Two Buck Drunk are also very patriotic.
Two Buck Drunk are also very patriotic.
Jesse Sendejas Jr.

Houston's 10 Best Band Names

The landfill of discarded band names is nearly as ripe as an actual trash heap. While The Quarrymen had a certain backcountry charm, Radiohead was never going to take over the world as On a Friday, nor U2 as The Hype, nor Coldplay as Pectoralz (times ten). As Detour, The Who went nowhere fast, while Green Day originally wanted to anoint themselves the slightly Mansonesque Sweet Children. Sometimes a minor tweak is all that’s necessary to nudge a group to greatness — Easy Cure became The Cure, for example — and then there are those, such as the Bayou City bands below, who have the whole name thing nailed.

AMERICAN FANGS
Any time you put “American” in front of anything, it’s going to add a little extra pop. Pairing it with “fangs?” Man, that’s just badass. These guys are tatted-up and loud, as would be expected from a band named American Fangs.

BLACK COFFEE
Originally named after the song recorded by Black Flag. Also a strong, stimulating, acidic, scalding beverage loaded with "caffeine that can cause a short but dramatic increase in your blood pressure," according to the Mayo Clinic, and a perfect name for Ryan Taylor's jolting hardcore band. Taylor has also been associated with several other great band names, including, but not limited to, Thug Boots, Titan Blood, The Burden, I Am Wolf, Patrick Bateman, Ten Crowns, Clean Break, Grave Robbers and Your Mistake.

COP WARMTH
Calls to mind so many unthinkable pairings — Moody Park and Bing Crosby, hot hands and taser-induced seizures.

FROG HAIR
True story — for years I was deliberating a happy-hour party band called Frog Legs. But JJ, PJ and company cornered the market before I could commit to the repellent allure of green-wart jam.

HOGLEG
Hogleg’s sound lives at the roughed-up crossroads of the word’s more common uses – a bulky, death-dealing pistol such as a .44 Magnum (see one in action here); a joint with an attitude; and an utterly obliterating tune from the Melvins’ 1991 EP Eggnog. The four-piece has been battling the forces of decency in Houston’s noisier venues for the past couple of years, and should issue a full-length release next year on Montrose Records.

GIANT KITTY
Tangential euphemisms notwithstanding, Giant Kitty is a great moniker for this irreverent punk band (that just so happens to be made up of women). The name matches the band's playful and biting music style, one laden with just the right amount of sweetness and scratch.

OCEANS OF SLUMBER
While the name Oceans of Slumber might insinuate a tender New Wave lullaby, this band is anything but. Its gritty and meticulous prog-rock deserves a name like this one, born out of the soaring epic tradition of guitar bands of yore.

THOU SHALT NOT KILL...EXCEPT
Another one for all of you who never know whether to first reach for your Bible or your revolver.

TWO BUCK DRUNK
Two Buck Drunks may not be the busiest band in town — they just played their first live show in a couple of years last month at Union Tavern. One of that night's highlights was a song called "Mo-Lester," the allegedly true tale of a co-worker fired from Gattitown for being bare-ass naked on the job. They've heard Foreigner's rock classic "Jukebox Hero," but their irreverent punk take warped the notion into the no-questions-asked "Tube Sock Hero." Their abundant and mischievous wordplay is abundant in their songs, stemming from a name that recalls Trader Vic's bestselling wine, Two-Buck Chuck, and reflects its two members' constant thirst for liquid intoxicants.

HONORABLE MENTION

THE ESCATONES
An end-of-times surf band in an out-of-surf city.

FIDDLE WITCH & THE DEMONS OF DOOM
Kinda reminds me of Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld from South Park, and that’s never a bad thing. These guys are purely instrumental, and are about as haunting an instrumental outfit as you’ll find in Texas. And just in time for Halloween!

FUNERAL HORSE
Don't show up at a Funeral Horse gig expecting "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” This three-piece is telling you before front man Walter Carlos ever strums a single note that you're in for something heavy. The band has to be the truth in advertising champion of Houston music; consider a horse-drawn carriage, loaded down with earthly remains, plodding through the streets. You're not envisioning a white stallion, are you? Both horse and music are dark as a week's worth of midnights, rippling with muscle, teeming with rumbling power and majestic beauty. It's a reminder that we'll all one day be reduced to a casket of bones, but for now have the capacity to roar.

GOD FEARING FUCK
Nothing says Texas more unequivocally than this band’s name.

JEALOUS CREATURES
This is an excellent opportunity to plug Jealous Creatures’ brilliant album from last year, The Night Goes On For Days, and tomorrow night’s gig at the Nightingale Room with the aforementioned Giant Kitty. That said, the Creatures' songs are so cleverly designed to soothe bruised psyches that the record emanates from under a pall of suspicion, acknowledging humans will give in to their baser instincts with little to no warning. However, it also refrains from judgment by admitting that we're all equally guilty.

LOS SKARNALES
The mongrel Spanglish of the name Los Skarnales is not only emblematic of the ska-reggae-punk-cumbia music that this veteran band produces, it's also emblematic of the city of Houston itself. In just two little words, this band name captures the hyperdiverse musical morass that these great musicians are steeped in.

MR. PLOW
The name originates from Homer Simpson's snowplow business, and any time you hear it, the jingle pops in your head. These Houston stoner-rockers took it as a name and ran with it in the late '90s. The Plow has recently been playing a few shows around town, like Brash Brewery's First Anniversary; rumor has it the band is getting back into the studio soon to record some new tracks.

Written by Jack Gorman, Chris Gray, Clint Hale, Tex Kerschen, Jesse Sendejas Jr. and Katie Sullivan

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