How many times over the years have you said, "This band would be so much better without the vocals"? I for one have uttered those words too fucking often. Good bands are

often sabotaged by weak/annoying singers, whose grating, nauseating, mewling (etc.) tones are like turds in otherwise inviting sonic punch bowls.

Vocalists whom I'd like to see permanently muzzled come in varying shades of awfulness, of course. What follows is a rogues' gallery of front-bastards I would like to see STFU (in no particular order—they are all equally despicable).

1. The castrato heavy-metal wailer. Dude, I know this is your method of projecting "soul" and/or "anguish" and/or "badassitude," but you sound like a bitch (the canine kind) that needs to be put out of her misery. May I do the honors?

2. The death-metal Cookie Monster growler. Okay, we get it: You are beyond a shadow of a doubt the scariest, most cutthroat motherfucker in the universe—or so you think. In reality, you're a cartoonish laughingstock. Your lyrics could be Dante-esque or Shakespearean for all we know, but nobody in this world (or likely in the next one) can decipher them. Let the music do the important job of making listeners void their bowels in fear. You, you're ruining the desired effect, clown.

3. The Robert Smith emulator. For decades, I've wanted to slice the tongue out of the Cure manchild's mouth. Unfortunately, the whiny Brit's laughing gear remains intact, and he's spawned legions of imitators who think blobby Bobby is the ultimate figurehead of misunderstood youth. So even when the Cure go on one of their many hiatuses, dozens of sad pseudo-goths rush in to fill the always-on-the-verge-of-crying void. I would love to give these bleating poseurs a real reason to weep.

4. The well-off, suburban American punk who tries to sound like a circa 1977 English yob with clogged sinuses. Your parents are rich and you have no genuine strife in your life, but somehow your existence sucks (maybe one of the wheels of your skateboard is perpetually wobbly or the convenience store ran out of your brand of cigarettes). You got nothing substantial against which to rebel. Yet you fancy yourself as the reincarnation of Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey and the Cockney Rejects' Stinky Turner. Maybe you should enlist in the marines, so you'll really have something against which to rail.

5. The unassuming white boy who squeezes out that constipated bovine yowl with squinty-eyed intensity. Again, straining vocal cords ≠ soul. Striving to revive Bad Company's Paul Rodgers's lascivious blues belting is not a clever idea, especially if you have dubious sex appeal. Ingest some laxatives and stay at least 20 feet from all microphones.

6. Joanna Newsom. Not all unique voices are necessarily good. While Newsom should be commended for her idiosyncratic music, her so-very-precious vocal stylings possess the power to instill in ordinarily pacifistic listeners (like yours truly) homicidal urges. Keep on harpin', Joanna, but, please, zip your piehole.

7. The honky who adopts Jamaican patois. This is simply dreadful (rim shot), and all perpetrators should be yanked offstage posthaste with one of those old vaudeville hooks and be denied ganja privileges for the rest of their green-yellow-red-beanied days.

8. The oleaginous male neo-soul/R&B singer who inevitably draws adjectives like "shmoove." His ballads are like 10 pounds of ick in a five-pound bag and his lyrics are stultifyingly trite. Singers of this ilk deserve a lifetime of cock-blocking.

9. The oleaginous female neo-soul/R&B singer who inevitably draws descriptors like "diva" and who overuses melisma. Your effortful emoting just screams "high maintenance" and your ululating showboating is tedious. You need more time in the lab with Aretha Franklin, Lyn Collins, and Dusty Springfield's '60s recordings.

10. The Ian Curtis–alike. Most of us can agree that Joy Division were one of the most important and inspirational bands of all time. The tormented, doomed pipes of their frontman complemented the music with a scary aptness. These morose Mancunians set the bar astronomically high for a certain brand of angst-plagued post-punk; tragically, most mortals trying to match JD are destined to fail. This may sound overly reverent, but those trying to cop Ian Curtis's mannerisms are guilty of sacrilege. They will never truly get the hang of it.

11. The Dirty South rapper with a mouthful of gravel. A little of this über-macho vowel gargling goes a long way—toward driving me insane. (I'm a lousy crunk, I guess.) This steez might be more tolerable if these alpha males had anything interesting to say, but it's all ogling strippers in da club while imbibing strong liquor and flaunting the spoils of their rampant consumerism. Roll over Chuck D. and tell Rakim the news.

12. Dave Segal. This fool struggles to attain a monotone. Even Lee Hazlewood and Leonard Cohen songs are beyond his range. Dull, dull, dull! recommended