22 Great Bands With Godawful Names

“See, it’s like the creepy little bugs, but ALSO like the parts of music! Get it?!”

1. Nirvana

How could such a brilliant band bear a name that might as well have been given to them by the worst guy in your freshman dorm? How, I ask you??

2. Modest Mouse

Get all that cringe-inducing self-effacing shyness out of my perfectly sparse guitar music! Jeez.

3. Foxygen

Things that are “foxy” are the mysterious kind of sexy, and it’s hard to find anything less exotic than oxygen. While their music might be plenty alluring, their name is not.

4. Boyz II Men

A “Z” as a pluralizer AND a Roman numeral really elevate this band name, which is ALREADY a reference to puberty, to legendarily horrific status. Even the majesty of Boyz II Men’s linen suit game can’t distract from this most dubious of names.

5. Radiohead

Talking Heads reference or no, there’s no denying the corniness of basically proclaiming yourselves audiophiles. A good rule for bands is not to directly reference music in your name — it’s redundant, you know?

6. Butthole Surfers

You have to give the band some credit: The announcer of their first paid show forgot their name and used the title of their song, “Butthole Surfers.” It stuck, and though it’s pretty terrible, it’s also pretty hilarious — and totally fits their personality.

7. Death Cab for Cutie

I feel like if they had just cut it off at “Death Cab,” it would be a little less terrible…actually, no, still the worst. The “cutie” just adds schmaltzy insult to injury.

8. Majical Cloudz

Self-explanatory. Given the beauty of this band, there’s probably some romantic reason for it, but the truth stands that calling yourself this is just sort of silly.

9. U2

This is how you feel when you think about the fact that one of the most vocal and powerful political bands of the past half-century has this for a name (and a guy named The Edge for a guitarist, for that matter).

10. !!!

WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING WITH THAT. Also, this band wants you to pronounce their punctuation-based non-name “chk chk chk,” which, absolutely not — you should have, I don’t know, spelled it that way if that’s really what you wanted, guys.

11. Cap’n Jazz

You are not the CAPTAINS OF JAZZ, Kinsella brothers. You are two math rock guys, and while you’re great at what you do, this name has nothing to do with that.

12. Diarrhea Planet

While the name “Diarrhea Planet” might conjure up some unpleasant images, it does give you a sense of the poop-joke Blink-182 breed of pop-punk comedy present in their music, which is maybe the only semi-positive thing you can say about a name like this.

13. The Smashing Pumpkins

Great, you named your band after the surest way to ruin a child’s Halloween. Also, who wants to be associated with a pumpkin, of all things? (Well, Billy Corgan, I guess, but probably no one else on Earth.)

14. The Beatles

“Like BUGS, but also like the MUSIC that we MAKE. Get it???” Best band, worst name.

15. Pissed Jeans

The three instances when someone urinates in their clothes are the following: A) He or she is, like, 3. B) He or she is frightened. C) He or she is drunk and can’t make it to the bathroom. Totally outrageous and totally befitting this balls-out grunge band.

16. Archers of Loaf

Anything with the word “loaf” in it is an automatic NO THANKS.

17. Everything But the Girl

This duo named themselves after a furniture store with a sign that read, “For your bedroom needs, we sell everything but the girl.” URGH, right? Fingers crossed they’re sending some kind of political message, at least.

18. Soundgarden

The sentiment that your band is like a bountiful GARDEN of SOUND is eminently mockable on every level.

19. Tears for Fears

One (1) nonsensical rhyme plus one (1) attempt to sound ~deep~ and ~sensitive~ = a truly terrible band name, even if they DID write about 2,419 great songs (they did).

20. LCD Soundsystem

OK, so maybe this band really WAS a system that pumped out the SOUNDZ, but given all their talent, they could have done better than something so self-evident.

21. Letters to Cleo

The name is a reference to the lead vocalist’s childhood pen pal, which gives it about one thousand “awwww” points, but doesn’t do very much in the way of “cool.” They make up for it with their amazing brand of alt-rock, and their music makes appearances in Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Craft.

22. Savatage

Actually, this might be kind of the best band name of all time. Nevermind, Savatage, you win this round.

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