Each year, The A.V. Club encounters thousands of bands, 97 percent of which we won’t remember. What makes a band memorable? A good sound? Sure, that helps. A persistent publicist? Also helpful (or harmful, depending on the number of messages we get). A bizarre name? Definitely. In the many years that we’ve been doing our annual “year in band names” story, we can still rattle off some of our favorites. Who could forget Here Comes Old Vodka Tits? Or Happy Mothers Day, I Can’t Read? Gay Witch Abortion also belongs in the hall of fame. No matter how good the music is, these bands make the world a more interesting place. Here are some more fighting the good fight.
Metal up your ass
- Album: The House Of The Lord Despoiled, featuring songs “Lubrication Rites,” “Vaginal Sepulchre,” “Sacrificial Orifice,” “Gaping Perversion.” Says one guy on Rdio: “I’ve never played drums before, but I think I can play them better than the dude in this band.”
- Album: Putrid Death Sorcery, songs: “Ripping Souls Of Sinners,” “Impious Plague In Catacombs,” “Defiler Of Sacrality,” “The Anthropomancer,” “Soiled Into A Crypt,” “Repugnizer.”
- “CockSlap. It’s not just what you want, it’s what you need.”
- Proclaimed “the worst band in the world” by metalsucks.net, though its Facebook URL is facebook.com/TheWorstBandInTheUniverse.
- Among the band interests listed on its Facebook page: “Bickering hilariously unprofessionally over absolutely fucking nothing.” And “Nicolas Cage is pretty much our mascot.” So is Tommy Wiseau:
- If you guessed this band’s Facebook photo would be a black-and-white image of a vulva, you win!
- Winner, Least Helpful Google Image Search
- Maybe a Nirvana reference? Regardless, the band has since been blandly renamed Inferos.
- “Pittsburgh indie rock working hard on debut LP, trying to eat healthy and smile lots.”
- Song titles: “Building Corpses For Fun And Profit,” “Mt. Happy Is No More.”
- The band recently played a show with Fucking Faggot and Gnarly Death.
- Steampunk Britney Spears tribute band.
The longer, the better?
- “At times relaxing, like sipping a margarita under a pink umbrella; at times playful like a game of volleyball with Maverick and Iceman.”
- Maybe it makes more sense in the band’s native German tongue?
- Bio: “All of the members have attended various music schools and workshops, thus extending their appreciation of all styles and genres within and outside of the music industry.” Band bio or cover letter?
- Album title: Lay My Soul To Waste
- Bio: “On the surface, A Pale Horse Named Death is impressive. But you´ll want to dig deeper and immerse yourself in all the sonic and lyrical layers, because the band isn’t afraid to plume the depths of darkness that humanity is capable of.”
- The band has everything covered: a page on its website for its endorsements, and in its media section, links for Facebook timeline covers, Facebook avatars, and banners. (“New banners soon!”)
- Looks like they may have since shortened to Bears.
- Facebook post from 11/19: “any of you ever know you’re about to get stonie so you go and make a really involved snack right before you put chron on brain, but then you eat all of the snack before you’ve come up and so by the time you’re all wavvvy, your stomach has forgotten the last 5 minutes and you’re just totally incapable of another multi-phasic snackrifice? don’t do that shit on thursday.”
Still with the exclamation points?
- Its bio calls Hey Ocean! “leaders of the D.I.Y. generation,” apparently because it self-released its album.
- Not to be confused with Eeek, an “all-female acoustic soul band out of the Midlands.”
- About: “pulling a crystal rope from the void: Chapter 2; an incandescent light bulb in a black light store”
- “Like The Village People but with more lights and smoke.”
- “the forces of science and music combined!!!! yes!”
- Bio: “Chief songwriter Jonathan Berlin preaches positivity, love and rainbows. The verses literally emanate radiant sunshine.” Whoa, literally?
- Debut album: Till Death Do Us Party
- Its Facebook bio mentions that it’s “proudly representing” Selfmade Co, Let’s Rage Clothing, Whole Hearted Clothing, Milfam Nation, Git Fukt Clothing, and JBRD Apparel. Maybe its members are models?
- “BAND FROM FT. WAYNE FIGHTS ROCK MUSIC; WINS.”
- Not to be confused with TIMBER!, “a man who continues to make music well beyond the time when he should have just shut up and gotten a job.”
- Bio: “There is nothing flashy, nothing pretty and nothing about it is clean. It is metal in its purest rotting undead form. Nothing is sacred to them...only the undead.”
- Its female fans are called “Stench Wenches.”
- Describes its sound as “Groove Goth.”
- “we were all born in a bathtime suicide mission. nothing was left but a pair of sunglasses that are still bleeding to this day. at the stroke of midnight you can hear them sing out of desperation.”
Food & beverage
- Band interests: “meat sweats.”
- Bio: “ABSYNTHE MINDED is considered one of the most interesting Belgian pop/rock bands.”
- Genre, per the band’s EPK: “organic spaceship music.” “With their exceptional songcraft and propensity to cross genre boundaries, every show is incomparable to the next.”
- “In addition to their Live Music Phenomena, the three piece has even been known to play games with their audience, such as Simon Says, including them as part of the show.” Only jam bands would think that’s a good idea.
- Maybe the band name is a reference to The 4400? Nah, who would do that?
Creatures, great and small
- Not to be confused with menopaws.com, “handcrafted gifts and jewelry for dog lovers.”
- Description of its EP, Time To Grow Up And Get Real Jobs: “This EP was created by 4 dudes who suck. Download this shit so they feel good about themselves.”
- Winner, Band Bio That Could Also Work On LinkedIn: “The band has high hopes in their ability to network a festive and cultural atmosphere in order to see the world and play with some of their major influences such as Avett Brothers, Fleet Foxes, Wilco and Bela Fleck.”
- “Friendly, Local, Upwardly Mobile, and above all else, Original.”
- Bio: “Annie Lewandowski comes from Minnesota, a place full of things that are long and longer: church services, dinner tables, and worry lines, to name a few. Somebody said there are ten thousand lakes there; if that’s true, each of them shows up in some little way in Annie’s songs.” There are 32 recorded Powerdove songs, which means each contains 312.5 Minnesotan lakes.
- “Your soundtrack to the end of the world.”
- From the band’s bio: “it is the sound of the heart beat, the earth, and of the sub-psychotic magnetic fields that lead the marches of insects and robots!”
- Opening lines of “Call Of The Panther,” the first song on the band’s album Learning To Die: “Life is a sexually transmitted disease! / Humanity is a cancer!”
- Website URL: msdos.biz
- “Music for people who live in basements, by people who live in basements.”
Such and such & the so-and-so’s
Whiskey Dick & The Hard-Ons
- Bio: “Artistic vision, intricate musicianship, dark, poetic lyrics exploring heavy, controversial topics and a profound message are the very essence of Picture Me Broken, a breath of fresh air band that shatters any ‘young band’ or ‘female-fronted’ stereotypes.” Frontwoman Brooklyn Allman has been working on the band since she age 12, which the bio helpfully notes was all the way back in 2005.
- Bio calls them “Indiana’s most promising and perhaps most eccentric group.” Yup, nothing’s more eccentric than emulating bands like U2 and Depeche Mode, as it notes later.
- Bio: “Farewell 2 Fear (F2F) was born out of the huge black hole that mainstream rock radio left during the absence of super rock stars like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Sound Garden [sic].” True, you never hear about Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, or Soundgarden anymore.
- First album: Portals Through Ophiuchus
- The “country pop and blue-eyed-soul duo” got together in 2011 “in the hopes of bringing back heartfelt music that has been lost over the years.” Apparently every other group in the world only performs ironically?
- This band probably doesn’t exist anymore, as three members all quit simultaneously, because they apparently can’t stand the frontman.
- Its profile on Goth social-networking site vampirefreaks.com suggests the band came up with “S.I.N.” first, then figured out words to go with it.
- This self-described “shock metal” band now sells Amish Smokehouse Beef Sticks and Grandpa’s Beef Jerky at its merch table. “We are now sponsored buy [sic] them,” says a Facebook post from earlier this week.
- Bio: “We’ve been told we incorporate epic death metal vocals, hardcore groove with epic guitar riffs and a sense of aggressive melody.” Maybe told by someone who writes band bios?
- Bio: “The band itself as an entirety is serious, our aggression and passion for music comes out on stage, the members who make up the band however are some of the chillest people you will ever know.” These are some pretty serious song titles: “I Will Massacre You,” “You Traitorous Swine,” “Imminent Catastrophe,” “By The Blood Of Our Fathers By The Blood Of Our Sons.”
- Describes its sound as “fuck you all” wave. The bio on its Bandcamp page describes it as “Ethical scumbaggery at its finest.”
Fuck You Cop You Fucking Cop
- The longest song on its Very Negative EP is 1:24, though “The Skeleton Fucker” is only 24 seconds.
- “If you’re looking for something tolerable, catchy, and hip: look elsewhere.”
- Song title: “Stay Free: Don’t Buy Sex, God, And Insurance”
- Not to be confused with “year in band names” alumnus Harmonica Lewinsky.
- Albums: Oval Orifice (2012), Octopus Wall Street (2012)
- Song title: “I Ripped That Testament A New Asshole”
- Formerly RUN DMT (featured in the 2012’s year in band names)
- Bio: “How can a band create an aural and visual, mind-altering and colorful experience that effortlessly tantalizes your senses and quite frankly; makes it impossible to stand still? Humfree Bug Art, emerging European pop group, has soulfully crafted graphics which infused with their mindful eclectic music manages to find a delicate balance between the two art forms.” Um, okay.
- Winner, Impossible To Google Award
- Broke up in September, R.I.P.
- Did a split 7-inch with “year in band names” alumnus Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate).
Coming to Jurassic Park 4
- Album: Stop Ruining Fun
Abortions for all!
- “The name ‘Mandatory Abortions’ is a joke directed to those who are over political and judge n shun anyone who dose [sic] not follow them blindly. also to those who should of been aborted !!!”
- “Apocalyptic disco and anhedonic pop songs against the dread of existence.”
- Probably not a Peter Frampton reference.
Movie, TV, and literary references
- “Ready to rock your faces off? We are! Sit down, get ready, open your ears, and fucking listen! We are going to explode in your face with a bunch of ooey- gooey goodness and you are going to fucking like it! Phoenix is going to change forever.” Get ready, Phoenix!
- Artists We Also Like: “’70s Ramones, ’80s Ramones, ’90s Ramones.”
- Old name: The Catdoors.
- UrbanDictionary has an entry on this that involves menstruation. Prepare to be grossed out.
- Facebook post from last year (they may have since broken up): “Recorded some demos, prepare for utter dankness.”
- The band has rapidly “gained the attention of fans throughout the DC, Baltimore and surrounding areas for their ability to play ’80s music ‘with an edge.’”
- Also goes by Go Go Second Time Virgin, after a 1969 Japanese film.
- The name comes from the Lewis Carroll novella Through The Looking Glass.
- It’s a 1976 film by Denis Héroux… or maybe it just sounded cool.
Obnoxious casing, spelling, or spacing
- When you’re Jim Jarmusch’s band, you can spell your name any damn way you want.
- Not to be confused with Toronto’s eMotion Picture Studios or eMotion Pictures, a New York-based wedding-photography company.
- Songs: “Dick On My List,” “Everybody My Dick Tonight,” “Piano Dick,” “What’s Up, My Dick?” “A Very My Dick Xmas,” “Do They Know It’s My Dick?”
- Bio: “We were in other bands. Now we're in this band. Soon we will all be deaf. Commercially moribund, second wave, first class, good times, bad vibes.”
- Songs: “I Am Not A Goal Oriented Person,” “I Am An Amateur At Everything”
Repetition repetition repetition
- Bio: “LIKE LIKE THE THE THE DEATH (LLTTTD) is a post-punk/noise rock band from Milwaukee, WI, USA. They enjoy Canadian beer, Twerk Team videos, writing new themes to old board game commercials, and street daggering.”
- About: “THE APOCALYPSE IS STALLING”
Will never be pronounced or spelled correctly
- Frontman describes band as “The BeeGees if they were really poor and on crack.”
- Bio: “JJUUJJUU is an astral union, an arcane ritual, and above all, a conversation.” Music isn’t high on the priority list, apparently.
- Album: Info Nympho. Song: “Moby Dickless”
- Members: Dick Celsius, Han Yolo, Lorenzo Llamas, Kevin Sorbo.
- It also happens to be the name of a Twilight erotic fan-fiction group. Excerpt from “The Dinner Guest, Chapter 1”: Bella: “Do you have the strap-on?” Alice: “Always for you baby, I have a treat.”
- For those who live outside of Chicagoland, Naperville is a tony suburb, and these guys describe themselves as “an anti cover band cover band, declaring war on crappy cover bands in the Chicago area.” In their repertoire: Bon Scott-era AC/DC, Nirvana (“non-overplayed tracks”), The Cult (Electric era), and a bunch of others.
- Songs: “Hans Gruber,” “My Body Is A Wasteland,” “Kid Touchin Clown,” “Live Fat, Die Young.”
Why use an S when you can use a Z?
Children are our future
We see what you did there
Jesus, Christ, etc.
- Danzig tribute band
Drugs and booze
- If anything could sound less appealing than a combination of (the “emotive theatrics” of) My Chemical Romance, (the “unstoppably melodic but jagged punk hooks” of) Green Day, and (“the forceful, confident, and party-going atmosphere” of) Skid Row, we have yet to hear it. Judging by the band photo, its members are huge Mötley Crüe fans too:
- Beard required:
Pot culture is the worst
- Bio: “Like a destructive wind bursting and shredding these six strings of space release some 5,000 notes circleing [sic] and oscillating around timelessly and unremittingly in and out of the beating heart and core groove of the drums, the banging the bashing allows the bass to seem far out as a cosmic buffet of pounding and pummeling and punishing and as if underneath the ocean came an atmospheric astral plane of sounds infinite and fuzzed down to the bone do these keyboard ivories tickle as if lost in space. But out with the bull and in with the real, these 4 music lovers and jam crazed heavy seekers search to get that sound aloud and and make a ton of fucking noise...” That’s 121 words, one period.
- Its Facebook page has a lot of this:
- Song: “Wisdom Of The Asshole”
- Winner, Biggest Bummer To Google
- “2 Beards, 4 amps, mind of a scientist, and more raw talent than Jesus.”
- Maybe the only band in the world to cite Avatar as an influence?
- Just in time for the holiday season, here’s “Santa Fucked My Mom”:
- In its native Mexico, it’s known as Una Banda De Perras.
- This is now available as a T-shirt!
Death, killing, and murder
- Named by Spin as one of the six most ridiculous band names at CMJ.
- Genre: “Jewish Black Metal”
- Obviously, all nerd cred is revoked for misspelling wookiee.
- Bio: “WookieFoot is a high energy magical phenomenon sustained by a beautiful family of players and believers. We are ordinary people supporting each other to do extraordinary things. It’s a joy to have collaborated with sooo many of you kids, and we are proud of the love our tribe is creating. You have nurtured these seeds we planted and we thank you for that. We hope you enjoy the fruits of this community as we are.” Hippies.
- Bio: “We have traveled through time and space and landed here on this shit ridden planet. We have come for one thing only to wrestle your best wrestlers. We are calling out Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Stone Cold Motherfuckin Steve Austin. We challenge all of you come get some! We defeated our galaxies best now we want yours. We beat Lando Calrissian in the Deathstar Rage in the Cage. We dominated Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Extravaganza on Endor. We slammed and Pinned Luke Skywalker in the Tatooine Takerover no holds barred match.”
- Whatever this is, it’s gross:
- Playing its final shows next week and at the beginning of January. R.I.P.
- The name comes from the skinhead reggae song by the G.G. All Stars.
- Bio: “Whether you like him or love him, eventually you will hate him. In the end it's all laughable.”
- Lyrics to “Intergalactic Infidelity”: “I gave you my throbbing space ship / Now I wanna see your beautiful space tits.”
- This, too, has an Urban Dictionary entry, but let’s not bother.
- Bio: “Their style has been described as a mix between the heavy blues rock of Led Zeppelin with the funk rock of the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” so naturally they identify with “NYC’s bustling indie rock scene.” This quote from frontman Jason Frazier might as well have come from Win Butler: “From the very outset of this band, we’ve always had a singular vision. Our songs will be dripping with sexy fun and our live shows be a party that’s buzzin’ and ready to pop.”
Band illustration by Kate OLeary.