most popular Tumblr posts is a visual play on the song’s lyrics (Cut my frog into pieces/This is my lab report; Cut my life into peaches/This is my last fruit tart; Cut my life into pizza/This is my plastic fork). Thanks, Papa Roach!

Band: Disturbed

Featured Song: Stupify

Of all of the bands on this list, I think Disturbed is the poster band of this era. They were the band you listened to when you wanted to like, punch the headrest of the seat in front of you in a moving car. I almost feel badly choosing one song of theirs – “Down with the Sickness” and “Are You Breathing” are both as worthy of a headbang as “Stupify,” but if I break the rules for one band, I have to break them for all the bands, and that’s time consuming, and I’d like to write something today that doesn’t make me quake with shame.

This just in: Disturbed is still really important, so I can’t embed their video. Enjoy the scrolling lyrics.

Band: Drowning Pool

Featured Song: Bodies

This video. GOOD GOD, this video.

Band: Mudvayne

Featured Song: Dig

You know that South Park episode, “Simpsons did it”? Replace “Simpsons” with “Slipknot” and you have my thoughts on Mudvayne. Still, “Dig” broke my neck a couple of times.

Band: Nickleback

Featured Song: Leader of Men

Before “How You Remind Me” (which I will tip my hat to, love that song), there was “Leader of Men,” Nickleback’s greatest song that no one has ever heard. I learned of it from a compilation CD I’d gotten for free at – you guessed it! – Hot Topic. It was their first single. I play this song like it’s a party trick sometimes – “Hey guys, gather round and check out this one time Nickleback actually NAILED IT!” Try it, you’ll thank me.

Band: Adema

Featured Song: Giving In

The intro to “Giving In” is just kind of haunting and amazing. The vocals are a bit whiny, but that was kind of the jam back then. I remember KoRn (pretend that R is backwards) had something to do with putting Adema together, but Wikipedia is failing me at the moment. Adema had one other song I can remember, “The Way You Like It,” but it’s a far cry from their freshman single.

Band: Staind

Featured Song: For You

Staind’s first two singles made me want to light a candle and hang myself (“Outside,” anyone?) but “For You” was the kind of gritty, anti-parent anthem that possibly manic depressive teenagers like myself LIVE FOR. Parents just don’t understand.

Band: Puddle of Mudd

Featured Song: Control

The one thing that regularly pissed me off about Puddle of Mudd was that people would label their songs as “Nirvana” on Napster and it was like, Really? You can’t tell the difference there? That genuinely worries me. That hurts my feelings.

Band: Crazytown

Featured Song: Butterfly

What’d you expect? Did Crazytown have any other songs? (I was going to snarkily refer to their second single here, but I can’t remember what it was. Even with YouTube aid. Sad.com.) I actually requested that a DJ play this song last night. Two other people were excited about it. One of them was my roommate.

Band: Alien Ant Farm

Featured Song: Movies

Alien Ant Farm is better known for their cover of “Smooth Criminal,” but I can’t get down with that. “Movies” was a pretty enjoyable song and appeared on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 soundtrack, another relic from my youth.

Band: Limp Bizkit

Featured Song: Break Stuff

I initially didn’t think Limp Bizkit belonged on this list. THEY ARE STILL THAT RELEVANT IN MY HEART. Then I got real existential with it and realized that people who are in high school now probably have no goddamn idea Limp Bizkit ever existed. Anyway, chose “Break Stuff” because, as I’m starting to come to terms with, I was really angry in high school?

Band: Sum 41

Featured Song: Fatlip

I remember being really excited about Sum 41 – a welcome reprieve from all of the aggression-soaked tunes I was jamming to. Yeah I was ridden with angst for the most part, but some days I wanted to go to a pool party with my skater boyfriend and just chill, you know?

Band: Finger Eleven

Featured Song: Paralyzer

Okay, “Paralyzer” didn’t happen while I was in high school. But Finger Eleven did. I just really like this song, it is the musical incarnation of whoever the hottest/cheesiest person I’ve ever hooked up with is. Plus, it makes my roommate cringe really hard, so there’s that added benefit.

Shout outs to Rammstein, System of a Down, The Offspring, Blink 182, Weezer, KoRn, The White Stripes, CKY, The Strokes and Slipknot. You weren’t quite embarrassing enough (well, maybe KoRn was), but it wouldn’t have been the same without you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Amazon

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