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By Cale, Morgan Day, Morgan Fecto, Peter Heyneman, Carly Loman, Steve Place, Bryce Rudow, Clarissa Villondo, Brandon Weight, Brandon Wetherbee, Alan Zilberman, Stephanie Breijo

A bad band name is not necessarily a band thing. For every wonderfully named Public Enemy and Sonic Youth, there’s a horribly named Cypress Hill and Smashing Pumpkins. Not every band can be The Band. Sometimes, the only name left is Pearl Jam. If Pearl Jam was able to sell a bazillion records, any stupid band with a stupid name can take over the world. Except emocore bands. Those dudes are dumb.


Why it sucks: I love you, Pete Doherty. But “Babyshambles”? I don’t get it. If you’ve had a sordid (and that’s putting it lightly) past, why market a new band with the word “shambles” in it? Or “baby” for that matter! Bad decisions all around. (He also has a “Babyshambles” nip tat, fyi.)

Does the band suck?: No. But I’m still a bitter The Libertine’s fan. -Carly Loman


Bag Raiders

Why it sucks: Because I used to think it was Bug Raiders which I like better.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

The Bar-Kays

Why it sucks: Awkward.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

The Beatles

Why it sucks: The Beats is a good name. A beetle is an insect. This proper noun means nothing. The Quarrymen is a way better name.

Does the band suck? No, I like music. -Brandon Wetherbee


Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

Why it sucks: Your parents named you dumb.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Big K.R.I.T.

Why it sucks: Do I have to say each letter?

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Bix Beiderbecke

Why it sucks: Your parents named you dumb too, but I guess it’s OK since it was 1903.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

The Black Angels

Why it sucks: So ominous.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Blind Melon

Why it sucks: Blind Melon.

Does the band suck?: Listen to their second album before you scoff. -Cale


Broken Social Scene

Why it sucks: FEELS

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

The Crystal Ark/Castles/Fighters/Stilts/Antlers

Why it sucks: whoever did this last should have known better.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


Why it sucks: Try searching “Cheatahs” on Google. Try it. You get the animal even though the London band tried to spell it like you’re a cheater.

Does the band suck?: You’d think the band might be a little exciting, a band with a play-on-words for a name. No, the band’s Twitter handle is @cheatahssuck and I nearly fell asleep at their boring U Street Music Hall performance. -Clarissa Villondo

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Why it sucks: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Does the band suck?: Don’t listen to their second album, or third, or fourth. -Cale

The Dandy Warhols

Why it sucks: It really sucks when you like a band but the name is so bad it’s literally embarrassing to tell people that you like said band. The Dandy Warhols, for example!

Does the band suck?: NO, BAND IS VERY GOOD. -Carly Loman


Death From Above 1979

Why it sucks: No, really, check Google first.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

The Devil Wears Prada

Why it sucks: The Devil Wears Prada remains one of the faces of the metalcore genre and is still putting out music even though Meryl Streep mutilated all chances for them to have any bad ass credibility.

Early on they admitted to ripping their name from The Devil Wears Prada book because they thought it carried some anti-materialist moral. Singer and lyricist Mike Hranica explains, “When standing before God, He won’t care about your sweet Prada scarf or Gucci shoes or whatever. It’s a Christian reasoning for the name, we didn’t name it to attempt at being fashionable or whatever.”

Clearly, they didn’t plan for people to think of Paris Fashion Week while listening to their music. They’re known for their obscure song names that really have nothing to do with the content of the song (i.e “Big Wiggly Style”), but all is well for the band as there will always be an abundance of angsty 16-years-old fans.

Does the band suck?: Only if you’re not an angsty 16-year-old. -Morgan Day


Diarrhea Planet

Why it sucks: Speaking of shit…this band name is full of it. Contrived though it is, we can still examine the pure crap that is “Diarrhea Planet.” It’s a little farfetched (a liquid poo large enough to bump Pluto out of the running for shittiest planet?) It’s the last thing you want filling your headphones (will liquid enzymes take that out?) But at the very least, it’s memorable.

Does the band suck?: I don’t mean to shit on Diarrhea Planet because their music is great. Oddly enough, the name sums up what’s good about the band itself: highly energized, intentionally sloppy, and as liberating during as it is pleasant when it’s over. -Morgan Fecto


Why it sucks: Fucking check Google first.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

The Doors

Why it sucks: Put the bong down hippie.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


D.R.U.G.S which stands for: Destroy rebuild until God shows.

Why it sucks: The frontman of this band is Craig Owens. He was originally the frontman of Chiodos, which was incredibly successful. Chiodos kicked him out because he was too controlling. He started D.R.U.G.S

Does the band suck?: Failure. -Morgan Day

Emocore offenders

Good bands with dumb names will overcome the dumbness. I mean who wouldn’t think a group called “The Pixies” was like a shitty Yanni cover band or something? But once you hear the Pixies you’re like “Damn this is great who cares about the name? Pass me some heroin I love heroin.” Therefore the only bad band names are names that make you think “Hey, this could be cool!” before listening to them and realizing that they blow and nobody awesome can ever have that name now. The worst offenders of course are emocore bands. So here are three awesome literary names that will be sadly associated for all time with audio garbage instead of excellent books. -Peter Heyneman
As I Lay Dying
Hot Water Music
Of Mice and Men

Fibes, Oh Fibes!

Why it sucks: Oh God!

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

First Aid Kit

Why it sucks: Let’s talk marketing. When you’re promoting your band, don’t you want as many people as possible to hear your music? If you’re playing music you should give your band a name that allows people to search for your songs. You should have a band name that allows people to find your tour schedule, or see band photos–don’t even get me started on bands who don’t have hi-res images readily available–and you should absolutely not be fighting an uphill SEO battle against a popular (and necessary) box of band-aids, antibiotic ointments and easy-wrap mummy costumes. If this reads as grumpy and gripey, it comes from an earnest place; the Internet wants you to succeed. Help it help you.

Does the band suck?: Not at all. -Stephanie Breijo


Why it sucks: Unless you’re some pagan guy with a chin piercing, you probably wouldn’t waste time trying to defend this afterbirth of a band name. Let’s dissect it: “God.” Okay, sounds like it’ll probably be pretty lame. Now let’s add something to show that we don’t care about established religions so everyone will think we’re real badass. “Smack!” Yes, that’s the ticket. If you wanna bro-out with your tribal arm tattoo and bask in the “so punk-rock” essence of this one, be my guest, but it’ll probably be lonely.

Does the band suck?: The radio and Ozzfest’s promoters might beg to differ, but let’s call a shit sandwich a shit sandwich. Godsmack had it’s place in the late-90s (between grunge and whatever crap plays on DC101 nowadays) but I’d sooner endure an actual mollywhop than their music. -Morgan Fecto


The Good, The Bad, & The Queen

Why it sucks: The Bad.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


Why it sucks: That’s not a typo. These dicks use an infinity sign in lieu of two consecutive o’s. It represents the indefinite airplay “The Reason” receives on adult contemporary radio. That’s not a typo, either. Still, they titled their greatest hits album “For(N)ever and The Greatest Hits.” CURVEBALL. Isn’t ∞ supposed to signify limitless possibilities? Why the parenthesis? Are they that unsure of their musical prowess that they resort to passive aggressively changing the entire meaning of the album title? Perhaps it’s simpler. Perhaps it signifies the proverbial snake eating it’s own tail because it can no longer stand the indefinite airplay “The Reason” receives on adult contemporary radio.

Does the band suck?: I wish I had my own tail to eat. -Brandon Weight


The Hood Internet

Why it sucks: Might as well just add Dot Com.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Imagine Dragons

Why it sucks: I will imagine no dragons.

Does the band suck?: Yes -Carly Loman


Why it sucks: They made the conscious to be named after a fuck-demon who will literally rape you to death… So, there’s that.

Does the band suck?: Not even close. “Drive” remains one of my favorite songs of all time, and their sound is a lot more mellow than their name would suggest. (Incorrect. -ed.) -Alana Wise


Why it sucks: It’s just so cheesy. Journey.

Does the band suck?: Steve Perry has the voice of an angel, and anybody who suggests otherwise deserves a swift roundhouse kick to the face. -Alana Wise



Why it sucks: Any idiot with a Family Values t-shirt and an IQ lower than Fieldy’s bass can see “Korn” was an obvious ploy orchestrated by Monsanto to gain popular support for ethanol subsidies. These motherfuckers were on TRL! Do you think anyone can get that close to Carson Daily without some serious Illuminati type connections!? Worst band name ever.

Does the band suck?: Do you like 7 string guitars? R U ready? -Steve Place


Late of the Pier

Why it sucks: They have one really good song also with a dumb name called “Bathroom Gurgle.”

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


Why it sucks: It’s as cheesy as Journey, but with the added pretension of implying that their music will somehow save you like a lighthouse would, only better.

Does the band suck?: Horrible is a strong word. A bit mawkish for my ears, but not horrible. (They are horrible. -ed.) -Alana Wise


The Mountain Goats

Why it sucks: Reading his book on Black Sabbath gives him a pass on everything.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


Why it sucks: After a quick consultation with my dear friend, Wikipedia, I found that the name “originates from the nickel in change that band member Mike Kroeger gave customers at his job at Starbucks; he would frequently say, ‘Here’s your nickel back.'”…That’s bullshit, and you know it. We all know it. Even if the story is true, that is still absolutely bullshit reasoning.

Does the band suck?: The public says yes, while their record sales and gazillions of nickels earned seem to suggest otherwise. -Alana Wise

Nine Inch Nails

Why it sucks: Because the nails used to crucify Jesus is cool for a band name when you’re a teen. Because the nails used to crucify Jesus is not cool if you’re a married man with two kids, Grammy’s and an Oscar. That being said, it may be one of the best acronyms and logos in modern music.

Does the band suck?: No. I’m still 14. -Brandon Wetherbee



Why it sucks: oOoOO come on

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Pearl Jam

Why it sucks: So ingrained in my brain I don’t realize it’s dumb.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


The Postal Service

Why it sucks: Yes, Ben Gibbard, we know life is sometimes sad and confusing, but couldn’t you have picked a name for this project that didn’t make us so sad and…confused? This name is more arbitrary than British street orientation, and makes me as sexually frustrated as Zooey Deschanel’s bangs. It’s cold. It’s sterile. It’s nonsensical. Much like the tenth anniversary re-release of Give Up.

Does the band suck?: No. No it doesn’t. In fact, much of my hatred for the band name stems from a bitterness that The Postal Service isn’t making new music. Doesn’t Gibbard know that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes? At least, my ear canal and his premenstrual voice. -Morgan Fecto


Why it sucks: DJ Roomba?

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


Shout Out Out Out Out

Why it sucks: Dude, chill.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Songs: Ohia

Why it sucks: RIP

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Test Icicles

Why it sucks: Not funny.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


Why it sucks: While on the surface not a terrible name, as 112, The 88 and others have made #’s work for them, 311 got wrapped up in the folklore behind the meaning of their name, with a rumor surfacing in the late 90’s that it stood for KKK (K being the 11th letter of the alphabet). The band has stated that it actually is the Omaha police code for indecent exposure, which was appropriate because band-member “P-Nut and some friends went skinny dipping in a public pool.

Does the band suck?: These guys were the pinnacle of rap-rock before it went Limp, and you’ll still find them getting radioplay thanks to “Amber” and the occasional DC101 love for “All Mixed Up,” but it’s unfortunate they couldn’t find a better way to describe the story of a guy named P-Nut getting caught skinny dipping. -Bryce Rudow

The Ting Tings

Why it sucks: That’s their name.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Toad The Wet Sprocket

Why it sucks: Anything that’s confusing and moist is bad.

Does the band suck?: Yes. My friend’s older brothers had shit taste in music. -Brandon Wetherbee

TV On The Radio

Why it sucks: Actually, I’m on the fence about this being dumb or not.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale


Daniel Wang

Why it sucks: Haha, your name means penis.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

The Wet Secrets

Why it sucks: I almost missed their set because their name sounds like premature ejaculation.

Does the band suck? No! They’re a fantastic Canadian 5-piece that’s equal parts Clinic and Belle & Sebastian. -Brandon Wetherbee


Why it sucks: Unless it can be proven that this band was named after the sound of Adam West’s Batman hitting Caesar Romano’s Joker, I just don’t like it.

Does the band suck?: “Last Christmas” is still one of my favorite Christmas songs… -Bryce Rudow

The World Is a Beautiful Place and I’m No Longer Afraid to Die

Why it sucks: It’s a horrible band name because it’s too long, twee, and earnest. Anyone who first hears the band name assumes it’s a joke.

Does the band suck?: They’re terrific, actually. They’re a self-described “emo orchestra” and their songs are melodic, fierce, and ethereal. -Alan Zilberman


Why it sucks: Embarrassed to say it out loud.

Does the band suck?: No. -Cale

Yellow Card

Why it sucks: Yellow Card the band has nothing to do with getting a yellow card in soccer. Straight up misleading.

Does the band suck?: Yes. -Carly Loman