It seems that the most web hits I get come from the band name posts. Thus, reinforcing my theory that people love band names. It’s true for myself. If I know nothing of your band but you have an awesome band name then chances are high that I will purchase your album or at least download (legally!) some of your music to check you out! Band names themselves can be an artistic statement. They can also be humorous as well. They can be confusing, long winded, or incredibly short and to the point. It’s time to salute some more creative band names and hopefully help you discover some new sounds in the process.
ABC put out on of the best new wave albums in the early 80′s The Lexicon of Love. Vocalist Martin Fry gives one of the greatest performances ever on the song “The Look of Love.” Martin sounds like he needs to have a lie down and a cold rag over his forehead after lamenting after a girl. For extra effect the band also used THE GIRL that Martin was actually singing about to do the mid song spoken part! Now that’s art baby!
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
TEED is the moniker that awesomely named Orlando Higginbottom, a British electronic musician and DJ, records and performs under. Higginbottom has been doing remixes since 2008 and recently started putting out acclaimed music of his own. Attention must be paid.
Early 90′s British post punk noise band. Made a pretty decent album called Eleventeen.
He’s My Brother She’s My Sister
This band actually consists of two siblings, Rob and Rachel Kolar plus three other non sibling members. Their genre is mostly folk influenced songs. Very much worth checking out!
10cc is where video pioneers Kevin Godley and Lol Creme started out as rock musicians. The band were most popular during the 70′s with their biggest hit “I’m Not In Love“. Tensions between Godley and Creme’s artisitic vision and Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart’s more commercial vision would force many breakups and reformations with varying members. Godley and Creme would eventually go on to direct videos for many bands during the 80′s such as The Police, Duran Duran, and Herbie Hancock (yes that video!)
How To Destroy Angels
HTDA is a side project of one Mr. Trent Reznor with his Oscar winning The Social Network soundtrack partner Atticus Ross, Rob Sheridan, and Reznor’s wife Mariqueen Maandig. As opposed to Reznor’s work as essentially a solo artist for Nine Inch Nails, HTDA is a more band supported approach. Their name is taken from a Coil song.Their visually stunning live show is buoyed by Sheridan’s art direction. If it’s possible catch them live.
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Genre bending North Carolina that band formed in the early 90′s and found fame due to the increased popularity of swing music that swept the country. Not entirely based in swing music the band’s style also carries blues, jazz, calypso, folk and rock and pop into their unique mix. Their name comes from southern slang for moonshine “nut zipper” and a newspaper account of a man who drank too much and climbed a tree and wouldn’t come down thus being deemed a “squirrel nut zipper.”
7 Year Bitch
7 Year Bitch were a punk band from Seattle, Washington active during the 90′s. Although not specifically a grunge band or a riot grrrl band the band’s songs were often political and dealt with feminist issues. Unfortunately, the band was also touched by tragedy with the untimely death of bassist Stefanie Sargent in 1991.Then in 1993 their close friend and The Gits front woman Mia Zapata, was brutally raped and killed. The band became heavily involved in several organizations for stopping violence against women and recorded an album in tribute called ¡Viva Zapata!. The band name is a clever play on the term seven year itch.
Thousand Yard Stare
Thousand Yard Stare were a British band from Slough from the early 90′s. More popular in Europe than in the U.S. The band primarily gained traction by supporting bands such as James, and Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine in Europe and The Soup Dragons here in the States.Their album Hands On is quite excellent.
Love Rub & The Chocolate Delight
I’m going to say that this is a punk rock band. But I’m also quite sure you could call them any genre and get it right. All I really know is I dig it a lot.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
UMO came about in 2010 when Ruben Nielson released a track on Bandcamp with no info regarding the who, why, or how it got there thus creating a buzz among music bloggers. Nielson finally claimed it as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Joining him in the band are Jake Portrait and Riley Geare. Their self titled debut album released in 2011 was widely acclaimed. Their second album II was recently released. Check them out.
Willie Nelson Mandela
Whoa, head rush! Just wrote about a band and posted their song “Willie Nelson Mandela“, now I’m writing of the a band called Willie Nelson Mandela! Too much! Just having a bit of fun with it.
The trio Blonde Redhead comprised of twin brothers Amadeo and Simone Pace with vocalist guitarist Kazu Makino formed in New York in 1993. The have released eight critically acclaimed albums and can be filed under any or all of these sub genres noise rock, psychedelic, shoegaze, alternative, dream pop, experimental. Their early albums are more noisier while the latter albums follow a more dream pop shoegaze line. Their name comes fro the title of a song title of New York no wave band DNA.
The F*ck Off And Dies!
This is exactly the thing I’m talking about. I saw this name and I was like “I’m in!” Then I heard their rawkus punk and I was doubly in. Then I found out these fellows come from my neck of the woods, St. Louis, MO. and I was full on engaged. Buy their album Songs In The Key Of F*ck now. To all my friends in the greater STL area support your local music or you can all F.O.A.D! (Just kidding on that last bit, and we here at Bandbook.com like to keep things clean and tidy so there is a U in the correct spelling of the band’s name, I will let you guess as to where it goes!)
Formed in Philadelphia in the late 90′s hard rock trio Burning Brides quickly rose through the ranks and attracted label attention and released a critically acclaimed album Fall Of The Plastic Empire by 2001. The band has gone on to release three more albums. Married couple Dmitri Coats (guitar, vocals) and Melanie Coats (bass) are the two consistent members of the band. Dmitri has also acted in films Passenger Side and Suck, and plays in punk supergroup OFF!.
Celibate Rifles are an Australian punk band formed in 1979. Through 2004 they had released nine albums with various members. Their name is a tongue in cheek response to the Sex Pistols. Pretty solid punk rock stuff.
This Mortal Coil/ The Hope Blister
Ivo Watts Russell is the founder of the 4AD record label. 4AD is an influential indie label that currently supports acts such as Bon Iver, The National, St. Vincent, Purity Ring. Previous bands to come from Watt’s fine label were The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Lush, Modern English and the list goes on. Watts two musical projects utilized 4AD roster members for “projects” under the names This Mortal Coil and later as The Hope Blister. TMC released three albums It’ll End In Tears, Filigree& Shadow, and Blood. THB released two smiles o.k…., and Underarms. All of these projects are excellent listening. Watts has since retired from the music business.
Machines Are People Too
MRP2 for short are a relatively new band on the scene from Chattanooga, TN. With only one e.p. Dreams under their belt the band is still in its early stages, but is gaining traction due to a couple key festival spots over the summer. If they are playing near you catch them and check out their music.
Inspiral Carpets formed in 1983 in the Manchester area of England. The band found success in their native land by way of Legendary Radio DJ John Peel discovering them and being a part of the late 80′s early 90′s “Madchester” scene of psychedelic sounding bands that included The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. They had a minor alternative hit off their 1990 album Life with “This Is How It Feels” in the U.S.
Daniel Pearce is an electronic dance producer from Bristol, England. Has made plenty of waves i the scene since arriving only a few years ago. Crank up that bass!
Meat Puppets have a legendary status in the alternative music world. Their first two albums are considered godsends by many rock critics and music aficionados. The band formed as a trio in Phoenix, AZ. in 1980 by the Kirkwood brothers Curt and Cris with drummer Derrick Bostrom. Blending punk rock with country and blues and some psychedelia thrown in Meat Puppets were a unique blend. the band really gained attention when Curt and Cris sat in with Nirvana during their unplugged set and let Nirvana cover their song “Lake Of Fire.” The band continues to release great stuff today. Meat Puppets is slang for humans.
Poi Dog Pondering
Poi Dog Pondering formed in 1985 in Hawaii. Their sound was a mix of rock, pop, with traditional folk instrument influences. They release their self titled debut in 1988 and gained national attention with their second release Wishing Like the Mountain And Thinking Like The Sea. They have released eight official albums along with three live albums and a couple e.p’s. while maintaining a solid following.
Rocket From The Crypt
RFTC were formed in 1990 in San Diego, CA. by singer/guitarist John Reis. The original line up was a five piece band. they were quickly scooped up by Interscope Records in a bidding war after their second album Circa Now! and a publicity stunt allowing all fans with a RFTC tattoo to enter their concerts free for life created buzz. Subsequently, despite positive reviews and energetic live shows album sales never really took off. By 2005 the band broke up. Rumors have swirled that this year they may reunite! So have faith! their name is a take on legendary Cleveland pre-punk band Rocket From The Tombs!.
Steel Pole Bathtub
STB formed as a duo between Mike Morasky and Dale Flattum in Bozeman, Montana before relocating to San Fransisco and recruiting drummer Darren Mor-X. Their early sound was of the noise punk variety that was often sample heavy. They were swept up by Slash records during the mid 90′s signing frenzy of any band from the Northwest as a reaction to the megalithic success of grunge music. The band would suffer from major labor pressures (suppressing their sampling, trying too change their sound) and the band would not release any new music until their contract expired in 2002. The band also paired with Jello Biafra as Tumor Circus.
Texas Is The Reason
TITR were a mid 90′s pre-cursor to the emo explosion. Releasing only one official album Do You Know Who You Are? Band tensions led to a premature breakup as the band was on the cusp of a breakthrough. Members went to differing projects afterward most notably the band Jets To Brazil, which is also now defunct. The band name is rumored to come from two sources firstly, a Misfits song lyric form the song “Bullet” and secondly from a conspiracy theory revolving around JFK’s assassination in Dallas, TX. It’s up to you to decide!
Zodiac Mindwarp And The Love Reaction
Zodiac Mindwarp was the tongue in cheek project of graphic designer Mark Manning. Using various musicians through the years Manning has released eight albums and one live album since 1988. The song “Prime Mover” from 1987, with it’s latent hair metal overdrive, is probably his biggest hit.
ATP was founded in 1996. Their sound is of the stoner metal slow and low format. The band released six albums through 2007 with three different vocalist. Not sure how they arrived at the name, but it is awesome!
Probably the pre-eminent Chicago punk band. Or at least the most popular besides Big Black. Raygun formed in the height of punk during 1980 in Chicago. Releasing seminal records Throb Throb, All Rise, Jettison, Understand? during the 80′s with various members with sole member Jeff Pezzati remaining constant throughout their run. Pezzati and his brother Marko, also a member, were also in Big Black. Naked Raygun’s style of punk went a notch above the rest of the field. Very recommended.
Pop Will Eat Itself
Maybe my favorite band name ever? PWEI formed in 1986 in Stourbridge, England. Following the lead of The Clash and listening to hip hop and dance music the band formed a sound that incorporated all of those influences. Starting the height of their popularity in the late 80′s with the release of their album This Is The Day…This Is The Hour..This Is This! in 1988 and continuing through the mid 90′s and then unfortunately, fading the band released six albums up to 2011.
So there you have it another blast of cool band names to hold you for a while until I can gather up even more for your reading and viewing pleasure! Until then feel free to peruse past blogs, and as always visit Bandbook.com and check out this awesome site.