What is Butt Rock?
Butt Rock is a sub-genre of rock & roll and hard rock music that is lyrically devoid of artistic merit and oftentimes reduced in melodic complexity. Butt Rock peaked in 2005, when the super chieftains of Butt Rock, Nickelback, released the song Photograph off their fifth studio album, All the Right Reasons.
All the winners of the late 90s and the mid 00s come on out in our ode to Butt Rock, including, Nickelback, Creed, Buckcherry and more.
The sub-genre isn't allowed to be considered for power ballads, just a FYI.
Butt Rock Bands
To be fair, a lot of the dudes actually in the bands are probably pretty good guys. This is really more about the product that these post-grunge bands are selling. There is nothing indie about these guys.
Butt Rock is the polar opposite of what the music of Wyld Stallyns would be.
Nickelback, serving as stewards of the sub-genre, could fill a playlist of Butt Rock all on their own. Their talent for writing less-than-mediocre hits is only matched by the (presumably) immense size of their bank accounts from writing said drivel. However, rock and roll radio stations adore the band because they sell so well.
For real though, Photograph has become a meme.
Also, could you imagine if the producers had selected Nickelback to be included on the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack ... what a nightmare that would have been.
Anaheim Angels Use Nickelback Songs For At-Bats
On June 8th, 2022, the Anaheim Angels baseball team exclusively used Nickelback tunes as they walked up for their plate appearances. Mired in a 14-game losing streak, the team left fans calling for a refund. And rightly so, as who wants to hear 9 Butt Rock songs in a row!?
This is decidedly not the slumpbuster they were hoping for.
- Ohtani: "Photograph"
- Adell: "Rockstar"
- Walsh: "How You Remind Me"
- Duffy: "Someday"
- Lagares: "If Today Was Your Last Day"
- Marsh: "When We Stand Together"
- Mayfield: "What Are You Waiting For?"
- Suzuki: "This Afternoon"
- Wade: "Animals"
So many drawn out vowels, a signature in the Scott Stapp singing playbook. With vocals that imitated Eddie Vedder way harder than that dude from Collective Soul, Creed rose to the top of the Butt Rock charts with hits like, What's This Life For, Higher, and With Arms Wide Open. These rockers had huge riffs, no doubt. But it was all a bit preachy.
On the flipside, the CD-buying public fell in love with Creed's assuming of the rock mantle. There are still people with storage bins full of Creed t-shirts, of that we're positive.
3 Doors Down
3 Doors Down is basically the Third Eye Blind of Butt Rock. Had a few MTV hits and an official video or two and now we can't shake them from the airwaves. Superman, actually titled, Kryptonite, was exactly the type of DudeBro song that DudeBro professional athletes with no sense of artistry would use as their walk-up song before an at-bat at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona.
We're not even sure what songs Buckcherry had other than Crazy Bitch. But, we know that they too, are Butt Rock. In fairness to them, they are the only band who could have transitioned over to Cock Rock, as Crazy Bitch is a 100%, certifiable, Grade A Stripper Song. It couldn't dethrone Pour Some Sugar On Me or Girls, Girls, Girls, but it's up there. Buckcherry even might have produced Butt Rock's best song with Crazy Bitch. And that's all we really have to say about them.
Puddle of Mudd
Puddle of Mudd had She Hates Me. Nothing is more Butt Rock than bemoaning women and how much they don't like your DudeBro ass. They also had Blurry, which, come to think of it, is helping Puddle of Mudd make a very strong case toward being the biggest Butt Rock band there is/was.
Nah, Nickelback will never be dethroned.
They had that, "I'm on the outside" song, right? Trash. Next.
This isn't about Veruca Salt? More trash. Next.
Lips of an Angel was hot fire if you're a DudeBro and you're idea of poetry is a legendary Butt Rock classic. It's no name nothing Butt Rock. Trash. Next.
Butt Rock Band Honorable Mentions
- Breaking Benjamin
- Theory of a Deadman
- Three Days Grace - Trapt
Butt Rock Albums
- 15 (Buckcherry)
- All the Right Reasons (Nickelback)
- Extreme Behavior (Hinder)
- Human Clay (Creed)
- Come Clean (Puddle of Mudd)
- The Better Life (3 Doors Down)
Butt Rock Songs
- Bodies (Drowning Pool)
- Broken (Seether)
- Chop Suey (System of a Down)
- Crawling (Linkin Park)
- Down with the Sickness (Disturbed)
- Higher (Creed)
- How You Remind Me (Nickelback)
- Lips of an Angel (Hinder)
- Nookie (Limp Bizkit)
- Photograph (Nickelback)
- Rollin' (Limp Bizkit)
- Youth of the Nation (P.O.D.)
One honorable mention is Porn Star Dancing by My Darkest Days. It's like My Darkest Days took a stab at trying to be Buckcherry while copping all of the style of 90s phenoms, Stabbing Westward. Give it a listen.
Butt Rock vs. Cock Rock
It makes total sense that genitalia and genitalia-adjacency help to define sub-genres of rock music, but only for guys, as there's no Tit or Vagina Rock, we checked. Anyway, the difference between Butt Rock and Cock Rock looms large, like the codpiece of Kiss legend, Gene Simmons.
Butt and Cock (insert Beavis & Butthead-inspired laughter) Rock are both played aggressively through dimed amps, but that's pretty much where the comparison ends. Let's explore.
Cock Rock puts heavy emphasis on male sexuality and triumphant conquest. Cock Rock gets primal. It is a mating call come alive, albeit one that often goes unchecked. Hair metal bands are a perfect example of Cock Rock.
Motley Crue, Poison and Warrant are three Glam Rock bands that quickly come to mind, having released songs such as Girls, Girls, Girls, Talk Dirty to Me, and Cherry Pie. If you need some visual evidence of what exactly Cock Rock is, just watch the video for Warrant's Cherry Pie.
By definition, Cock Rock is anything but Butt Rock. Axial opposites if you will. Cock Rock was about getting the babes. Butt Rock is about complaining that they're gone now. Diamond David Lee Roth would never be caught dead singing, "I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh. I want to hold you high and steal your pain away." like Seether's Shaun Morgan in their hit song, Broken.
David Coverdale wouldn't have either. Neither would any other Dave involved in the production of Cock Rock.
The instrumentals and the vocals are also way, way different. How different? Way, Garth!
Cock Rock also had rock stars, Butt Rock does not.
Butt Rock FAQs
What do people who love Butt Rock look like?
Butt Rock DudeBros are easily identifiable by their sleeveless flannels with a white tank top underneath. Often there is a piercing, sometimes in non-traditional places, as well as well-defined Fauxhawk. If not, a mesh trucker cap will do. Tat sleeve optional.
How to make Butt Rock?
Practice 3-5 chords on guitar for a few weeks and break out that old journal with the "lyrics" you wrote during the summer between High School and Freshmen year of college so that you could reinvent yourself.
What rock bands are not Butt Rock?
Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Metallica come to mind. Some of their work, whether in heavy metal, grunge or otherwise, inspires a lot of the music commonly found in the late 90s to mid 00s Butt Rock, especially the attempt at "Eddie Vedder" vocals.
Think Scott Stapp.
Is Matchbox 20 Butt Rock?
No, Matchbox 20 is not Butt Rock. Come on, that's ridiculous.
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References & Sources