What does it take to stand out in the crowded world of music? Good songs? The right look? A record label and management who know what they’re doing? Maybe. Or you could just have a preposterous name and save yourself all the trouble. With the beginning of each new year, The A.V. Club keeps a list of funny, dumb, terrible, or otherwise noteworthy band names that we encounter. Plenty of these bands barely have a web presence, much less a manager, and they stood out way more than others who have a “team” working for them. Our advice: Ditch all of it and choose a name like Nihilist Cunt. You’re welcome.
New for 2013: Want to suggest an addition to next year’s round-up? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kind of genius
- Singer Josh McLeod explained to LA Weekly: “Farting is funny, barfing is painful, so those two verbs seem to fit well with the music we make. It also sets a very low bar when people come to see us, so it actually helps, because it sounds like an 11 year old’s punk band.” He adds later that “Fifty percent of the people literally can’t pronounce those two words combined.”
- Lyrics from “Skot Thompson”: “I know your name / I’m gonna fuck you up! / Skot Thompson!”
Bad name, terrible band photo
- They may sound like another metal/screamo band, but they call it “melodic wondercore.”
- Not to be confused with whispersofwonder.com/.net, “Discovering the wonder of God’s love in everyday life.”
Can anything top this incredibly douchey band photo?
Why yes, its mind-blowingly terrible video:
- The band’s website describes its sound as “alchemic death metal,” or as its Facebook page says: “The overall view is ApotheCarrioN; A deranged Alchemist with an affinity for Metempsychosis, the transition of the soul and the process of new life in a new vessel.” Although its influences are “Inner Madness combined with Ill-Tempered Disgust,” the first line on ApotheCarrioN’s bio is “We are a professional minded band with a ‘Do it yourself’ mentality.” Ill-tempered disgust, yes, but professionally so!
- The band’s Facebook page claims frontman Joe Deninzon has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” but a quick Google search of that phrase brings up a couple dozen results for violinist Eileen Ivers, upon whom The New York Times supposedly bestowed that very title! And The Washington Post called her “the future of the Celtic fiddle”! There’s only one way to settle this: a “Devil Went Down To Georgia”-type duel. (Although maybe Jimi Hendrix was the Jimi Hendrix of the violin.)
- “When you think of thumping futuristic beats mixed with full on yet stylish electro, one name stands out from the rest: Hypster.” So true. Hypster is also the name of a playlist-oriented social-media site.
- “The current recordings on this page are demos and are merely meant to show roughly what we sound like. Once we have actual band recordings you will be blown away!” Band interests: “Ice surfing and church burning of course.”
- Not to be confused with The Bananarchists from Orange County. (Band interests: “Del taco is pretty good.”)
- That’s “the gulf between the author of ironic wit and the reader who doesn’t get it,” according to the band’s Facebook page. Also: “Sarchasm’s beginning months were spent writing, rehearsing, fine-tuning and refining what would become what their parents call their ‘classic Sarchasm’ songs.”
- The name is a portmanteau of the Charlie Parker song “Ah-Leu-Cha” and Zapatistas, the Mexican revolutionary movement. It’s also very difficult to spell and pronounce, which is always a good idea when naming your band.
- Album: O’ Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres. Check out “Inurnment Of Fleshless Disembodied Remains,” if you’re not too sick of hearing it at wedding receptions:
- Lyrics for “Out There,” posted on its Facebook page: “Hit the floor, look up high at the sky / feel small, motherfucker? / feel like a speck? / feel like dust? / feel like something not worth living, motherfucker?”
- Album: Galloping Blasphemy
- Bio: “Relentless blasphemy, unholy sacraments of evil made by dwellers of the twilight, horrors that will make priests vomit in agony, abominations that the prophecies of old kept hidden!!! SATAN’S WRATH is the only band in the world in communication with thy master through ceremonial black magic and necromantic rituals.”
- Bandcamp URL: fuckvnecks.bandcamp.com
- Song titles: “Leave Your V-Neck Home,” “Skate Against The Church,” none longer than 46 seconds.
Dark name, bro
- Featuring ex-members of Cookie Mongoloid! Live video of “Fuck Mac World”:
- Songs: “This Is The Last Time I Shake Your Hand,” “A Forest Of Greyhounds Hanged,” “Love Your Friends, Hate Politicians”
Disfiguring The Goddess
- Two “bands” claim the name—quotation marks because one admits “DTG will never ever play a show. It’s not a real band.” Another is a death-metal band from California who has songs with names like “Feeding Of Nihility” and “Abrogation’s Crown”
- About: “Que paso juicehead?”
- Song: “Relationshits”
- The name apparently comes from an Alfred Hitchcock quote.
- They changed their name to UBT. Lame!
Traumatic Anal Devastation
- Best known for interrupting a Newt Gingrich rally in Las Vegas in February with their music, which a staffer for the former House Speaker described as “the sound of a tank driving through a minefield.” Well done.
- Description: “OFFENSIVE BRUTAL OLD SCHOOL DEATH / BLACK METAL....if your asshole isnt [sic] stretched and the smell of Putrescence does not infest your genitals, then we are doing something wrong.”
- Song titles: “The Weight Of The World And Every Dress You Wore,” “Wishlist For The Drowning,” “Kiss Like A Miracle,” “The Temptation That Is You,” “We Were Dancing An Hour Before We Met”
- Bio excerpt: “With no local saxophone-driven rock scene to latch onto, the Troop ventured into the wild.”
- If your name were The Kiss Tried To Smack Me, you’d use an acronym too.
- Bio: “Johanna Stahley and Owen O’Mahony make music together. They are really good friends, but sometimes Johanna wants to kill Owen.”
- From Portland, Oregon, as if that weren’t obvious.
- Winner, Longest Band Bio: 1,371 words, which doesn’t include the individual bios for all three members, which clock in at 1,537, 2,893 (the singer’s, of course), and 1,235 words each. That’s 11,036 altogether. For comparison, the Led Zeppelin Wikipedia page is only 6,845 words.
- From San Francisco, of course. It’s the work of Greg Charles, whose smooth love songs seem constructed from karaoke backing tracks. He thanks listeners in a seven and a half minute video on his site, where he stands in front of green-screen footage of San Francisco and spends the better part of a minute rattling off all the countries he apparently has fans in. It almost seems like the work of Tim & Eric, especially when he mentions that A Nice Vibe is No. 1 on something called the San Francisco Pop Chart—um, on ReverbNation, a website for musicians to promote their work. That’s probably where A Nice Vibe’s supposed No. 8 on the “U.S. Pop Chart” happened too, considering Billboard has no record of A Nice Vibe. Best to take the “Grammy nominated” note on its Facebook page with a grain of salt, too. A press release from A Nice Vibe’s label, Cut The Bull Entertainment, explains “The album has already put him on the Grammy ballot list in five categories for the nomination process.” So it was a on a list for the ballot for nominations? What an honor! All of this nonsense is the result of Cut The Bull’s Al Walser, who recently made headlines for somehow gaming his way to a Grammy nomination.
- Album: Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes
- According to the ReverbNation chart, Maidens Sorrow is No. 3 on the punk chart for Ione, California! Get on it, Cut The Bull Entertainment!
- Album: You’re The Lotion On Darkness As It Punches Light In The Face
- “Four laid back dudes in a loose partyin’ mood making some pop punk!” Was that bio written by @DadBoner?
- You probably remember their song “Fist Fuck The Pope.”
- “WERE A HARD PITTING, STAGE DIVING, PUNCH YOURSELF IN THE FACE, KICK A MOD IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD, SPIT ON YOUR BOSS, FUCK HIS WIFE, RIP OFF YOUR CHURCH, HAVE AN EXTRA ABORTION, JUST FOR THE FUCK OF IT, FUCK A LITTLE MORMON BOY, BURN DOWN YOUR SCHOOL, PISS YOUR PANTS, RUN DOWN A RETARD, SAVE A DOG, STAB A POSER, DRINK SOME COORS,SHIT IN YOUR HAND, AND THEN MAKE YOUR BUDDY A SANDWICH, CURSE SOME FUCKER OUT, AND MORE TO COME LATER!! TRUST ME YOU’LL LIKE IT.”
- Winner, Google Evasion Award
- “The songs creak with the thaw of an old church pew drawing joy in wandering harmonies and stories that are sewn by hands covered in earth, filling the bones of the songs as ambience backlights the fluttering travels of shared existence.”
- Twitter bio: “A Fucking Elephant sounds like drug induced crime. Harsh sonic destruction, dope soaked and wow.” Sample tweet: “Greg made it through an entire interview without talking about Korn.”
- “Described as ‘brightening the future of the jam band scene,’ Ultraviolet Hippopotamus mixes tight, funky jams with new dance beats, heartfelt lyrics, compelling composition, eccentric effects and a vibrant light show for an incredible, one-of-a-kind musical experience.”
- If your real name was Orlando Higgenbottom, you’d perform under some goofy name too.
- Bio: “Gordon sent Aaron some riffs. Aaron loved the riffs, and they called Nick. Tyler has arrived to bring the thunder. The band is now real and damn near uncriticizeable.”
- Band members, according to Facebook: “EVERYONE THAT HAS EVER GIVEN ME ANY IDEAS OR INSPIRATION. THIS INCLUDES THE BEATLES, EDGAR ALLEN POE [sic], AND MY DOG, SO CONGRATULATION [sic], EVERYONE IS A PART OF RUN DMT!”
- Song: “Sluts N Coke”
- Band Interests: “melancholy, ennui, snails, broth”
Band or Alice In Wonderland character?
Band or loan application?
You Blew It!
- Bio: “Donna told me she loves me then I told her I love cake.”
- Songs: “Your Is The New You’re,” “Shirts Off, Party On,” “When Life Hands You Lemmings”
- “Young women, hillbillies, and fellow Doritos enthusiasts rejoice: Worship This! are here to give you that lovin’ feeling.”
- All 15 songs on Survival Is Not A Workout use proper names with parentheticals, like “Courtney Taylor Taylor (How Sexy Is Your Soul?),” “Steve Jobs (All Is Fun Until Someone Gets Stabbed),” and “Dov Charney (Neon Cotton Wormhole).”
- Not to be confused with Tiger, Tiger
- “Formed in 2007, this Bay Area band has been most accurately illustrated as the Ramones meets Funkadelic with Betty Davis on vocals.”
Brevity is the soul of nothing
- It’s a line from “No Depression” (or “No Depression In Heaven”) by the Carter family (and made famous by Uncle Tupelo). As the group explains on its website, “It feels full of existential angst. It also sounds fucking metal! This combination aptly describes the sound of our band. We are fucking ridiculous.”
- Ever wondered what Nirvana sounds like re-imagined for a string ensemble? Or “Lisztomania” by Phoenix? Or The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”? Pretty great, actually.
- They’re from Japan, so maybe that name makes sense there? “The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass connect to their audience and to share the emotional feelings and passion between band and audience.”
- Album: Watch Out! Climate Has Changed, Fat Mum Rises… They’re Chinese, so presumably that title kills in their homeland. Also: They’re pretty good.
- Winner, Best URL: cokedick.com
Yes, this kind of thing still happens
- Under “Biography” on its Facebook page: “We’re too lazy to fill this out.” For “Description”: “WE’RE A PUNK BAND, BRO.”
- "Universal love and dedication for music that ensures it’s quilaity.” [sic] Its “influences” section on Facebook lists more than 400 artists.
- “Remember that time in The Wicker Man when Nicolas Cage is wearing a bear suit and strait [sic] up punches a chick.”
- Sadly, none of its music includes a salute to the greatest hemisphere on earth, the Western Hemisphere! The dancingest hemisphere of all!
- Well, the first part is a TV reference. The second part? No idea.
- Songs: “Glover Sex Scottums Scrotum,” “If The Glovers Are United”
Back To The Future references
Ronald Reagan? The Actor?
We Don’t Need Roads
- Two bands vie for this name on Facebook: one from Chicago and another that looks like a bunch of teenagers (one of whom drew a logo in English class).
Coming to season four of The Walking Dead
Zombie Death Fuck
- “Mick’s Jaguar is the best Rolling Stones revival band to come out of Gowanus Bklyn. All members of the band are over 30, overweight, and enjoy dining at the Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/Dunkin Donuts combo spot around the corner from the practice hut… Real bands hate us.”
Will never be spelled or pronounced correctly
- Helpfully provides a phonetic pronunciation on its Twitter page: “en-goo-zoo en-goo-zoo”
- “Earnest music for people who actually feel things”
- Features a member of Ugly Kid Joe! Singer Nikita also plays in an all-female cover and called Damezig.
- Songs: “God Hates Punks,” “Scumshot,” “Fuck Work”
NO XTRA LTTRS/spaces/extra spaces
- Alas, they’ve broken up.
- Song title: “To Light Alone I Bow”
- “the leading practitioner of high-energy disco booty jams, and live electro-funk”
Annoying gimmick names (or annoying-gimmick names)
- Pronounced “Oh.” Under “Members” on Facebook: “CRaZY aSS BiTCH LiVeS iN a CaVe. MaKeS THRee SoNGS a YeaR WHeN NoT CRYiNG.”
- Pronounced “ADD”
- The name apparently comes from Of Mice And Men?
Um, okay, sure
- The drummer of this band is 11 years old.
- “The Mendition of the Quay has arrived to save the world from false psychedelia.”
The most festive demonstration ever
See, it’s political commentary
- About: “We are GUANTANAMO DOGPILE AND WE’RE HERE TO SHIT ON YOUR FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!”
As featured in Looper
Also the name of a Thomas Kinkade painting
- “In an industry flooded with highly homogenized ‘music’, AGR strives to be a little bit ‘different’. Frontman/vocalist/guitarist Skunk Manhattan, bassist/vocalist Chef Bull RD, and drummer Rex combine their talents and influences together to create a distinct style of ‘different rock music’”. [sic] We’re not “sure” these guys “get” what quotation marks “mean.”
When in doubt, repeat
- URL: brightbrightbright.com
Wizards & shit
- Genre: “Glory Metal”
The Crazy Dogggz Memorial Section
- Not to be confused with the belt-maker.
- “POTATOES GONNA POTATE”
Most generic/appropriate name in history
- Biography: “akin to creations of early garage titans and wonders transfused with codeine-soaked acid jams, the smoothly ethereal yet grimy sounds reveal the inner-workings of towering, crashing polar shifts.” Um, ok.
- The band logo is two shockers, as seen in the video for “Cocaine Off A Baby”:
- Their Facebook bio has some charming Engrish: “ZZZ’s formed last year and performs the 1st show immediately after several times of session. Their peculiar sound calls a rumor immediately, though there is little number of times of their show, their demo EP and Tapes at each record shop in Japan is sold-out.” And “They lead community life with backpackers by the guesthouse which is likely to break at any moment.” Good to know!
- The band that does the theme to Justified. It combines bluegrass and hip-hop:
- Classiest splash page of this year’s bands.
- “Shy Around Strangers is a great band name in its own right, but what makes this three-piece’s namesake even more apropos is their mission to make the music itself the public face and persona of the band.” Someone thinks it’s a great name?
- The band describes its sound as “a synthesis of classic symphonic ambience with modern ethereal anthems”
- Album Alcoholic Lesbian Velociraptor features songs like “Shit, Secret Jew Dick” (which opens with an Annie Hall sample) and “668 (Neighbor Of The Beast)”
- Genre identification: “Techno Pagan Dopamine Party.” It’s the project of multi-instrumentalist Taara Tati, who’s prone to posting pronouncements on her Facebook wall like this one: “we are the metaphorical animations of nature”
- Bio: “Goodbye Good Sense is a delicious experimental melodic explosion of guitar wave hard candy with a juicy center of head-bobbing technical pitter-patter from the skins driven by a thick outer-shell of bass lines and yummy textures that dissolves surely, but sweetly.” Sadly, that’s not the end of that metaphor in their bio.
- Not to be confused with this Short Attn Span, an “Excellent, Lively even Zany Covers Band with Great sound & Personality. Ideal for Pubs or Your Special Function.”