Band names are a very complicated thing.
It's funny how you can forgive a band for their terrible name if you really love their music; in such circumstances, the name almost becomes irrelevant. On the other hand, a terrible name would probably put us off listening to a band altogether. See? Complicated.
However, we've tried to put aside our personal feelings and chosen ten band names that are pretty awful, regardless of their music. Mostly.
1. COUNTING CROWS
What were they thinking? Counting Crows? Of course, it doesn't help matters that Adam Duritz's band are pretty damned awful – but this makes no sense whatsoever. Who counts crows? It's not even a thing. Apparently the American pop-rockers took it from the 'One for Sorrow' nursery rhyme, WHICH ISN'T EVEN ABOUT CROWS! That said, 'Counting Magpies' is even worse.
2. LIMP BIZKIT
We're not going to tell you the supposed origin of this band name, because it's basically disgusting and involves the kind of bodily fluids that only men can produce. Google it, if you must (see also: the origin of Circle Jerks.) Leaving that gross tidbit aside, this name really hasn't aged well at all – not that it was great to begin with. The 'z' is so ''90s rap-rock' that it's cringeworthy.
3. NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL
If ever there was a band name that literally sounds like three random words thrown together, it's Neutral Milk Hotel. The band are highly respected amongst the indie community, but founder Jeff Mangum has never disclosed the meaning of their name. We're guessing that's because umm... it doesn't have one.
4. 30 SECONDS TO MARS
It sounds more like a rollercoaster you'd find at a Spanish amusement park, but the origin of Jared Leto's band name is pretentious enough to make you vomit. Supposedly a quote taken from a made-up 'ancient' manuscript (that they pretend is real) called the 'Argus Apocraphex', the band name is “a metaphor for the future; the fact that we're so close to something that's not a tangible idea”. Catch a hold of yourself, Jared.
5. CAR SEAT HEADREST
They may be a good band, but what were American indie outfit Car Seat Headrest thinking? Were they literally in a rush to come up with a name on the way to a gig, looked around the car and decided upon the first thing they landed upon? Well, kind of. The real reason is because founder Will Toledo used to record his vocals in the back seat of his car.) 'Glove Compartment Button', 'Blinking Fuel Light' or 'Faulty Window Switch' would have been no less awful.
6. PISSED JEANS
If you need this one explained to you, you're on the wrong website. We'll say one thing for the American punk band: it's certainly evocative. In all the wrong ways.
7. CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN
There's something about this Welsh band's name that strikes all the wrong notes – and that's before we mention their music. You know the way the phrase 'cellar door' is often cited as one of the most beautiful-sounding in the English language? Well, 'Catfish and the Bottlemen' is the opposite of that. Named after an Australian busker called Catfish (who played tuned beer bottles) who frontman Van McCann encountered as a child, it's one of the ugliest-sounding band names out there.
8. IMAGINE DRAGONS
There's always a danger with putting the word 'dragon' in your band name; get it wrong and you'll seem like a jokey metal band or a group of weird Game of Thrones fans. This Las Vegas pop-rock band avoided that conundrum by putting the word 'Imagine' in front of it – presumably for the sole reason that it rhymed. The resultant name sounds like a company specialising in birthday parties for 8-year-olds. Their one redeeming feature is that a potential tribute band could call themselves 'Imagine Flagons'. Still not worth it, though.
9. ATOMIC KITTEN
We can almost get on board with 'Atomic', given its association with Blondie – but then again, there's its association with, y'know, a large explosive device that killed thousands of innocent people during WW2. We can just imagine the scenes across a boardroom: “Know what'd soften the blow, girls? Take the edge off that word? Cute little baby cats.” The awful name - which brings to mind an image of a very large exploding cat - is almost as bad as their crap pop songs.
The first rule of naming your band should ALWAYS be 'Never use 'stank', 'stink', 'stinky', 'stunk' or any variation on the word that means 'bad smell''. Unfortunately, Hoobastank never got that memo. The American rock band apparently took their name from the mispronunciation of a German street, but this is a perfect example of how in-jokes do not work as band names. Would you really walk down the street wearing a Hoobastank t-shirt? Really?