Last week was like any other week. I had my daily routines, discussed plans to pick up a free television with my roommates, and went to work. Never in a thousand years did the thought of R.E.M. breaking up run through my mind, but this is exactly how the day’s events worked out. R.E.M. was one of those bands for me, and a lot of people, that truly paved the way for my musical tastes. To see them depart is like seeing a family member set sail for uncharted territory. Knowing that I will never get to hear “Losing My Religion” live is a close second to knowing I’ll never get to breathe again.
So absurdly extreme melodrama aside, the R.E.M. split was virtually expected. The group had been active incessantly for 31 years, so it’s hard to blame them for calling it quits. Regardless, it’s a sad moment for music and painful to watch such a class act step away from the limelight. This got me thinking about all the bands that have disbanded over the past year or so (there’s a lot). The bands that have ended and I, in a lackadaisical fashion, barely even noticed. There were even some groups that I was happy to see disappear. The list below might hit a sore spot with you, piss you off, or even motivate you to find out where I live. Regardless, here is a list of the top five bands that have broken up/gone on hiatus over the past year that are okay with me.
#5 Velvet Revolver [Hiatus]
Now before you start throwing rocks right off the bat, hear me out. The main reason I’m happy to see this group on hiatus is because of what this means for Scott Weiland. With this slightly mediocre supergroup on the back burner, he has been able to put his efforts back in Stone Temple Pilots, one of the more influential 90s rock groups of their time. True, the other members of the group have disbursed and roam the countryside like lost puppies (mental image of Slash as a puppy goes here), but they’ll find a new singer and/or endeavors soon enough.
#4 Breaking Benjamin [Broken Up]
Seeing Breaking Benjamin end is like dropping an M&M on the floor: you don’t care because there are so many just like it still in the packet. Contrarily, credit is due where credit is due, and these guys, with twelve years under their belt, lasted far longer than typical radio rock groups. Maybe this was due to disillusions of still being successful or even a stubbornness to take a hint, but regardless, they were long past overdue. Luckily the demand for hyper-generic radio-friendly rock groups is still quite high, so their resignation from this movement will quickly be looked over.
#3 Disturbed [Hiatus]
With Disturbed out of the picture, how are middle school “metal heads” going to continue their badassery?! Aside from this pressing concern, a collective sigh of relief can be heard from the music community. Serving as the nu-metal version of Nickleback, Disturbed was one step away from writing songs that only differed by song title. Their lack of song quality and nonexistent relevance served as the perfect set up to end the outfit. They usually say two wrongs don’t make a right, but in this case it couldn’t be more true.
#2 Good Charlotte [Hiatus]
I regret to inform you that this news is sadly true. With the loss of Good Charlotte, punk is now officially dead. Where can we turn now?! After hearing poetically raw hits such as “Broken Hearts Parade” and “The Young & The Hopeless”, there is no possible way a band is going to rise up in their place [/sarcasm]. This outfit was a disaster from the start. Catering to a twelve year old female demographic, but convincing themselves 20-something year old punk fans were the true foundation, their lack of understanding genre was their ultimate demise.
#1 Black Eyed Peas [Hiatus]
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch the complete lifespan of a racehorse? Me neither, but it serves as a pretty good metaphor for the Black Eyed Peas’ career. When they first appeared (with Fergie) with Elephunk, nobody was sure of how far they would go. Like the foal they were, it was far too early to analyze their potential. Quickly the group, like a gallant horse at the races, honed their chops and released the pop record of the year, Monkey Business. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and this is where the story takes a rough turn.
The last year of their career prior to the break-up in July was a complete and utter train wreck. Their last single, “Time of My Life”, was nothing more than a half cover song, half Pon De Floor rip off, and people were largely dissatisfied with what they had become. Then, for the icing on the cake, there was the 2011 Superbowl XLV Halftime show. Anyone who saw this can understand why the group is now defunct. will.i.am, Fergie, and…those other two guys had completely lost the touch they once had, similar to a racehorse breaking their leg, and a hiatus was necessary.