[In the hugely entertaining documentary series Metal Evolution, there’s a special branch reserved on the metal family tree for “Post-Grunge,” that nebulous brand of hard rock that emerged almost immediately after Nevermind hit #1—and hasn’t disappeared from the charts since. “Post-grunge” (also known as “grunge lite,” “fake grunge,” or simply “crap”) borrows liberally from the sound of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and/or Alice In Chains to create a sound that feels like the real thing, despite not having a shred of originality anywhere in its DNA. Unsurprisingly, radio programmers ate this recycled mess up for decades.
Can I defend any of these acts? Not really—at least not in their original “post-grunge” guises. But do some still possess a certain nostalgic charm? Of course, especially when you compare the goofy earnestness of a one-hit wonder like Sponge with the grim, by-the-numbers plodding of today’s rock radio landscape. Hell, I even get nostalgic for Bush every once in a while. How screwed up is that?
So below, please enjoy a roughly chronological rundown of the era’s “greatest” post-grunge acts. Bad as they were back then, even the biggest offenders now seem less repulsive in hindsight.
Except for Nickelback. Those guys are still f—n’ terrible.]
An entirely-major-label-created “band” built around Kurt Cobain doppelganger Wes Scantlin, P.O.M. achieved insane levels of success in late 2001 thanks to one kind benefactor, who not only discovered and signed them, but even directed the video below! (Hint: His name rhymes with Dead Worst!)
Fun Fact: The Muddsters followed up their giant hit with the nearly-as-giant “She Hates Me,” officially becoming the first act in history to glean inspiration from the oeuvre of Ugly Kid Joe.
What’s the simplest way to ensure your fifteen minutes of post-grunge fame? If you’re Oleander, simply “borrow” the opening of “Heart-Shaped Box” for your own “original” composition, and presto! Instant #3 Mainstream Rock hit!
Fun Fact: There is nothing fun about Oleander.
See “Days Of The New” listing, Day 4.
Fun Fact: Historians have determined that the first Tantric album (titled Tantric) bears a closer resemblance to the first Days Of The New album (titled Days Of The New) than does the second Days Of The New album (titled Days Of The New). Discuss.