“Hey this band sounds good, what’re they called?” You mumble a slightly embarrassed reply… “What? They’re called what?”
Some bands make you wonder what on Earth they were thinking?!
Did they just assume things would never work out and no one would ever ask their name?…
Well, here it is (in alphabetical order), my picks for great bands, with crap names.
A – Yes. That’s it. The band’s intention when choosing this moniker was to appear first in record shops. A were one of the best pop-punk bands the UK has ever produced. In fact, they’re one of my favourites, but certainly not Google’s. Seriously. Try and find them on the internet. Nightmare. Nevertheless, A somehow manage to make whatever hole you’re living in sound like sunny California, whilst their live shows are always exciting; wearing gorilla suits on blistering hot days and (rejected) plans to parachute on stage, being just some of my personal highlights.
The Front Bottoms – A bit cheeky, New Jersey’s The Front Bottoms hit upon this name watching Sexy Beast starring Ray Winstone. Despite the stupid name though, the acoustic-punk duo’s stream of conscious narrative and catchy hooks have led to one of this year’s best albums so far: Talon of the Hawk.
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead – some lengthy band names have monikers that can be abbreviated (i.e. SOAD aka System of a Down, or QOTSA aka Queens of the Stone Age) but AYWKUBTTOTD? Would be a high score in scrabble though. Nevertheless, these Texan alt-rockers’ innovative music and frantic wild shows have led to a trail of corpses spanning 15 years and eight studio albums.
The The – OK, we get it, they were deliberately being awkward. But what worked for The Who just seemed a step too far with The The. Your tongue rebels against saying it, plus it looks horrible written.
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Yeah it does. Your rubbish name offends me. The British dance-punk group are currently on hiatus (presumably trying to come up with a better name), but in their relatively short time together Does It Offend You, Yeah? produced some awesome tracks that are sure to get any party going.
Dogs Die In Hot Cars – Admirable sentiment, terrible name.
Nickelback – Named after guitarist Mike Kroeger’s former job working in Starbucks and repetitively handing change back to customers with “and here’s your nickel back.” The Canadian rockers have sold over 50 million albums worldwide, that’s 50 million records all bearing a pretty lame name with an even duller backstory. Reports that Chad Kroeger’s next band will be called “YouWantFriesWithThat” have yet to be confirmed.
But, despite the numerous silly names (and symbols) that music throws at us, I guess it doesn’t really matter what a band is called, as long as you like the music… Just don’t expect me to buy a t-shirt.