By John Carruthers and Kevin DeLury
To hear it is to instantly recognize it. Songs of life, liberty, and the pursuit of Jagermeister. These are the young men who hold the deepest convictions for our great nation, and are moved to express it in song. Generic, poorly written, supremely douchetastic song.
We’ve collected the finest examples below. Now you know why the terrorists hate us.
Chad Kroeger (Feat Josey Scott)-“Hero”
It wouldn’t be a tribute to Patriotic Butt Rock without a nod to Nickelback. Canadian only in name, this frontman has a Eddie Vedder warble ingrained into the very fabric of his distressed denim soul. Just look at this goofnugget:
Piercing eyes, framed by an immaculately trimmed goatee, staring stoically into the distance. This is what the dudes who design Affliction T-Shirts see when they dream.
But Chad alone is not enough to make this list, oh no. He had to call upon Saliva frontman Josey Scott, whose Wikipedia entry alone reads like an erotic novella written specifically for Guy Fieri.
Together, they sing. And they emote. And by the time the song reaches it’s climax, they have created the impetus on which all Patriotic Butt Rock will build upon for the next decade. This is the Bro Creation Story.
Toby Keith- “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”
If there’s one thing Americans hate, it’s nuance. So when the nation was trying to cope with the loss of its innocence in the autumn of 2001, who better to give a voice to our existential anger in the face of an uncertain new world than the guy who pens love letters to plastic cups?
When your entire sociopolitical and religious worldview can be encapsulated on a series of strategically placed truck stop bumper stickers, Toby Keith is your guy.
Equal parts winking xenophobia and slogan shouting, this song still scares the shit out of me. Not so much because of the mind numbing stupidity of the whole thing, but because when it comes on I always tense up and get ready for some good ole boy to stomp a mudhole in my face as retribution for some perceived slight. Shockn’ Yall!
Madison Rising- Entire Discography
Oh man. I just can’t…just. Wow. Behold:
It’s important to remember this band is 100% serious. That said, if it came out that Madison Rising was a failed military-funded PSYOP experiment from the early 2000’s, I would not be remotely surprised.
This is music made for poorly budgeted USO shows and Army recruitment ads tacked on to the beginning of direct-to-video film releases. Christening themselves “America’s Most Patriotic Rock Band,” these guys roll into town on a misty cloud of Axe Body Spray to extol the virtues of being a shit-kicking angel of death.
Every time a Madison Rising song plays, an Austin 3:16 t-shirt loses it’s sleeves. From the first note, it’s like a Special Forces team infiltrated the secure compound of my brain and deployed incendiary grenades made of Monster Energy Drink.
Song titles include: “Soldiers of America, “Right to Bear,” “In the Days that Regan Ruled,” and an entirely different song also called “Hero” because of course there is.
And hey, what better way to show how much you love the troops and America and every other trope than taking The Star Spangled Banner and butchering it?
Saliva – “Click Click Boom”
Walking Madam Tussaud’s death mask Josey Scott makes his second appearance on our list. Impressive!
This pick is in honor of our shared love of makin’ stuff go BOOM, man. Saliva, even in an era of greasy rap-rock, managed to be the K-Mart to Limp Bizkit’s Wal-Mart. The video for this song has some put-upon white trash kid staking his claim in the muddy filth-pit that is a saliva concert. The prize? Hepatitis, probably.
A striving underdog, making his way up the Arkansonian social hierarchy with a dream and a song about CLICK CLICK BOOM? This is the reason America is great. And Saliva’s also the reason I have to qualify “except Memphis” when I talk about how much I love the great state of Tennessee.
Green Day – “American Idiot” (the entire godforsaken album)
Yes kids, the progressives have butt-rock too. I was in college – a newspaper music editor, even – when this album was released. So I got to hear it early, before the hype. Imagine my surprise, then, at the hype.
This was a terrible record, full of freshman-year political science class screeds against “the man” tied together with a half-assed (maybe quarter-assed) rock opera conceit. This was around the time when musicians, mostly terrible ones, thought they could accomplish change by selling nakedly political music to the NPR set and feeling pleased with themselves.
This album was so terrible, it briefly made me embarrassed to oppose the war in Iraq.
Lenny Kravitz – “American Woman”
A cover song featured on the soundtrack album of a terrible film sequel? Pass the ammunition and make that Mountain Dew a large, please. Again, I’ll draw special attention to the video, which features Milwaukee-born Austin Powers sidekick Heather Graham writhing about a car while Lenny and his 1990s nose ring alternately mumbles and screams.
Needlessly sexualized and just the right amount of grating – like all the best music videos in our great nation. The best part is that the Guess Who wrote this song, and they’re from Manitoba.
**Props go out yet again for Amanda Mastenbrook for creating the unholy abomination, since dubbed “Salivaback”**