We haven’t done a random ‘music argument’ list in a while, so here’s a topic for discussion: Really lame bands with really intense band names. As in, bands whose actual music doesn’t live up to the aggressiveness, violence, or intensity implied by their band name, often to hilarious degrees.
A CRUCIAL DISTINCTION: “Lame” does not necessarily mean “Bad”. I enjoy many of the bands on this list – I enjoy Billy Joel too, for example, but Billy Joel is overwhelmingly lame, and these things are not mutually exclusive.
Here are The 15 Lamest Bands With Intense Names, ordered by increasing discrepancy between “Name Intensity” and “Music Lameness”, using official science:
15. Five For Fighting
The band name connotes “Five Minutes” for a fighting penalty in ice hockey, or just five people who are “for” fighting, two concepts that are both slightly incongruous with the ever-so-whinily delivered lyric “Only a man in a funny red sheet / Looking for special things inside of me.” THEM’S FIVETIN’ WORDS! (That means starting five fights)
14. Savage Garden
sav·age – adjective
1. fierce, ferocious, or cruel; untamed: savage beasts.
2. uncivilized; barbarous: savage tribes.
3. desiring to stand with you on a mountain, bathe with you in the sea, live like this forever until the sky falls down on me.
13. .38 Special
“Hold On Loosely” is still catchy as hell, but it’s not exactly the musical equivalent of a gun, unless it’s a gun that shoots catchy southern-twinged mainstream rock singles, in which case it is literally exactly that.
12. George Thorogood And The Destroyers
Even if you attempt to defend the merits of this band’s watered-down and played-to-death blues-rock, I challenge you to tell me what they’re “DESTROYING,” unless we’re talking about the second dude from the right destroying watermelons with his sledgehammer.
UNRELATED FUN FACT: The bassist on the left is the band’s dad.
The group’s abbreviation actually stands for “Epsom Mad Funkers,” taken from a New Order lyric, but the name generated controversy when rumors circulated that it actually meant “Ecstasy Motherf***ers,” one of their own lyrics. Either way, it’s hilarious in retrospect to imagine controversy emanating from the band that eventually inspired THEY’RE CRUMBELIEVABLE:
10. Steely Dan
An extremely musically skilled band with an undeniably accomplished discography, but the graph of Steely Dan’s “Career Subversiveness” peaked when they named themselves after a dildo from a William S. Burroughs novel then plummeted to negative ten trillion one harmonious second later.
9-7. Bad Company, Badfinger, Color Me Badd
None of these bands are actually that “bad.” At worst, color them Neutrall.
Ahh, Wham! Who doesn’t love Wham!? Just not sure why they’re named after the sound of a fist punching a face. At least, that’s what I assume that sound is. What else could possibly be making that sound? It’s clearly punching. Solved! Entry over.
5. Dead Or Alive
“WHAT A HORRIFYING CAR CRASH. Is that driver DEAD…OR ALIVE?”
“He appears to be…spinning…right round…baby…right round. You know, like a record. Also one of the dudes is wearing an eyepatch or some sh*t.”
4. Smash Mouth
Related Story: The summer after my first year in college, I was driving down the street with three of my high school friends in my hometown, and we drove up to a light next to a car full of four girls, and my friend Abhishek, having experienced a year of college and therefore now an unstoppable casanova, yelled “Dude, chicks!” and reached over and CRANKED the radio (which was playing silently) to near-max volume to catch the girls’ attention.
The song that happened to be playing? “ALL STAR” by Smash Mouth. Needless to say, the ladies never looked over. Or maybe they all blew us instantly, I honestly can’t remember.
3. 10,000 Maniacs
Judging by their biggest hit, 1993’s unplugged “Because The Night”, most of the individuals in this titular raging horde of crazies are either INSANELY playing piano or PSYCHOPATHICALLY strumming violins…of DEATH!
2. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Quite possibly the most offensive band name ever (if we disregard the intentional predictable-grossness of death metal bands and the deliberately attention-grabbing names of bands like Analc**t and Goblin C*ck), made all the more ridiculous by the fact that these outwardly bragging virgin-sexers had a completely innocuous mainstream hit song. Maybe not completely innocuous – we never did learn how many zoot suits lost their lives on that fateful eve.
Styx enjoys a modest, modern-day tongue-in-cheek acceptance among the musical masses nowadays, but still, it just never stopped being hilarious that the band that sang “Lady”, “Mr. Roboto” and “Come Sail Away” named themselves after THE UNDERWORLD RIVER OF DEATH from Greek Mythology that gods SWORE OATHS UPON and which gave MAGICAL INVINCIBILITY TO THE GREATEST HERO OF THE TROJAN WAR (or at least, its most accomplished synth player).
I’m still laughing, actually – I’m not even typing, these are my laugh-convulsions just coincidentally hitting the keys to type this sentence explaining it lefkdl dw dlwkd lwkd qlkw dwldkff……./////// See?
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Godsmack (name already too lame), Panic! At The Disco (ditto), The Killers (music not lame enough), Airborne Toxic Event, Porno For Pyros (borderline), Joe Cocker (his actual “birth name,” apparently)
Other lame bands with intense names we’re leaving out? Throw ‘em in the comments.