Just to clarify, weird does not necessarily mean bad. On the contrary it actually means something fantastic. Being weird is such a unique and sought after feature. If your weird, it probably means your interesting. You know what’s not interesting? Normal stuff. Normal stuff gets really boring, really quickly. Normal people like normal stuff. Normal people make up the majority of our society, and define what’s popular and what’s not. Normal people made Nickelback a popular band. Normal people made taxes. Normal people made Project Runway. Fuck normal people. You know what weird people have done? The Snuggie. Wayne’s World. Cookies with M’n’M’s AND chocolate chips. How awesome are those things?! Weird people are the saviours of the universe. And weird people make the best music. Here is the Top 10 weirdest bands.
10. Portishead-Where would humanity be without trip-hop? Probably in a better place. That doesn’t mean that the trio out of Bristol that made up Portishead weren’t brilliant musicians. With their rolling, lolling ambience, balanced rhythms pushed over by Beth Gibbon’s absolutely stunning vocals. Portishead were always an artistic band, always delving into the studio, and fishing out something extraordinary and different. Portishead also have the brilliant combination of painting gloomy, post-apocalytpic self-portraits with their music, reflective as a stilted pond, and yet remain enticing and edgy at all times. Honestly, that description usually applies to the majority of terrible metal bands out there, and I guarantee nobody listens to those bands for more than a few seconds, and none of them are even remotely edgy or enticing.
9. Les Savy Fav: Les Savy Fav are probably the most straightforward of bands on this list. Of course, in this context, straightforward means as crooked as a sign warning of the dangers of dyslexia. Les Savy Fav are constantly churning out interesting post-punk melodies, and their albums are all brilliant, cohesive messes. The greatest thing about the band is their lyrics though. The lyrics are twisted, metaphorical bodies that require multiple listens to even remotely understand. I’ve listened to ‘The Year Before the Year 2000’ about 40 times, and I think I’m finally figuring out what it’s about. There are just too many layers of irony and context! Also, I’ve heard they’re a diverse and entertaining live band, and well worth checking out.
8. The Black Angels- A psyched out, diverse platter is served before you with The Black Angels. Although their name holds certain negative connotations, a.k.a death metal band, The Black Angels only similarities with that of some atrocious death metal band is that you can barely understand the lyrics. When the singer isn’t moaning and groaning, then it’s a just audible mutter that is snapped up by the next barely mumbled phrase. What takes centre stage with The Black Angels is their expansive sound. They sound as if their playing in a giant stadium, and the acoustics are bouncing around everywhere, and then they manipulate it into a tightly wound, psychedelic warp that could barely fit into a manhole.
7. Liars- A Liars song is a lot like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get. Will it be a full on frontal assualt, that barrages your senses with mindless noise, as in ‘Loose Nuts on the Veladrome’? Or will it be a single droning note, spoken out over a didgeridoo in the background, as in ‘Let’s Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack’? Or will it be a brushed out, gothic, epic masterpiece, like ‘We Fenced Other Gardens With The Bones Of Our Own’? The only way to find out is to steel yourself and put on a record and hope you aren’t blown away by Liars’ attempt on dubbed-techno, as in ‘They Don’t Want Your Corn-They Want Your Kids’.
6. Boris- The only band on this list that doesn’t have English as their first language. Surprisingly, when they do sing in English, they sing a hell of a lot better than most of the so-called ‘stars’ of todays generation, and with lyrics that semi make sense. Boris like to do things in extreme, often switching from one side of the spectrum to the complete opposite between albums. Whilst ‘Attention Please’ is very psychedelic and tame in comparison, and focuses on female vocals, the records ‘Heavy Rock’ and ‘Smile’ are completely fervent and hair-raising, featuring some of the most complex guitar work I’ve ever heard, and composing a distinguished stoner rock sound, something I never thought I’d ever hear.
5. Ween: Ween are fucking weird. As in, taping down dead rats to fireworks, and clapping gleefully as their eyes explode weird. Not to give a negative impression. Ween are just really hard to listen to. Most of their songs feature completely random and sporadic changes in instrumentation, tempo and style. The songs can range between a minute long, to nearly 9 minutes. This being said, Ween are so interesting. If you can finally get into them, you will reach a whole new appreciation for their music. It also helps if your on at least 5 different types of drugs. To start with, try ‘God Ween Satan: The Oneness’ and ‘Chocolate and Cheese’, Ween’s more mainstream work, the latter which featured the hit ‘The HIV Song‘. If you can dig this stuff, then try a bit more of their weirder stuff.
4. Beck- Beck is one of the most talented individuals in music today. He’s been going strong since 1993, with the release of his hit song ‘Loser‘, and produced hit after hit album. He is currently in the process of releasing his 12th album. Just to establish how weird he is, it’s coming in the form of a song booklet, for the fan to deconstruct and compose the music themselves, so as to add personal and unique flavour to Beck’s new songs. Beck has flitted from style to style through the years, never remaining stationary, and always staying interesting and contemporary. He was one of the first white people to fully embrace hip-hop, loops, and rap and co-incedentally made it huge with his album ‘Odelay’. He only relies on himself, and makes the majority of his music for himself, and has barely been influenced by outside factors. Lastly, he’s a Scientologist. It explains a lot.
3. Modest Mouse- Although they’ve flattened out their weird streak recently, Modest Mouse are one of the strangest, moulding sources of sound in contemporary music. The only thing weirder than their music is their durability,as they’ve been building their fan base slowly but steadily in the 19 years they’ve been together. Their music is full of surprise instruments, and Modest Mouse have never shied away from experimenting with old kinds of styles from blues and roots, to classical, to folk, to post-punk. A scan at the instruments shows evidence of organ, horns, banjo, fiddle and too many others to mention. Isaac Brock is the main idea’s man behind the band, and his warbling voice provides most of the distinct sound for Modest Mouse, along with their plucky, shifting style of music. Isaac’s voice is like the ugly duckling, beautiful in it’s own way; unbearable to listen to, yet impossible to tear yourself away from.
2. Sonic Youth- There have been many re-incarnations of Sonic Youth. They’ve been art-house, they’ve been grunge, they’ve been noise, they’ve been psychedelic, progressive rock, punk, post-punk, and garage. Most of all, they’ve always been insanely popular. They represent the underdogs, they outcasts, the rejects. They proved you can take a garage band, mix in some feisty boy-girl vocal dynamics, a whole hell of bass, mix it with punk and DIY ideology and sprinkle fantastic guitar work over it and produce one of the most endearing bands of the century. It’s not only critics and fans that think this. Sonic Youth’s landmark album Daydream Nation is one of the only rock records to be considered culturally significant enough to be placed in the Library of Congress’ historical records. Their scuzzy, dirty (intentional pun), and rash blend of every genre has made them the most beloved weird band on the planet. P.S All the individual members are genius. Check out any solo record by any member of the band, especially Thurston Moore. Oh how I adore that man.
1. The Flaming Lips: Wayne Coyne by himself warrants an entry on this list. He poses naked for Twitter photos, empties the physical blood of his collaborators into his record and sports and absolutely insane hairdo. But we’re here to talk about his fabulous band: The Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips don’t just embrace their weirdness. They are weirdness personified. Not afraid to do anything, The Flaming Lips constantly challenge themselves and the norm by providing an audience with sprawling album after album, and have searched and investigated every them under the sun, and turned it into a majestical song. It helps that not one, but two of their albums, ‘At War With The Mystics’ and ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ are two of the greatest albums to ever be recorded in human history. The ultimate weirdo’s, The Flaming Lips embody what it is to be weird, and show just how much success can stem from it.