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Panting at the threshold of your worst imaginings: The year in band names, 2016

Illustration: Nick Wanserski
Illustration: Nick Wanserski

As The A.V. Club has done every year since 2006, we present a bewilderingly thorough list of funny, bad, funny-bad, or otherwise notable band names we encountered over the past year. As usual, it’s a glorious patchwork of genres and intentions, from deadly serious metal bands plumbing medical dictionaries for inspiration to anonymous local groups just trying to entertain themselves. Some bands are clearly trying very, very hard to make it in some way, and others don’t seem terribly concerned.

As usual, our standard caveat precedes the list: These aren’t bands that necessarily formed in the past year, or even the past couple years. These are simply groups whose names we encountered for the first time this year (or at least don’t remember seeing and haven’t put on any list).

Stay tuned next week for a 10th-anniversary special edition of the Year In Band Names, looking back at the best of all that we’ve seen. Whither Here Comes Old Vodka Tits?

Pop culture references

Texas Chainstore Manager

Angels In America

Sweet Deals On Surgery
Presumably a Burning Airlines reference. Band interests: “Sucking on a fanny pack waiting for our tastebuds to grow back,” which is not a reference to anything on Mission: Control! (Let’s listen to “Pacific 231” anyway.)

Be’lakor
This Australian death-metal band takes its name from Be’lakor The Dark Master, a.k.a. Be’lakor The Daemon Prince, from Warhammer Fantasy. According to the Warhammer 40,000 wiki: “The Most and greatest of all Daemon Princes, Be’lakor has ruled as a demigod over galactic empires beyond count. He is a being of infinite cunning and absolute cruelty who destroys all that he touches, and jealously covets the favour of the Ruinous Powers.” It’s hard to say how many of its muse’s characteristics the band shares, unless humorlessness is one of them.

Death To Slater
“NYC’s premiere Saved by the Bell hardcore punk band” writes songs inspired by the beloved teen show, such as “Drunk Driving Lisa’s Mom’s Car,” “Girls Of Bayside High (Model Students),” and most recently, “Caffeine Pill Freakout”: “jessie spano takes the pills the pills to stay awake / jessie spano takes the pills / the pills that make her shake / jessie spano takes the pills / it is a mistake / jessie spano takes the pills / and then she freaks out!”

Six Brew Bantha
“HATEFUL GRINDCORE MADE BY BEST FRIENDS,” touts the band’s Facebook page, because nothing brings friends together like banging out songs with titles like “Excesscrement” or “North Fucking Korea,” which carries an earnest message: “Unless we step up and stop this spreading totalitarianism we really might as well be fucking dead.”

Milan To Minsk

Someone In A Tree
Looks like we got some Sondheim fans in the house.

Necromancing The Stone
These guys sure talk a big game considering they’re inspired by pair of ’80s action-comedies starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner: “Any time the fingers of the six-stringers are unleashed, the hearts of weaker guitarists are broken, uniformly delivering master classes in the art of shredding,” crows the press release for this year’s Jewel Of The Vile. It also mentions the band’s nemesis, “Breakdownicus Gratuitous,” a joke that probably lands with a thud even among metal nerds.

Funcrusher
Hmm, they don’t seem to be inspired by Company Flow, but who knows?

Fuck You Pay Me
From the song “Fuck You Pay Me”: “five foot six of pissed-the-fuck-off, don’t start no shit tonight / i’m not too smart when i think about and i ain’t afraid to fight / short guy complex every day of my life so just gimme an excuse / you fucking rightwing son of a bitch, you might just lose a tooth.”