28
Sep
2012
Darren's Top Ten Poorly Thought Out Band Names
Top Ten Poorly Though Out Band Names
Darren
Choosing a band name is serious business. It can convey the band's style, make a statement, or have some deep symbolic meaning for the group. It could also be chosen at random from a dictionary or make no sense whatsoever. Regardless, band names tend to last as long as the band does, so the golden rule seems to be "don't pick a bad one." Sure you have some obvious violations to this rule, like "The The" and a plethora of over-the-top metal bands, but in my personal library (which let's be honest, is all that matters here), I found some musicians that probably should have given their name a second thought.

10. British Sea Power



It could be a good band name because: Hey, this sounds pretty epic. Maybe they're this nerdy band like The Decemberists that sing songs about British nationalism and their glorious naval engagements.

But: While the epic description was true for their first album, The Decline of British Sea Power, they quickly became just an indie rock band that had fallen into the "random adjective, random noun, random noun" naming formula (looking at you, Neutral Milk Hotel). Their early days were marked by the band dressing in British military uniforms, singing songs about Dostoyevsky and Field Marshall Montgomery, and their video for "Remember Me" showed the song being lip-synced by all of the status in London. Now, they've kind of mellowed out, releasing somewhat generic mellow indie rock songs, yet still have the name. It's like if U2 actually started out singing about spyplanes and then turned into what they are now.



9. The Tallest Man On Earth



It could be a good band name because: Hey, superlatives stick out. Would you rather it just be "A Really Tall Guy?"

But: Have you tried telling someone you're seeing "The Tallest Man On Earth?" The question that almost always follows is "oh how tall is he?" It really doesn't help that The Tallest Man On Earth really is a one-man act; it's just a Swedish dude named Kristian Matsson. Then when people see him they go "oh, he's not really that tall." Type his name into Google and "Kristian Matsson height" is the second suggestion. The symbolic meaning of Mattson's stage name is alluded to his the song "The Gardener" when he says "so I could stay the tallest man in your eyes, babe," yet most articles about him seem compelled to add something about his literal height. At least he didn't name himself The Whitest Boy Alive (which is actually an indie band that almost made this list).



8. Grouplove



It could be a good band name because: Aww man it conveys stuff like happiness and love and bring it in everyone!

But: It's almost too happy-go-lucky, although I guess that might fit in with their music. After all, their debut album is called Never Trust A Happy Song. Try listening to their song "Tongue Tied" without feeling giddy. But in the future, it might be a little hard to break out of a sappily sweet sound when your name sounds like a cross between a hippie commune and an adult website (maybe both?). Also naming a song "Naked Kids" so that an iPod can read "Grouplove - Naked Kids" may make Chris Hansen appear.



7. Of Montreal



It could be a good band name because: Duh, they're representin' French Canada.

But: They're from Athens, Georgia. The band allegedly got its false-geographic name because its founder and frontman Kevin Barnes had an ill-fated relationship with a woman from Montreal. This is something that is apparently necessary to add whenever anyone makes the easy assumption they're Canadian, because otherwise you're just saying, "BUT THEY'RE REALLY FROM GEORGIA ISN'T THAT FUNNY? LOL!" You will get it, your friends won't, and I've lost about 4 friends thanks to this band's name so far.



6. I'm From Barcelona



It could be a good band name because: Duh, they're Spanish.

But: SHUT UP YOU'RE NOT FROM BARCELONA YOU'RE FROM SWEDEN. For a band with 29 members, maybe one of them should have thought "wow this is misleading." I get that they do the false-geographic name thing intentionally, probably to make a statement of some sort, which"¦uh"¦.



5. The Sound of Animals Fighting



It could be a good band name because: It is kind of a cool idea for a band name, so long as the animals in question aren't chickens or rabbits or donkeys.

But: Try having a conversation about this band to someone that doesn't know them. "Hey, have you ever heard "˜The Sound of Animals Fighting?" They will rightly be confused. Try discussing their sound. "What does the Sound of Animals Fighting sound like?" "Oh, the Sound of Animals Fighting kind of sounds experimental, kind of out there." Or even "What are we listening to?" "The Sound of Animals Fighting." "No, what's the band name?" While these wacky mishaps may not ensue for people that get it's a band name, oblivious folks and bystanders may give you quite the look and suspect you have an iPod full of roars and screeches.



4. Starfucker



It could be a good band name because: Hey, it's kind of funny. They probably don't take themselves seriously.

But: Even the band knows the name is a little stupid, and apparently chose the name to see how far they could get with this name. They briefly changed the name to "Pyramid" and then "Pyramiddd," which are actually worse names than Starfucker, and have been known by their original moniker since 2010. Since having profanity in your name can cause some publicity issues, the band sometimes goes the route of MGMT or MSTRKRFT and goes by STRFKR, which is actually kind of cool.



3. Alexisonfire



It could be a good band name because: It makes a statement about whoever this Alex is since they're on fire.

But: It's "Alexis on fire." Thankfully the band sometimes abbreviated their name AOF to make this clearer, or they could have, you know, used spaces. The band is named after "Alexis Fire," apparently a lactating contortionist stripper. Cute.



2. Head Wound City



It could be a good band name because: It's"¦hardcore?

But: It's hardcore. You can only go down from this sticker price. This little-known side project consisted of members from The Blood Brothers, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Locust, and their one album was less than 10 minutes of pure thrash punk. So I guess the name was apt, but still"¦Head Wound City? I do have to say this name is relatively tame compared to some metal bands though.



1. !!!



It could be a good band name because: Uhh"¦.exclamation marks convey excitement? It's different and innovative?

But: Here's a fun activity: try telling a friend about this band in person. Better yet, try typing their name into a search engine. No luck? That's right, that's because their name is three exclamation points. The band's name is (mostly) pronounced "chk chk chk," which is how you can search for them online, although they claim any monosyllabic word repeated three times is okay. This name is almost as frustrating to tell people about as Sigur Ros's minimalist album "( )." They say the band name came from watching the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, where the click language used by African tribes was subtitled "!!!" I say they had a meeting and said, "hey, what's the most difficult name we can come up with?"



What poorly conceived band names did I miss out on? Sound off in the comments!
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