As cliches go, ‘it’s all in a name’ is up there with ‘never judge a book by its cover’, ‘it’s too cold to snow’, and ‘I’m serious, Rebecca Black stopped being funny about an ice-age ago, let’s all just agree to stop talking about her.’ Name your pastoral folk band ‘Deathsnapper’, and the chances are you’ll have a tough old time finding the audience who’ll embrace your sound.
Some bands, however, just like to be willfully difficult. Take the following five acts, whose choice of name seems purpose-designed to have audiences scratching their heads, and gig promoters throwing their hands up in despair.
5. 10,000 Maniacs
Sounds Like: a 1980’s video-store classic starring Rutger Hauer as a warden battling a city full of evil, insane cyborg monsters.
Actually Are: Long-standing, Jamestown-based purveyors of jingly, melodic pop. No maniacs involved.
4. Butthole Surfers
Sounds Like: a website you really want to avoid.
Actually Are: Chaotic alt-rock noisemakers from San Antonio, whose cult fanbase has seen them survive until this day.
3. The Flyin’ Burrito Brothers
Sounds Like: A line of medium-quality fast-food restaurants that you visit once every now and then (i.e. when drunk), the logo of which is a pair of anthropomorphic burritos in pilot goggles and bomber jackets.
Actually Are: Country rock pioneers whose career spanned over thirty years, initially founded by Byrds legends Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman.
2. Limp Bizkit
Sounds Like: That feeling when you spill coffee on a cookie and it turns into a soggy mess, but you’re going to eat it anyway, because you paid for it anyway, right, and who cares if your hands are now full of doughy mush and everyone is looking at you and pointing and laughing and you’ll be called ‘Cookie Mess Freak’ for the rest of your life? Ahem.
Actually Are: Much in the same way we don’t have to outline certain war atrocities, we’re sure you’re already aware who these gentlemen actually are.
1. Archers Of Loaf
Sounds Like: A bow-wielding team of superheroes dedicated to removing the evil Bread Monsters from the face of the Earth.
Actually Are: 90s North Carolina rockers who (along with every other band in the world, it seems) are presently enjoying a reunion. Unfairly overlooked by the rock history books, maybe their present-day antics could win them some new fans.