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What Not To Name Your Band


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5pm Sunday evening: the internet is mildly astir. The Morning Benders have just made an announcement on Facebook and Twitter that ‘this will be the last post/tweet from The Morning Benders’. Wikipedia is updated; it’s official.

POP ETCActually, it turns out someone’s just being dramatic. The band is still live and well – they’re just not The Morning Benders anymore. Let’s go back to 2010: The Morning Benders have just hit London for the first time and discovered – shock horror – that their (admittedly not brilliant) moniker has some rather unfortunate connotations over here. As the former website explains – ‘We were told our band name was the equivalent of 'The Morning Fags' in America. We had been called The Morning Benders for 5 years, and we were just finding this out now? It was shocking. And quite sad, to say the least.’

So, with respect to both the fans and the gay community, the band have announced a name change. Say hello to POP ETC.

No, really. From one bad name to a terrible one – say goodbye to your vague indie credibility, The Morning Benders. POP ETC sound like some really terrible 80s synth band wearing too much dayglo and hotpants, or some short-lived 90s boyband best left forgotten. The mixtape just released to accompany their new name suggests an unexpected direction change, so maybe the new name is not inappropriate - but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s awful.

And what’s more, we seem to be living in an era of increasingly ridiculous band names – from !!! (try googling it) to Let’s Get Out Of This Terrible Sandwich Shop (um...), mediocre indie bands are going to ever more desperate lengths to stand out. But this is not just a new phenomenon. Terrible band names have been around since way before You Slut! arrived on the scene. TNS looks at where people are going wrong.

Unnecessary punctuation - Panic! At the Disco, Wham!.

Could anything scream ‘we’re fun and bubbly people’ more? Everybody knows that there’s nothing more annoying than somebody trying to prove how ‘fun’ and ‘bubbly’ they are. (see also: Godspeed You! Black Emperor. There’s not enough space to go into how much is wrong with this name.)

Unnecessary prepositions – Bowling for Soup, Fountains of Wayne, Death Cab for Cutie.

Are these actually meant to sound like they have some greater meaning than ‘let’s string two unconnected words together with a preposition and make banal pop punk’?

The ‘z’s – Limp Bizkit, Boyz II Men

Screams one of three things: ‘we never went to school’, ‘we think we’re far cooler than we are’ or ‘really bad marketing scheme’.

Plain stupid - You have to wonder how many potential fans ‘Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit’ have lost before even hitting ‘play’.

One word – these names may not be bad as such, but I find myself getting confused between ‘Blouse’ and ‘Girls’ and ‘Blondes’ and ‘Daughter’ on a daily basis. Sticking to the unadventurous seems to be a good rule to not come off sounding like idiots (nothing wrong with ‘The Smiths’) but these guys aren’t helping themselves in the overpopulated world of indie buzz bands.

Obviously these are just our pick of the crop: the world is awash with terrible band names (extensive research has led me to the personal favourite of ‘A Cat Born In An Oven Isn't a Cake’). Leave your suggestions below.

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