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Do you guys ever get bored of hearing obvious rip offs? (1 Viewer)

Vince Maskeeper

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The other day I heard some song on the car radio called "Hanging By A Moment" by some band called Lifehouse. I thought this was some new tune, although a friend told me it actually was quite popular last summer (guess I'm glad I don't listen to the radio much).
Anyway- this is one of the most cliche nirvana rip-offs I think I have ever heard. From the more "subtle" things, like the guy's vocal inflections, phrasing of words, guitar tones, drum fills [and buildups], guitar effects [slight chorus from come as you are]--- all the way up to the intro guitar/cello combination which is almost identical to "all apologies" and the little vocal moan thing at 2:30 into the track which is identical to Kurt's at the intro of "Lounge Act" and the ending of "I hate myself and want to die".
When I heard this, I practically ran off the road laughing at how completely obvious these things were. As each more blatant rip came, I became more and more surprised.
All I could think of is "this is what Nirvana would have sounded like if they moved to LA and took advice of record producers"-- and I checked the bio of Lifehouse and found":
:rolleyes
Anyway- with this, and the very similar experience of hearing "hoobastank" lift a song, almost line for line from refused (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=54291)-- I'm wondering if anyone else gets smug smiles when they hear such blatant copies? It's one thing to have an influence (certainly I can hear elements of others on any rock band)-- but when it becomes so close, down to the prooduction, it seems embarassing.
-Vince
 

Mike Broadman

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Well, for one thing, there's the much-used Eddie Vedder vocal inflection, where some vowels and r's run together in weird ways. I hear this all the time, but never before Pearljam. And ya know what? It doesn't even sound good.
The dirge-like down-tuned suicide songs of the a lot of popular bands always reminds me of Alice In Chains.
What's funniest to me is when bands rip off other bands that weren't even that good to begin with. I mean, I've heard Limp Bizkit clones. At least steal from someone decent.
NP: Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, CD, who is truly an original artist. ;)
 

Dean DeMass

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Vince,
I know what you mean. I just recently saw Incubus and Hoobastank opened up for them. After about the 3rd song, I looked at my friends and asked if they were going to start playing Incubus songs. They are a complete ripoff of them. After they were finished my friend looked at me and said "They Hoobastunk." :)
I also hate Godsmack. Lets ripoff Alice in Chains and name our band after one of their songs. Scott "I wish I was Eddie Vedder" Stapp is another one who pisses me off. I also feel that Radiohead is trying to be Pink Floyd, the problem is that Pink Floyd does it better. :)
Remember that horrible band Crazy Town? They chose the worst band to ripoff....Limp Bizkit. Those dumbasses couldn't even rip-off a good band because they sucked so bad.
-Dean-
NP: Dave Matthews Band - Live in Chicago
 

Joseph Young

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there's the much-used Eddie Vedder vocal inflection, where some vowels and r's run together in weird ways. I hear this all the time, but never before Pearljam. And ya know what? It doesn't even sound good.
I call this type of vocal inflection [rant]yarling[/rant], and there is way too much of it out there in musicland right now. Any vocalist who yarls is capitalizing on a style. I think in part, yarling is a reaction by a generation of vocalists terrified of not adequately expressing their masculinity in lyrics that are often very confessional. Not to say that Vedder was unoriginal, because at the time it was novel (and in songs like 'Black' it works well IMO).
Yarling is a pretty restrained way to sing, and to boot it's an easy way for poor vocalists to make shortcuts around difficult vocalizations. I'm in no way advocating broadway inflection here, just something more naturalistic. Some vocalists, like Mark Kozelek, Mark Eitzel, the guys from Ida, and even Richard Buckner have affected styles all their own. Even Buckner, whose voice is quintessential country, doesn't sound strained.
All these years and I have yet to sort out any differences between Godsmack and Incubus et al.. they're all the same band, right?
Joseph
 

MickeS

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That's what I think everytime I hear Creed. If the singer, whatever his name is, would sing normally, I would think he would have problems with some of the material, but now he can just "gnarl" his way through some of the more challenging stuff.

I am so tired of all the Eddie Vedder ripoffs. Vedder didn't even do it as obviously as these other guys...

As for bands that sound alike, there was a song that was popular like 2 years ago or something that sounded EXACTLY like a Beck song. Can't remember what it is, but it was something with "river" or "waterfall" maybe? I heard it and literally laughed at it because it was so ripped off.
 

Carl Miller

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I always get a chuckle out of this, and it annoys me all at the same time. I don't even know the name of the guy/band or the song, but there was some tune out there not too long ago that's a dead rip off of Dave Matthews..complete with high inflection at the end of certain lines. Some song about flying.

What I find most amazing about all this sound-alike stuff is that often the rip offs end up getting credit for being "unique" or wind up more popular than the originals.

To this day the most blatant I can ever recall was Queensryche when they released Silent Lucidity. They should have just renamed themselves PinkQueensFloydRyche..Though Days of the New doing a horrible imitation of Alice in Chains comes awful close too.
 

Zen Butler

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Anyway- this is one of the most cliche nirvana rip-offs I think I have ever heard
Well if I may to refer to more "Nirvana" rip-offs,

Puddle of Mudd"- "Blurry" his phrasing and diction so damn intentional.

Oleander- "Why I'm Here"-this song just didn't just stop at the vocals, but listen to the blatant cello rip-off. Almost a cross between, "Something in the Way" and "Heart-Shaped Box", which IMHO are almost sacred Nirvana songs.

Bush-anything, but they just sound retarded doing it, so I just laugh at them.

Yeah, with the likes of other rip-offs Lifehouse etc. I think its safe to say, everyone has done everything there is to do, in that "Dropped-D" tuning. It's just boring...
 

Samuel Des

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Agreed. But they can be catchy. Or maybe they are catchy, because they so slavishly copy the original.

The interesting thing is, in some cases, this kind of copycat work will damn the original for his originality, making what was so inspiring before seem so banal today. Like punk never happened.
 

matt bee

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Scott "I wish I was Eddie Vedder" Stapp is another one who pisses me off.
Hehe... A few years ago Creed did a radio interview on a Seattle alternative radio station. One of the Disc Jockeys asked the band about their similarity to Pearl Jam's sound. One of the band members (the drummer maybe?) Got all pissed off and started going off about how they sound nothing like Pearl Jam and how bad PJ sucks any more, because their records don't sell millions of copies any more. It was pretty hilarious. Apparently they are the only ones in the world who don't hear the similarities.

What a great way to lose fans though. Go to the home city of a band like PJ and talk smack about them on the radio station that gave them their break. Make s sense to me.
 

Vince Maskeeper

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Might have been "Five for Fighting" with their post-sept 11 anthem "Superman". Granted the guy sounds very similar to the more ballad-esque matthews... It is fitting, since on the 1997 Five for Fighting debut record, he borrowed GREATLY from Shawn Smith (singer for Satchel, Brad, Pigeonhed). The guy sounded exactly like Shawn.

-Vince
 

Jeff Ulmer

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Since I hated both the original and its clone, I always laugh at Billy Ocean's Carribean Queen, which musically is the same backing tracks as Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. I don't think it gets much more blatent than that.
 

Joseph Young

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The guitar and bass riff for "Life Goes On" off The Damned's Strawberries album sounds exactly like Nirvana's "Come As You Are."
My point being that, if you look hard enough you're going to find musical similarities that may or may not be direct ripoffs of other music.
I am more bothered if a band's production value, general vibe and attitude in a song or press junket seem like a plastic veneer of some other (better) band... all the above examples are good. Although I have to admit that the Butthole Surfers don't take themselves nearly as seriously as a lot of these other Total Request Live cookie cutter electro/industrial/rap metal outfits, so it's okay in my book.
I am less bothered when there is the ocassional tonal or tone progression similarity, because it's impossible to be 100% original. I think that the trick with bands in the music industry today is to be successful and not have the original voice/inspiration for the band get drowned out by a committee of producers and market research monkies. But 'original voice' and 'music industry' cannot exist in the same space.
-j
 

Jeff Keene

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Been saying this for years (Radiohead = Pink Floyd of the 90's)-- although Radiohead is subtle enough to not borrow specific songs- but rather a general mood.
The way I always say it is that Radiohead is making the best music Pink Floyd never made. I don't consider them a rip-off so much as having picked up the torch and run with it. I believe they have expanded upon what Pink Floyd accomplished and they have made the mood theirs. To call their recent stuff a Pink Floyd rip off is inaccurate at the very least. Influence does not = theft.
 

Grant B

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A couple months ago I saw the Big Star Reunion at Noise Pop. Struck me how this little known band from the 70s sounded so much like Teenage Fanclub, early REM and a whole host of Bands...talk about the Motherload.
 

Vince Maskeeper

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I think that "exactly" is a bit of a stretch- as I have had a copy of Strawberries since I was 13 and never noticed this until you pointed it out. Even then, it bares a much great resemblance to "Bandages" by Crackerbash than to Come as You Are.

The point to my initial post wasn't copping a riff (as I could point out a million due to the fact that pop radio recycles the same basic chord progressions once a year)- dozens have pointed out that "smells like teen spirit" borrows the intervals from "more than a Feeling" (and if you listen, bares resemblance to BOC's "Godzilla" as well)-- you will hear that sort of this all the time- since there are only 12 notes, and finite intervals.

The point to the post was bands that don't bare a passing comparison in a chord progression on a single tune, but rather borrow stylistically, texturally and production wise. I think if you've heard the Lifehouse song in question and had a decent knowledge of Nirvana tunes- you'd hear a half dozen elements which were very, very similar.

Never did they lift a progression or a series of notes- but the song structure, the playing styles, the vocal delivery, the guitar sounds- all specifically designed to sound a particular way. I can't believe that it's not a conscious effort to emulate, or if they came by it honest that someone didn't point it out as really derivative.

-V
 

BrianB

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A couple months ago I saw the Big Star Reunion at Noise Pop. Struck me how this little known band from the 70s sounded so much like Teenage Fanclub,
The Fannies & the other Bellshill bands have never made any secret about Big Star being a MAJOR influence on their early material. I believe they've worked with Alex Chilton at some point too.

That's definitely an influence though rather than a 'rip off'.

NP: "Ponderosa" by Tricky
 

Zen Butler

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All I could think of is "this is what Nirvana would have sounded like if they moved to LA and took advice of record producers
In which the producer, in this case (Ron Aniello, Days of the New:thumbsdown: ) is partly responsible for that sound.
I didn't mean to get off track, but its a popular discussion amongst friends "this sounds like that", off topic, but damn fun.
In the case of Mr. Aniello, who knows? producer could be "lifting" other producers styles also. I mean we have seen it before, as I'm sure Mr. Vig saw in the early-90's.
I have heard the song in question, quite frankly I was confused at first, I thought I was listening to "The Calling":)
 

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