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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.)

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.

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.”

All The Real Girls

Courage, Dear Heart
If this Georgia punk band ever needs merch ideas, Pinterest has a ton of stuff from people also inspired by C.S. Lewis. (It also shows that lots of them have that as a tattoo.)

Maybe they’re Key And Peele fans?

Houston In The Blind
Presumably it’s a reference to a line in Gravity.

Celebration Guns
Yeah, these guys are definitely Stars fans.

There Are Four Lights
Genre: “Queer-woman-fronted political punk from Brooklyn, NY. We mostly sing about things that make us angry and a few things we like (such as butts and Star Trek).” Hence the band name.

Popes Of Chillitown

Proper names

Niles Crane

The Molly Ringwalds
“The Molly Ringwalds create an 80’s Experience by honing their abilities to apply make-up and tease their hair while showcasing all the musical genres of the decade.” Please note: While The Molly Ringwalds are proudly sponsored by Melinda’s Passionately Crafted Pepper Sauces, their free-bottle promotion is subject to the approval of the music venue.

Lizzie Boredom
“So... You’re A Mixologist?” is one of the best song titles of this year’s edition of the Year In Band Names. (The first part of the title, “CrunkPunk,” less so.)

Peter Pants

Kenny Gee
You can’t expect an 18-year-old rapper to know he shares a name with one of the biggest musical punchlines of the past 25 years. That said, a collaboration would be rad.

Flint Eastwood

Clit Eastwood
Songs from the Austin band’s 2013 self-titled album: “4AM Whitecastle Lovemaking,” “Abortion Smoothie,” “Robocop Hit My Pregnant Girlfriend,” “Nightvision Poopwiper.”

Not to be confused with Jumpin Jack Benny (“2cnd runner up 2011 Battle Of The Blues Harps and 2cnd runner up 2008 for The International Blues Challenge sponsored by The Southern California Blues Society”), this L.A. group is actually composed of twins Jack and Benny Lipson. Judging by their age, they’ve probably never heard of the iconic television host.

The Judy Blooms

Grace Kelly All Day
Band interests: weather, yoga pants

Ellen And The Degenerates
“We made it / full frontal / Darth Vader / marijuana”