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. TC mark

image – Amazon

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  • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson

    these are all good songs

  • http://nyzms.com Nizam Sulaiman

    I love all these songs!!

  • http://nyzms.com Nizam Sulaiman

    I love all these songs!!

  • http://nyzms.com Nizam Sulaiman

    I love all these songs!!

  • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

    i hate you but only because these are all  in my “GRRRRRRRR $%!+ FUCK” playlist for when I’m teenangsting at the world. Ugh, so embarrassing. 

  • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

    i hate you but only because these are all  in my “GRRRRRRRR $%!+ FUCK” playlist for when I’m teenangsting at the world. Ugh, so embarrassing. 

  • http://twitter.com/amanda_silvas Amanda Silvas

    Guilty pleasures FOR SURE. 

  • http://rayguntest.tumblr.com Raegan

    haha Finger Eleven. Oh dear.

  • http://rayguntest.tumblr.com Raegan

    haha Finger Eleven. Oh dear.

  • katie

    I recently remembered Alien Ant Farm’s “Movies” for the first time since hearing it on THPS3 in 8th grade.. Man.

  • http://twitter.com/bowendesign Benedict Bowen

    Good grief I felt old reading this. Try the early nineties. Now there’s some cringe-worthy stuff there, although admittedtly I can’t think of anything quite as bad as Limp Bizkit.

    Except maybe Stiltskin; Inside. Oh and Babylon Zoo; Spaceman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Serna/508558945 Paul Serna

    I think back fondly on these songs all the time. I guess you just grow out of ozzfest bands after high school.

  • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

    Honorable mentions: Crawling in the Dark by Hoobastank; the entire Hybrid Theory album.

    • Anonymous

      “FEAR IS HOW I FALLLLLL CONFUSING WHAT IS RE-ALLLLL, OHH AHHH”

      no lie, listend to that album last weekend…. by myself getting ready…. and then decided not to go out.

      • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

        BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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        BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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        BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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        BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • http://twitter.com/McJenna Jenna McBride

    I’m really flashing back, thanks to this post. I was a 99-03 high schooler. I’m pretty sure I had a lot of deep conversations about most of these songs with my Soph. year boyfriend. We really bonded over this trash.

  • Josh Gondelman

    No Linkin Park? Come on, now! 
    And you call this list angsty!

  • Heather Goetz

    I have all of these songs.  I had a similar thought of how angry I was in high school while going through itunes to see what I haven’t listened to in ages and these all popped up.  Glad that’s over but I still pull out “Break Stuff” on a REALLY bad day

  • Embarrassed

    Having just broken up with a member of an aforementioned band, I sincerely appreciated the laugh. Cut my frog into pieces? Priceless.

    • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      This comment!!!! This comment for president!!!!

    • katie

      AMAZING

    • katie

      AMAZING

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  • http://twitter.com/HyperChildRach HyperChildRach

    man I love all of these songs, I wish I was in high school when they had first been released, and you’d be surprised how many high schoolers do know limp bikit, I have lots of friends who know who they are and I’m only just 19… I’m gonna have to go listen to some more embarassingly great rock music from this time now.

  • http://twitter.com/HyperChildRach HyperChildRach

    man I love all of these songs, I wish I was in high school when they had first been released, and you’d be surprised how many high schoolers do know limp bikit, I have lots of friends who know who they are and I’m only just 19… I’m gonna have to go listen to some more embarassingly great rock music from this time now.

  • Jyergs89

    I actually enjoyed seeing the old Eminem (and other characters) in the Break Stuff video. Also, what about Linkin Park? totally defined those years for me ha!

  • Jyergs89

    I actually enjoyed seeing the old Eminem (and other characters) in the Break Stuff video. Also, what about Linkin Park? totally defined those years for me ha!

  • http://mrianmbelcurry.tumblr.com/ Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

    thats cool you played TOny Hawk skateboarding. I called it TOny Crack. I played 3 and 4 for 4-5 hours sessions for 3-4 month period. I would get dehydarted and spun from clicking the buttons a millions times. Luckily I only had access to a PS-2 or whatever for 3-4 months.

    • http://twitter.com/mung_beans Mung Beans

      someone left a playstation and Pro Skater in the lounge of one of the dorms in college (not my dorm) and I slept in there for like a week and didn’t go to any of my classes

      Makes me want to listen to that Goldfinger song.  

  • http://mrianmbelcurry.tumblr.com/ Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

    thats cool you played TOny Hawk skateboarding. I called it TOny Crack. I played 3 and 4 for 4-5 hours sessions for 3-4 month period. I would get dehydarted and spun from clicking the buttons a millions times. Luckily I only had access to a PS-2 or whatever for 3-4 months.

  • Guest

    That cockroach makes me want to vom all over your nostalgia.

  • Guest

    That cockroach makes me want to vom all over your nostalgia.

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