Best Band Names











Band names.  They create your first impression of a band that has recently hit your radar.  You haven’t even heard what the band has to offer and you’re already passing judgment.

We all remember the animal name craze (Grizzly Bear, Caribou, Animal Collective), the city name craze (Phoenix, Of Montreal, Beirut), the craze where every band’s name started with “the” (The Strokes, The Kills).  As fads come and go, some band names remain awesome whether or not their music actually appeals to you.

Below are lists of our respective Top 5 band names.


  1. Vancougar (my new nickname?)
  2. Sold Out (the confusing concert posters can work for or against them)
  3. The The (so simple, so good)
  4. Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (genius; immediate mental image of a tough looking babe)
  5. The New Pornographers (it contains “porn”= I’m sold)


  1. Yo La Tengo! (the baseball anecdote their name is based on is pretty hilare)
  2. The Brian Jonestown Massacre (the portmanteau band name led to a flood of others, such as Willie Nelson Mandela and JFKFC. Not sure if that’s a good thing or bad, but BJM is bad ass)
  3. Of Montreal (they’re not but they clearly want you to think they’re as cool as their northern neighbour, and they kind of are)
  4. A Place to Burry Strangers (hmmm… where?)
  5. My Bloody Valentine (have we caught on that I have a dark side?)

We’ve surely excluded some great ones from our lists.  What’s your favourite band name and why?

(Images via Dale Metteer and Olterbuddfi)


6 Comments on “Best Band Names”

  1. Cathy says:

    Love is all (because, well…)

    I love you but I’ve chosen darkness (guess I truly am a Gemini)

  2. Adam says:

    A friend’s band is called, “Bastard Child Death Cult” or BC/DC

    They’re a hardcore band so it works for ’em

    also notable mention goes to one of my favorite groups “Black Joe Louis and the Honeybears”

    • Sandra says:

      BC/DC is awesome! My friend Zu (who you prolly met at NYE) and I want to start a band called Eastern Euro Babe Makeouts. I’m going to learn to play the guitar just so I can name a band.

  3. Heather says:

    How about the Guess Who and the Who? Can’t ignore the classics! So much confusion there…

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