Ever heard a song and wondered how a lead vocalist would essentially sound like a cheese grater scraping against Gilbert Gottfried’s voice box if he wasn’t supported by a great band? Now imagine listening to the isolated vocal track on loop with the cast of Glee whistling and snapping their fingers to it. Too sadistic? Well, let’s just keep it limited to the vocal track then.
Now there are tons of incredible vocal tracks by Freddie Mercury, Outkast and Damien Rice I could enlighten you with, but I’d rather disorient you with some shitty vocals instead.
Julian Casablancas - “Reptilia”
If you’ve ever wondered what the guy from the Strokes would sound like if he were performing while something in his body was rupturing, well, here’s the isolated vocal track from “Reptilia”:
If that’s Julian Casablancas without the “man shouting while trapped in a treasure chest” effect they put on his voice in the original track, even he wouldn’t have received a passing score singing his own song in Rock Band.
The producers took some fairly ear-grating vocals, then added some distortion effects to make them sound worse, thus tricking us into thinking the purposefully bad vocals were a stylistic choice. They raised the bar by lowering it. Clever.
Steve Harwell - “Days Like These”
Once upon a time in the early 2000s, we were all Smash Mouth fans. But then the Armageddon never came by. So we sobered up and went back to some better music instead. There are probably a bunch of fully released Smash Mouth songs you’ve never heard, but there’s one you’ve never heard because the band never released it, and it didn’t become public until it was leaked onto YouTube.
It was called “Days Like These,” and in it, lead singer Steve Harwell recorded the vocal track and, well, that’s pretty much as far as they got, I guess.
The song is all about being a regular dude who likes his friends and the sun and whatever else was in Mr. Riptide’s eye line as he soaked in a Jacuzzi filled with Corona. If spiky hair with frosted tips could sing, it would sound like this:
On second thoughts, forget I ever said that. Without the music, it’s just a cartoon dog with a backward baseball cap yelling at you about contentment.. All we have is what appears to be the result of someone secretly recording the idly sung tune of a SoCal surfer bro as he shat in a public toilet along Venice Beach.