The Band That Over 35% Of People Think Gets The Most Unwarranted Hate

Whenever people have conversations about music, it's not unusual that one person will say with the utmost of conviction that a certain band or singer is awful. They'll typically give a variety of reasons to justify their argument — the artist(s) sold out with their latest album, their lyrics are littered with overdone clichés and tropes, they're only popular because they look good, they just aren't that talented to begin with.

But you can also expect someone else to contend that the musical act in question isn't as bad as the other person says they are. Perhaps they haven't listened to the act's deeper cuts. Maybe they're just jealous of their looks and/or talent. And there's always the chance the hater's just riding the bandwagon and bashing that performer because everybody else is doing it.

Given how there are so many bands and singers that music fans could theoretically be talking about in the above scenario, Grunge recently polled 518 people and asked them to name the act that they feel gets the most unwarranted hate. Not too long ago, we found out that KISS was your most hated classic rock band, and we're going to give you a tiny little spoiler — they didn't rank in our top five this time around. But there are a few other frequently-bashed bands that you named in this survey because of all the negativity they get that isn't deserved.

Third through fifth place: An interesting mix of musicians and genres

The musicians who placed third to fifth in the survey represent a diverse range of genres. Coming in at fifth place was Steely Dan, which picked up 11 percent of the vote. They may be a favorite of many dads around the world, thus making them potentially uncool to millennial and Generation Z listeners, but as AV Club pointed out, that's not necessarily a bad thing. They did, after all, seamlessly combine rock, jazz, and R&B influences while showcasing their dry sense of humor (and fondness for the rock 'n' roll lifestyle) through their lyrical content.

Just barely ahead of Steely Dan, at fourth place, was country crooner Slim Whitman, with 11.58 percent. Whitman was a divisive musician during his early-'50s heyday — you either loved his whimsical singing style or found it to be "plain cornball," as described by Valley News. On the other hand, he did yodel his way into modern pop culture when his biggest hit, "Indian Love Call," was used in the 1996 film Mars Attacks.

The Clash ranked at third, with 13.9 percent, and it would seem that a lot of the hate stems from the perception that they weren't as punk as the Sex Pistols and other contemporaries, as seen in this Reddit thread. One Redditor, however, opined that The Clash, despite sounding rather safe by today's standards, was an antidote to the "puerile" pop music that dominated the charts in the late 1970s.

You didn't stop believin' in our second-place band

Our second-place band, with 19.69 percent of the vote, is a group that has somehow remained relevant to present-day fans, thanks to the fact that one of their biggest hits was used in a popular television series. We are, of course, referring to Journey, their 1981 hit "Don't Stop Believin'," and its use in Glee. That should tell you why many people seem to hate these rock legends, but a lot of it also has to do with their long-running reputation as a "corporate" band that wasn't macho enough for the typical rock fan, as discussed in this forum thread on The Gear Page.

"When I was a kid in the '70s Journey was a chick band all the way, at least in my circle. Dudes thought it was wimpy and the singing was not manly enough," one user wrote, before adding that he ultimately grew to love and respect the band for their musicality. 

Before we get to the No. 1 band in our survey, let's take a look at a few of the "honorable mentions" you specified when you chose "Other." We did get quite a few 1980s icons, including Michael Jackson, Prince, and Duran Duran. Some of you named classic rockers such as Neil Young, and there were those who went with present-day hitmakers like Taylor Swift and Eminem. So who leads the way as the musical act that gets the most unwarranted hate?

Look at this photograph: Nickelback tops our survey

You probably saw this one coming from a mile away. A whopping 34.94 percent of you voted Nickelback as the one band that gets too much hate for their own good, and it's not surprising to see why. As this Reddit thread shows, people have various reasons why they dislike Chad Kroeger and company — their lyrics are banal and/or cringeworthy, they're a tepid version of the bands that rose to fame during the grunge era, they have a tendency to release inescapable "ear-worm" songs, they're basically an inauthentic and soulless act.

"Nickelback sound and look like a corporate grunge act, half Creed and half Alice in Chains or Soundgarden," one user commented. "Their singer isn't very good IMO. And when you're always comparing a band to something that's better, they seem lesser than."

Then again, Nickelback also has their share of defenders. In 2017, Met Media's Montana Martin wrote that the jokes about the Canadian rockers had gotten to a point that they were "petty, pretentious and most of all, unnecessary" and that disliking the band had become "too easy."

"If anything, remember that this is a band that is free of arrests, scandal and violence against women," she concluded. "So perhaps for just that, we can find a way to stop telling everyone how f****** cool we are for not liking a band from 2002."