Houston Music

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.

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.

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.

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

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’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.

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.

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.

Another one for all of you who never know whether to first reach for your Bible or your revolver.

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.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
The Houston Press is a nationally award-winning, 34-year-old publication ruled by endless curiosity, a certain amount of irreverence, the desire to get to the truth and to point out the absurd as well as the glorious.
Contact: Houston Press