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?
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.”
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.
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.”
Maybe they’re Key And Peele 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ellen And The Degenerates
“We made it / full frontal / Darth Vader / marijuana”
Bio: “Artist, song writer [sic], multi instrumentalist Freddie Nunez leads a rich inner life.” His outer life is apparently utter shit.
The Dashing Blumpkins
This Smashing Pumpkins tribute band even has its own bald Billy Corgan impersonator.
Bio: “We are from Illinois and we play quiet music so we don’t disturb the neighbors.”
Bio in SXSW guide: “Best band ever. I swear it on my life.” —David Bowie
She Said Yes
Not to be confused with She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom Of Cassie Bernall, a book by Misty Bernall about her daughter, who died in Columbine. The story goes that one of the gunmen asked Cassie if she believed in God, and when Cassie said yes, she was shot at point-blank range. It wasn’t true, but devout Christians seized on the story, and hey, hey aren’t these band names hilarious?
“Friendly Males is a band chock full of nice people on Lolipop Records. Do you like to groove and shake? Do you like lo mein? You may like this.”
This Chicago duo specializes in long song titles: “Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau, Discovered Narcolepsy,” “The Strangely Gorgeous Model Homes Of Yucca Flats; Nevada, 1955,” “Dude Same On Swiss Typography,” etc.
Biography: “Raising awareness for Milk and other Dairy related issues.” General manager: “Capt. Crunch (NO RELATION TO CEREAL).”
The Boys Of Brazilian Girls
I, Us, & We
Bio excerpt: “Floating above a sparse and alien landscape the observer can only do that which they are intended to do. Observe. We see a panoramic photo of a beautifully sparse glacial scene. All sense of time and space would be lost in the eternal white if not for the soft streaks of grey that subtly allude to a physical presence, and imply the existence of metaphysical musings.” If you’re thinking, “This sounds like the kind of band that would take a group photo with a bunch of body paint and shit,” you’re quite perceptive:
If I Ruled The World
“Like the Nas song?” you ask. Please refer to the “about” section of IIRTW’s Facebook page: “Sorry to disappoint if you’re looking for the hit hip hop single ‘If I Ruled The World.’ We’re actually just a band of five non-Norwegians based out of Oslo!”
My Empty Phantom
While My Empty Phantom earned praise from places like the Dallas Observer and Washington Post Express, it leads with this on its Facebook page:
With Our Arms To The Sun
What is it about metal bands and endorsements? WOATTS has a page on its site to tout its affiliation with a guitar-pick company, another that makes plug-ins for recording software, and another that makes pickups for guitars. Presumably a sponsorship from a manufacturer of tuning pegs is right around the corner.
Talk To You Never
Summa Cum Laude, Pete Wentz School Of Song Titles: “Don’t Call Me Casper (Because This Ghost Is Fucking Lonely),” “You Know What They Say About Women And Trolley Cars (There’s Plenty Of ’Em In The Sea),” “I’ll See You In The Sequel, Bitch.”
Jesus And His Judgemental Father
About: “Sounds like the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack, except way more queer.”
Winner, Bio That Overstates Things A Bit: “Fascinating things can happen when a hard alternative rock band explores its dreamy side.”
Sex And Death Cult
“Trying too hard” understates this Philadelphia one-man band’s commitment: 1) He goes by the name Daniel Suffering. 2) He describes Whorid’s music as “self-harm electronics.” 3) This year’s Bloated Pig Carcass In A Shallow Wake was released on Valentine’s Day. (Says the press release: “unrelenting in its darkness, seething with unbridled contempt, and stands panting at the threshold of your worst imaginings, with nine tracks totaling just under one hour of auditory torment.”) 4) Song titles include “The Death Sentence Of Abandonment,” “I Never Loved You; I Suffered You,” “Incessant Decay,” and “Harbinger Of False Promises.”
“Dude, we all agreed to wear black T-shirts for the band photo!”
“Sorry, bro, gotta support the Hawks.”
Deny The Cross
This year’s Alpha Ghoul includes songs like “Blast Pound Strafe Stab Kill,” “To Curse Eternal Winter,” and “Bacteria Tribute.”
Track list for this year’s Everything Is Dead:
2. Gore Ensemble
3. Commander Exhumer
4. Stiff And Cold
5. The Living Coffin
6. Metal Storm/Face The Slayer
7. Everything Is Dead
Gnaw Their Tongues
Track list for the new Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent:
1. Hold High The Banners Of Truth Among The Swollen Dead
2. The Speared Promises
3. Frail As The Stalking Lions
4. Your Kingdom Shrouded In Blood
5. Silent Burned Atrocities
6. Hymn For The Broken, Swollen And Silent
7. I Have Clad The Pillar In The Flayed Skins
8. Our Mouths Ridden With Worms
The Ominous Circle
Maybe the name sounds more unsettling in the band’s native Portuguese?
The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club
It’s the height of optimism when each band member has their own bio, particularly local bands. People with time on their hands can learn the influences of each of The Bishop’s five members and read some natural-sounding quotes, like when frontman Billy G describes his bandmates as “a fantastic group of musicians with boundless passion and enthusiasm for the creative process and performance of rock music.”
Everyone Is Dirty
Few bands can boast about “exotic electric-violin antics” in their bio, so count EID among the elite.
Alice Drinks The Kool-Aid
The band features the founder of the Lagunitas Brewing Company, so the group’s album cover naturally features a woman (who may or may not be named Alice) drinking beer. What a misnomer.
Waar Is Ken?
It’s Dutch for “Where is Ken?” See, band names can be boring in other languages, too!
Bio: “PKEW PKEW PKEW are the Lance Armstrongs of music. We Dope.” Songs from this year’s self-titled album: “Mid-20s Skateboarder” (“Mid-20s skateboarder / I hope I don’t get hurt”), “Asshole Pandemic” (“Asshole pandemic / Why’s this dick have to be such a cock?”), “Prequel To Asshole Pandemic,” “Stop Calling Us Chief.”
Good Friends Great Enemies
Songs from 2013’s Random Happenings: “The Soft Light (Or, The Influence Of Middle Eastern Culture On American Romance),” “Meditations On Stagnant Interpersonal Relations.” Who would’ve expected them to call their new album Cautiously Poptimistic?
The Owls Seem What They Are Not
The final three songs from this year’s Whirl Around The Whirr Rider Riding A Whale Down A Waterfall: “By The End Of The Conversation She Wasn’t French - What Am I To Do?” “By The End Of The Conversation She Wasn’t French - I Don’t Know What To Do,” “By The End Of The Conversation She Wasn’t French - Do Am I What?” They are 12 and a half, 18 and a half, and six and a half minutes long, respectively.
Bio: “Since our 2013 debut LP Vessel, countless group texts have helped COKEGOAT achieve growing friendships, razor sharp focus, mental stability, financial instability and a more advanced writing process.”
The Hacky Turtles
Their bio describes them as “notorious tamers of the tapping toe”—so their music discourages movement? They are looking for corporate gigs, so maybe companies prefer entertainment that keeps people motionless in their chairs.
Jealous Of The Birds
About: “My only hope is that the songs sound like a real friend talking.” Like a real friend saying “I Made You A Daisy Chain.” (Not to be confused with the 2011 documentary Jealous Of The Birds, about Jews who stayed in Germany after World War II. Maybe because of friends?)
Man Eating Tiger
Only a hyphen separates a jungle cat that preys on humans from a dude who likes to eat tiger. This “non-traditional five piece” doesn’t elaborate on which it is—or exactly what makes its hard rock “non-traditional.”
While the name conjures images of sustainably sourced, nitrate-free, artisanal meats, it’s actually short for Lookman Adekunle Salami, a Londoner who’s heard all of your dumb jokes before.
Bio: “Living in NYC ain’t cheap and if you’re in your twenties, you have housemates. And if your housemate plays music you’re going to hear it. And if you too play music, you might just start a band and jokingly come up with a name a lot of people misunderstand as being racist but not care enough about the people void of humor and just let it roll.”
Totally Orange Time Machine
“Say, you know what’d be great accompaniment to your slap bass? A kazoo. Oh, looks like you figured that out already.”
Black Shape Of Nexus
Also goes by B•SON, so cross-list with Animals.
Tracks from 2014’s Better Now: “I Swear I Will Never Listen To Another Johnny Cash Song Again,” “Rob Goes To Denny’s,” “Even Marc Summers Sings The Blues,” “The Things I Like, I Keep Around.”
About: “we were wondering if you wanted to listen to our songs? I mean you don’t have to… but..plz rspnd.” Bio: “The band equivalent of a cleaning product commercial when the grime gets wiped away to reveal pristine tile but we’re the dirty sponge and probably drunk.” Double points for the song title “Abba Zabba, You My Only Friend.”
Fatty Cake And The Puff Pastries
About: “Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries is an all grrrl gang band that promotes positive mental health and being yrself at the buffet~* ♥ Let’s party, children.”
Preferred casing: iRAWniQ.
Also currently available at your local dispensery. Strong body high.
Spare Parts For Broken Hearts
Winner, Most Icons On Website:
Cloak Of Altering
Another band from Mories (of Gnaw Their Tongues), though the song titles here aren’t so ostentatiously metal. Well, okay, the closer is called “Parasitic Altering Sickness,” but the second track is called “-3.003486962(6)+—10-66.” Google the latter, and the results are a bunch of dementia reports seemingly unrelated to the song. But still pretty metal.
Seasonal Men’s Wear
About: “A group of men discovering when too much coffee is truly too much coffee.”
Of Feather And Bone
“Of Feather And Bone” sounds like it could be a jam band name, but while this group is from Colorado, it has an album called Adorned In Decay and songs with titles like “Pious Abnormality.”
Awesome album cover:
Bio: “Ghost Bath refers to the act of committing suicide by submerging in a body of water.” Helpful!
Track list for 2014’s Necro Crust Warhead: “March Of The Mutilated/War Funeral,” “Blood Militia,” “A Tank Full Of Corpses,” “Triumph Of Torture,” “Carnage Warfare.” Hmm, starting to sense a theme.
Invoking The Abstract
Bio: “Formed in January of 2010, Invoking the Abstract is just four dudes who love to shred.” Aural Kaleidoscopes may be the worst album title of any band featured on this year’s list, and that includes Bloated Pig Carcass In A Shallow Wake.
The War On Peace
Bio: “I’ll tell you what Music Band isn’t. Music Band is not a group of sour-faced millenial cry-babies wearing fedoras and Beatle boots, trudging through their live performances, looking like they can’t wait to get off stage and hit their vape pens.” It goes on like that for a while.
Big John Williams (also of Necromancing The Stone) makes his second appearance on this year’s list. How do you and Mories find the time?