Thursday, 13 May 2010

The 30 Best Band Names Ever

Originally Written: 26/03/10

Best Band Names Ever

A band makes the name, this much is true. Let's look at the biggest example we possibly can, shall we? The Beatles. Now, when you see that name, you automatically associate everything with it as perfection. That is because they are undoubtedly the biggest most influential band in all of existence, and unlike so many other quoted examples - they lived up to it.

But Jesus, it's a terrible name. To be honest, if it was "The Beetles", I'd prefer it. But to play on words in such a corny way as to include "Beat" would be ridiculed if anyone else had done it, right? What is even more ironic is that the original drummer Pete Best was replaced once EMI signed them. So much for their commitment to whoever was doing the Beating. Even funnier is that Ringo is universally accepted as the weakest member, and I agree.

But they made the name - so much so that for the first 10 years of my life I spelt the word "Beetles" wrong until my teacher corrected me. Hell, even Microsoft Word ignores the error - that's how big they were. They empowered a misspelling to the point of general acceptance.

Just quickly I want to touch on my favourite bad band name - "Live". Fuck, you don't get much dumber than that. Try searching through any given music collection for the word "live" and thousands of artists will match, because almost every band in the world has live recordings. Stupid. They are so 1996 anyway.

But now and again, you hear a band name which you never forget - whether it is offensive, funny, true or clever - you want to hear their music just because of what they called themselves. If purchasing a cd based on the cover art is the musical version of "judging a book by it's cover", then paying attention to an unknown band due to their title could be compared to reading a book because of the author's name. Which is a ridiculous comparison.

So after much thought and research, I have narrowed down the 30 best band names I have ever heard. And please, if you are going to start a band - THINK before you name yourselves and you might get blogged about one day.

Much love - Go:

Bear vs Shark
30. Bear vs. Shark

Years Active: 2001 - 2005
Genre: Post-Hardcore
Origin: Highland, Michigan, USA

This name begs only one question: water or no water? Because underwater, nothing can beat a Shark. And before some of you cunts still living in 2006 say "But Chuck Norris..." I will remind you that Chuck Norris is an old man and Shark's have a bunch of teeth that have never heard the jokes. Conversely: if it was a land battle, the bear would obviously tear the Shark a new one. Hell, I'll even take on a shark on land cos I AM FUCKING INSANE and I know how to use a gun.
Apparently the band chose the name because it sounded hardcore. And yeah, it does. Some also claim that their place of origin (Michigan) looks like the said scene. And yeah, it does.

Neutral Milk Hotel
29. Neutral Milk Hotel
Years Active: 1991 - 1998
Genre: Lo-fi Indie-Rock
Origin: Ruston, Louisiana, USA

I love this band. A lot. Maybe not as much as many of the online indie freaks I have come into contact with, but nevertheless, a great band.
Now, I don't know if you know this, but if you ever eat too much chocolate or eat a chili your mommy warned you about - there is only ONE way to neutralise the overwhelming sensation you might face. You guessed it: Milk. So when I think of a Neutral Milk Hotel, it's kind of like a place you go if you have eaten too much chocolate. Maybe like that milk-bar in A Clockwork Orange with milk pouring out of the boobs of statue ladies. Mmmm, statue ladies.

Anal Cunt
28. Anal Cunt
Years Active: 1988 - Present
Genre: Grindcore
Origin: Newton, Massachusetts, USA

If you want to name your band 2 words that you can't say on TV, you better have a damn good follow up. Anal Cunt sounds like you would imagine, just by learning that some of their song titles are to the likes of: "I Became A Counselor So I Could Tell Rape Victims They Deserve It"; "I Like Drugs And Child Abuse" and "I Made Your Kids Get AIDS So I Could Watch It Die" you start to get the picture. Hell, these song titles are probably longer than the songs themselves.
It wasn't long after I started reading homoerotic literature that I found out that gay men actually refer to their bumbums as 'Anal Cunts'. I don't know why I felt a need to tell you that, but not my problem anymore.
Finally, I must give props to The Cunt, because in 1998 they released an album called "Picnic of Love" which was an acoustic folk album filled with titles like: "I Respect Your Feelings As A Woman And A Human"; "Saving Ourselves For Marriage" and "In My Heart There's a Star Named After You". So maybe all is not lost in the world after all.

The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza
27. The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza
Years Active: 2004 - Present
Genre: Experimental Metal
Origin: Murfreeseboro, Tennesee, USA

When I was a kid and I used to watch "Who's The Boss?" I always knew who the boss was. It was Tony Danza. Tony Danza would beat your Dad to shit.
So when I read that Tony Danza will be tapdancing, well, I spermed automatically (fact). Apparently many people got upset when they went to watch the band for the first time, only to realise that there was no Tony Danza, but in fact, a mathcore metal band.
I would be pissed myself, but despite giving up on the metal genre when I was 17 years old, they are actually pretty good.

I Killed the Prom Queen
26. I Killed the Prom Queen
Years Active: 2000 - Present Hiatus
Genre: Metalcore
Origin: Adelaide, Australia

I guess I only really like this name because it reminds me of my High School Dance when I dumped a bucket of blood onto our very own prom-queen. She totally freaked out, you should have seen her, she started to spazz, her eyes were rolling back and the whole room began to shake. Luckily, I had read Carrie, and I popped the bitch in the face with my 9mil.
On a side note, this band represents everything I hate about modern metal music.

The Jesus Lizard
25. The Jesus Lizard
Years Active: 1987 - 1999; 2008 - Present
Genre: Alternative Rock
Origin: Austin, Texas, USA

In my opinion, these guys are legends, which is refreshing because most of these bands on this list suck balls and are only here because they had a moment of genius when it was time to name themselves.
Why legends you ask? They did a split single with Nirvana in 1989, which I haven't done yet, therefore: legends. Also, David Yow sings really well.
Oh, the name itself is from an actual lizard that can run on water. Nobody I know personally can do that, so that is why I have been licking their ass for the last 3 paragraphs.

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness
24. I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness
Years Active: 2003 - Present
Genre: Indie Rock
Origin: Austin, Texas, USA

I like this moniker because it was what my mom wanted to name me. My dad preferred Jared, they flipped a coin, and here I am. Coincidentally, it was also the title of my first suicide note, so it's kind of freaky and symbolic for me.
Anyways, these guys are so underground that their Myspace page is still on the default skin. Which probably actually means they have no promotion skills whatsoever, and this is a pity, because they aren't half bad.

23. AIDS Wolf
Years Active: 2003 - Present
Genre: Noise Rock
Origin: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Forget Bear vs. Shark - NOTHING is more hardcore than an AIDS Wolf. To be honest, nothing is more hardcore than AIDS, so they win when it comes to something that nobody really wants in their home.
Apparently there was once an urban legend floating around that wolves carried the AIDS virus, which turns out just wasn't true. It was probably made up by the guy who fucked that monkey and ruined everything.
At first I didn't like this band, until I found out that the high-pitched screamer was a girl. And I like girls, so I like AIDS Wolf.

Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
22. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
Years Active: 2003 - Present
Genre: Twee/Indie Pop
Origin: Haninge, Sweden

Jared is a biblical name, it means: The Perpetual Leader. I swear to God, I am not making this up, just do a little research and you will see this is true.
Anyways, Biblical names are nothing special, there are like 30 billion of them (give or take).
This band's name, on the other hand, isn't very common, and comes from a lyric in the song "People" by the Silver Jews. How does that make you feel? It was STOLEN.
Regardless, it is a fucking cool name that I didn't think of, and also, they ROCK. One of their labels are called Yesboyicecream which is also genius, happiness, amen.

The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower
21. The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower
Years Active: 2001 - 2006
Genre: Post-Punk Jazz
Origin: San Diego, California, USA

Once in a while, we have all considered blowing up The Eiffel Tower, right? I know I have, but as it turns out - it's damn expensive! Also, I have French friends who asked me not to. I'm a nice guy, so I didn't.
Much like the previous entry, this name was stolen, but at least it was from a book called The Lipstick Traces, which proves these guys can read. Says a lot for a modern day punk band.
To be honest, they are pretty rad, check them out.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
20. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Years Active: 2005 - Present
Genre: Indie Rock
Origin: Brooklyn, New York, USA

I guess what is so appealing about this band is that they pretty much tell you what every band wants you to do. The moment you heckle them, is the same moment you are doing it wrong. When you go to one of their shows, their name is the instruction, and if you don't do it, you are a rebel and rebellion is so 1970's.
They are pretty big by now, so if you don't know them, you might as well go listen cos people all over the world are saying nice things. Brooklyn is where it's at musically these days anyway.

Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!
19. Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!
Years Active: No clue, no wikipedia
Genre: Post Punk
Origin: Italy?

Nobody knows this band. This is because they aren't famous. But with a name like that - they should be. Just look at it's beauty. Notice the exclamation points. Enjoy their careful use of profanity fitted neatly inbetween the repeats of a large cat species. There are so many good things about this moniker that I may even name my penis after them.
They also aren't so bad musically, which helps sometimes too.
Finally, there is also that club called Tiger Tiger, which I have been to 4 times and got lucky twice. 50% success rate isn't so bad, so I'd recommend it to anyone.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
18. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Years Active: 1995 - Present
Genre: Pop Punk
Origin: California, USA

I like stuff, and I like getting stuff first, fuck everyone else, I'm in this life thing for myself. And it is this kind of selfish attitude that puts people in power, while the more nobel folk go to heaven but drive shit cars.
Even the incarnation of this band was selfish, a bunch of already established musicians (incl Fat Mike from NOFX and 2 members from Lagwagon) weren't happy enough with their current bands and made this SuperPunkGroup who just cover other people's songs. I know a ton of punkers who swear by this band, so I won't say anything bad about them just incase I wake up with a safety pin through my eyeball. But I will say that much like their songs, their name was STOLEN from a children's book of the same name by Gerald G. Jampolsky and Diane V. Cirincione. The End.

Death Cab For Cutie
17. Death Cab For Cutie
Years Active: 1997 - Present
Genre: Indie Rock
Origin: Bellingham, Washington, USA

At this point in my article, we can all agree that good band names are more often than not, stolen. But it's all about where you steal it from.
In 1967 (the best year for music EVER, maybe) a fairly well known band named The Beatles made a movie called The Magical Mystery Tour which featured a much lesser known band called Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Which is a pretty good gig if you ask me. They played a song called Death Cab For Cutie, which was about a girl who went out against her lovers wishes and then DIES when her Taxicab driver runs a red and crashes. Tragic.
Cool name, but I find the band generally medicore.

Gay for Johnny Depp
16. Gay for Johnny Depp
Years Active: 2004 - Present
Genre: Hardcore
Origin: New York, USA

Everybody wants to fuck Johnny Depp. If someone says that they don't want to fuck Johnny Depp, it is because they are not comfortable with their sexuality. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that this band name is a contradiction, because even if a male had sex with Johnny Depp, he still wouldn't be gay. Johnny is just that sexy.
It's also nice to know that the band is very cool and they have great album/song titles like "Blood: The Natural Lubricant" and "Belief in God is So Adorable", so they are far from a one name wonder.

Panic! At the Disco
15. Panic! At the Disco
Years Active: 2004 - Present
Genre: Emo :'(
Origin: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Look, I fucking hate this band. So much. If you like this band, there is a really good chance we won't get along in real life. It doesn't matter that they are multi-platinum or that Brendon Urie is pretty good looking (for a girl), they are terrible and they are friends with Fall Out Boy.
But still, it's a great name. So great, in fact, one would wonder how a band so mediocre could come up with it? Well, they stole it from the song "Panic" by the band Name Taken. Which is also a cool name, but not cool enough to make my special list, nananana.

Pop Will Eat Itself
14. Pop Will Eat Itself
Years Active: 1986–1996, 2005
Genre: Alternative Rock Industrial
Origin: Stourbridge, West Midlands, England

"Fuck 'em and their Law". Who sings that? Prodigy right? Not really hey - it's a Prodigy song, sure, but Pop Will Eat Itself actually do the vocals. You see? You learn something everyday. Stick with me and you'll learn something every minute baby.
Where was I? Oh ja, band names. So anyways, when I was a kid, all the alternative children thought it was so cool to hate pop music. So when I heard this name whilst I was still a lightie, I thought it was genius. Now I'm a little bit older and pop is one of my favourite genres, but it's still genius. And besides, it is true, no genre eats and spits out artists faster than the pop one, so that's why I now chew my food properly.

Dogs Die in Hot Cars
13. Dogs Die in Hot Cars
Years Active: 2003-2006; 2008-present
Genre: Britpop
Origin: Fifi, Scotland

Rolling Stone in Australia said it was the best band name in the history of rock & roll. NME said it was the worst. Regardless, it's a fact of life, much like babies, Dog's do Die In Hot Cars. It's educational. Maybe one day you will leave your dog in the car at the parking lot of the mall, and then you think to yourself "What was it that band said?". And then you will remember and crack a window. You see? This band just saved your dog's life.
The band themselves are alright, it's not like I want to have sex with them or anything, or even listen to them on purpose, but all in all, there are worse bands on this list.

12. Fokofpolisiekar
Years Active: 2003 - Present
Genre: Punk Rock
Origin: Belville, Suid Afrika

Don't shoot me, but I don't like Fokof. It's nothing against them personally (although I did meet them, and they were assholes) but they don't get me excited. However, in a country where almost every alternative band is desperately mimicking UK and USA sounds, it is refreshing for something that is unapologetically South African. Of course, now we have Die Antwoord and Jack Parow, so I don't have to care anymore.
For those of you who don't speak Die Afrikaans, their name literally translates to "Fuck Off Police Car" which would make a great name in English as well. They also have that "Fuck God" attitude, which isn't something I subscribe to myself, but I do love watching Religious peeps squirm in defense.

11. Turbonegro
Years Active: 1989–1998, 2002–present
Genre: Glam Punk
Origin: Oslo, Norway

Don't laugh at me, but when I was much younger, I used to ask people: do you know that band Toblerone? Of course, nobody had, and I thought I was so cool and underground. Until one day a video of theirs came on and I was all like "YEAH TOBLERONE!" and my friend was like "Jared, you are such a twat, that's Turbonegro". My ego was crushed, but inside I knew that it was definitely a better name.
I don't like Turbonegro, but the title is pure gold. They have spent much time trying to convince people that it is not racist, and it isn't. Turbo means Fast, Negro means Black - so it's really just FastBlack, which is what so many bands try to be these days. Apparently it is also the darkest shade you can paint you vehicle in the car industry. So I vote "yes".

The Whitest Boy Alive
10. The Whitest Boy Alive
Years Active: 2003 - present
Genre: Indie Pop
Origin: Germany

My great-grandmother was a quarter black, so I don't know what you are talking about. Motherfucker I'm from the hood. But when you listen to this band, one thing becomes very obvious: they are so white. They might, in fact, be the whitest boys alive. There is no hint of street whatsoever, but that's ok. I think.
Ag, who am I kidding, I don't really like this band, but cool name guys, well done.

Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
09. Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
Years Active: 2005 - Present
Genre: Indie Rock/Electronica
Origin: Seattle, Washington, USA

There are 3 main female celebrities I really want to sleep with...
"Let me guess Jared, first of all: Lily Allen?"
WRONG! Let me just clear this up once and for all. I do NOT want to fuck Lily Allen. Why? This is because she writes songs about how terrible her lovers are in bed, and if you do a little research, you will learn I am a terrible lay, so I wouldn't be able to cope with the pressure.
No, the top 3 would be: Mila Kunis, Hannah Murray and Natalie Portman.
Now there is something extra sexy about a girl who can shave her head and still look as good as Natalie does in V is For Vendetta.
The band themselves aren't quite as hot, but still pretty warm, and with the right amount of ecstasy, I'd break it down. Seattle is the coolest place for a band to originate anyway.
(P.S: Emma Watson, if you are reading this, I'm sorry you didn't make the cut but you are definitely number 4)

This Is Serious Mum
08. This Is Serious Mum
Years Active: 1982–2004 (hiatus)
Genre: Alternative Rock
Origin: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

If you want to get technical about it, this band's name is actually TISM, an acronym of This Is Serious Mum. I hate acronyms as a band's name more than I hate {name removed} but I will pretend that their title is the expanded version because I choose my own adventure.
Make no mistake, they are a gimmick band of note, their identity obscured by masks and they love to reference pop culture in their songs. So no, they aren't so serious, sorry for the miscommunication Mommy. But with song names like: "Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me"; "If You're Not Famous At Fourteen, You're Finished" & "Denial Works For Me", they get 5-stars in the naming department.

Pretty Girls Make Graves
07. Pretty Girls Make Graves
Years Active: 2001-2007
Genre: Art-Punk
Origin: Seattle, Washington, USA

Never has smarter words been spoken, and as per usual, all the smartest things ever said in the history of mankind can be credited to Morrissey. That's right, this name was stolen from The Smiths' song of the same name. But it is ok to steal from Morrissey, because he said it was ok to steal from other people, because Oscar Wilde said it was ok to steal from other people.
What is special here is that when a boy says something like this, it reminds us of heartbreak. But the singer from this particular band is a female, and so when she says it, it sounds like jealousy. So like, it's all different in context or something.
Anyways, I have loved this band since before I even knew who The Smiths were, so I give them two thumbs up and then I do a little dance of sorts.

When People Were Shorter and Lived Near The Water
06. When People Were Shorter and Lived Near The Water
Years Active: 1986–1996
Genre: Experimental/Psychedelic Punk
Origin: New York, New York, USA

Look, I don't care who you are, if you are so genius that you manage to rhyme a sentence within your band name, you win everything. Just take it, all my money, it's yours.
Not only that, it's historically accurate too. People used to live closer to the water because, well, they didn't have taps and municipal water systems. And while the average modern day man is approx. just over 5'9", the 17th century man was averaging around 5'6". This is because we consume more nutrition, have central heating and eat antibiotics. Hell yes - progression.
Anyways, the band are a cover band that butcher songs beyond recognition, are relatively unknown (251 friends on myspace, psssh, I've slept with more people than that) and are all in all, pretty cool if you are into that punk kinda vibe. The singer now plays in a band with Andrew WK which means he probably knows how to PARTY HARD, right Andrew?? RIGHT?!?!?

Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat
05. Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat
Years Active: 2004 - Present?
Genre: Dark/Neofolk
Origin: Belgium

Have you ever kissed the anus of a black cat? I wouldn't recommend it.
But here is the weird thing about all of this: you would think a band with a name like this would be something like early Blink-182, immature 4-chord teenage-pop-punk, talking about making out with your mom and then getting naked on the street.
This is just not the case here. I'd go so far to say that they are really good. I might be biased due to my recent folk obsession, but their sound is clever, which makes this name even better because obviously these guys have some experience. They don't even have a wikipedia page, so go anti-popularity and terrible promotion! Ftw.

Years Active: Dunno, no wiki
Genre: Metal Something
Origin: Atlanta, USA

This. Is. GENIUS. So much so that called it "The best band name ever". In fact, this name is so funny, I am struggling to say anything about it at all as I would feel pathetic and overshadowed by the awesomeness that is JFKFC.
So instead I will give 2 facts just for you:
(1) KFC still stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken. They were not forced to remove the word "Chicken" from their name because the animals were so genetically engineered that they were no longer classified as said creature. IT'S A MYTH.
(2) JFK and Marilyn Monroe would have had the hottest baby ever.
The band is pretty cool as far as metal goes, and believe me, it doesn't go far. Hahaha, I hate metal.

Does It Offend You, Yeah?
03. Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Years Active: 2006–present
Genre: Dance-Punk-Electro-House
Origin: Reading, England

When this band started, they decided to make a myspace, but needed a name. So they did what all smart people with creative block do: turn on the TV, write down the first thing you hear. In their case, it was an episode of The Office where Ricky Gervais says "Does it offend you, yeah? My drinking?" and BEHOLD, one of the greatest band names in history.
But it doesn't end there: this band ROCKS despite being somewhat unknown outside of the UK. The facts speak for themselves: Rolling Stone called them one of the biggest breaking bands of 2008; They were the 9th most listened to band on in 2008; and lead singer James Rushent co-produced The Prodigy's song "Invaders Must Die" and their top five hit "Omen". Deffo one of the best bands musically on this list by a long shot.

Kissy Sell Out
02. Kissy Sell Out
Years Active: It's one guy, born in 1984, so yeah, then.
Genre: Electro
Origin: Colchester, Essex, England

Three of my favourite things in life: (1) Making out with people. (2) compromising my integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money. (3) That PING sound a microwave makes when it is done. That sound is exactly what happened in my head when I heard this name for the first time.
Finding any information regarding the origins of this title is next to impossible (and impossible is often next to lazy) but it doesn't retract from the fact that a name like this gets me excited, almost so excited that it is number 1, if it just wasn't for...

Brian Jonestown Massacre
01. Brian Jonestown Massacre
Years Active: 1990 - present
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Origin: San Francisco

A portmanteau is something that clever people do. Take Lewis Carol, for example. He made up such delicious examples such as: Mimsy (Flimsy and Miserable) and Frumious (Fuming and Furious).
So not only were this band so clever to use this fantastic English technique, they also used it in such a way that you would have to have some interesting general knowledge to get the joke.
The Jonestown Massacre was the largest cult suicide in history of ever. Jim Jones convinced his followers of 900 strong to drink cyanide laced Kool-Aid and DIE to cross over with him. I have been a "fan" of this for years, because if I had that many people following me, YOU WOULD ALL DIE TOO.
On the flip side, we have Brian Jones, the late guitarist from The Rolling Stones who drowned in his swimming pool, generally agreed as a result from drug and alcohol overdose. He was 27 years of age, making him one of the forefront members of the legendary 27 club. So it's uber clever, but requires some education just to understand. This is why I love it so much, it wins top spot, no challenge, case closed, goodbye.

Read books, watch TV, listen to music, steal everything.

Prostitution Amoung Primates
(I can find no evidence that this band even exists)
Girls Against Boys
God Is My Co-Pilot
Badly Drawn Boy
Dead Kennedy's

Captain Beefheart
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Marilyn Manson
Arab on Radar
The Dillinger Escape Plan
Sex Pistols
Joy Division
The The
No Use for a Name
Sex Gang Children
Sheep on Drugs
Not Drowning, Waving
Violent Femmes
Dog Fashion Disco


  1. Great post! I want to see a follow up to this topic

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  2. Love yours posts. I wanted to know if you could give us an album name for this band "Live". I'd love to listen to 'em.

    1. Sure, the best albums from Live are Throwing Copper and Secret Samadhi - you will probably recognize quite a few of the songs :)

  3. $pastic 5ive were a good band with a cool name