These Are the Worst Band Names in Indie Rock


This past Saturday, at the soon-to-close Maxwells, Scottish indie quartet We Were Promised Jetpacks performed. It served to remind us just how great a band this is. Sadly, we frequently forget, thanks to their stupid fucking name. We think these guys would be a lot bigger if it weren’t for the annoying moniker. (Seriously–who’s ever been promised a jetpack, other than James Bond and Michael Jackson?) With that in mind, then, here are other band names in Indie that annoy the crap out of us.

Now, what genius thought this nonsense up? Way to make it impossible for anyone to talk about you, !!!. Yeah, we know we’re supposed to call you as Chk-Chk-Chk now, but we still refer to you as “That fucking exclamation point band”, on principle.

As we all know, after you put a period in text on a computer, the computer automatically capitalizes the first letter that comes after it- because ‘.’ signifies the end of a sentence. It’s a miracle that Fun. has done so well then, because it is literally the most annoying band name for anyone to type into the middle of a sentence. Fun, for journalists especially, is not having to use the backspace key every two bastard minutes to change auto-grammar into something that makes no sense.

Archers of Loaf
This one still lives on as one of the worst band names in the history of band names. The reasons are glaringly obvious.

Hey, Merrill Garbus. We like you and everything, but we can’t help but wonder if you came up with this band name when you were eight-years-old. Can’t we just call you Merrill Garbus and be done with it?

Modest Mouse
You’ve heard it so much now that it has ceased to mean anything (like Death Cab For Cutie), but take a step back and think about the sheer ridiculousness involved with this one. “What’s up? I’m a really successful rodent (like Fievel or Remy), but I’m totally self-deprecating still. Name your band after me!”

Portugal. The Man
More full-stop abusers–only this time it’s in the middle, and not at the end. Shouldn’t it be both or not at all? What’s the point of this? And who the Christ is that dude Portugal anyway?

See also: Portugal. the Man and Danger Mouse’s Not-So-“Evil” Friendship

Planes Mistaken For Stars
When this awesome Denver band first came out, my roommates and I formed an emo quintet called Calculating When To Make A Dash For The Summit just to try and out-do them. No joke.

Sleigh Bells
Sleigh Bells. Fucking Sleigh Bells. You’re a duo that specializes in creating gargantuan walls of noise with sinisterly sweet vocals on top and you name yourselves after the sound children hear when Santa’s flying over the house on Christmas Eve. Incredibly stupid.

See also: Emo is Dead, Long Live Emo: 30 Bands Making it Safe to Hurt Again

Jimmy Eat World
Awful. Just… awful.

Neutral Milk Hotel
There was an episode of Parks and Recreation once where Aubrey Plaza’s character, April, claimed that her favorite band was Neutral Milk Hotel. We’d put money on the fact that 95% of people watching the show thought that was a band name that was made up in a fit of on-set improv. It’s too ridiculous to actually be a thing, right?

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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 17, 2013


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