Music Schmusic: Worst Decade Ever Pt. 2  

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Welcome to the second circle of our Dante-esque musical journey through the worst decade ever. The second circle of Dante’s hell is where the lustful are punished, so it’s only fitting that the second installment in our series do the same. But fear not; an angel approaches:

Hinder -- Lips of an Angel (2006)


In 2006, Hinder gave us this feeble attempt at the most stomach-turning ode to the love triangle since David Crosby’s “Triad.” It climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and lifted their year-old album “Extreme Behavior” to platinum status. Wait “Extreme Behavior?” Not “Mundane Conversation” or “Ornery Whining?”

Anyway, in “Lips of an Angel” Hinder’s singer Austin Winkler – yes, honest to god, his name is Austin Winkler – belches out one end of a phone conversation with an ex-girlfriend, while his unsuspecting cuckquean girlfriend poses and rubs herself in the background. In case lyrics like “My girl’s in the next room/sometimes I wish she was you/I guess we never really moved on,” didn’t get the message across, the video pretty much spells it out. Winkler on the phone, his girlfriend – as might be expected – is in the next room, and just in case you still don’t get it, Winkler pulls a picture of his ex from under the thin pile of papers on his desk. The fact that he keeps a picture of his ex-girlfriend under his notebook of lyrics and that day’s mail makes the statement “I guess we never really moved on” a huge understatement, but also begs the question of why he’s still treating this like some big fucking secret. Either the girl already knows, and doesn’t care, or she can unknowingly share a studio apartment with a guy who keeps a picture of his ex-girlfriend within arm’s reach, in which case she’s so fucking stupid that he could sing “and yes, I’ve dreamt of you too,” at the top of his lungs and she would still be clueless.

Now, if it sounds like the Winkler is constipated, that’s only because he is, in fact, constipated. Seriously, though, the look of this guy trying to pass a tennis-ball size dook while signing into the phone is pretty hard to top.

Hard, but not impossible. Here’s what he looks like signing into a mic.

Wow. This guy has all the stage presence of Trig Palin. He also has this weird habit of tugging on his neckerchief

when he gets to the emotional parts, but that really only serves to remind viewers that he’s wearing a fucking neckerchief. EXTREME BEHAVIOR!

But let’s not get sidetracked by the video, because even if they hadn’t decided to act out the song spliced with clips of beefy men rocking out in a candlelit living room, the song itself would be enough to earn it recognition in the darkest chapter in pop music history. I mean lines like “It’s really good to hear your voice saying my name/it sounds so sweet/coming from the lips of an angel/hearing those words it makes me weak;” that’s some Lonestar-grade sap right there. Then they add in the crap about “girl you make it hard to be faithful.” EXTREME BEHAVIOR!

Need I remind you, Hinder is supposed to be a metal band. Maybe the complete lack of other power ballads bemoaning monogamy is more than simply an oversight by every hard rock band, ever. Fuck, even Cat Stevens wouldn’t write about this shit. Nevertheless, the problem of having to choose between two smoking hotties, is exactly the kind of problem that the teenagers inclined to listen to post-grunge shit like Hinder can relate to. Not so much because it’s a problem they’ve had, but because it’s a problem they’d like to have. It’s the allure of being wanted that allows people to overlook the fact that the guy in the story is a douchebag.

I just can’t say enough bad things about this song. Winkler’s singing voice sounds like a hippopotamus being strangled to death. This song is a bastard love child of "Bad Day” and “With Arms Wide Open.” Every time they pronounce “and” as a two syllable word, I feel like I’ve been infected with herpes. I honestly can’t imagine how this song could be worse.


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