4 Great Albums From Bands With Bad Names
As Steve Martin once said, "Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way". While it seems like there may be an infinite number of monikers a band could go by, in reality there are inside jokes, translation issues and - let's face it - dumb ideas in constant play. A bad name may not necessarily doom an otherwise good band, but it doesn't help. Just browse music writer Twitter, and you'll see countless posts that go something like 'Got a promo from a band actually calling themselves [XXXX]. Straight to the trash'. B&S has been guilty of this several times before, but for 2017 we decided to not let a stupid name get in the way of the music. Turns out, this was a banner year for really good albums produced by bands with unfortunate names! Here are four. (And judging by future releases from Mangoo and Clamfight, 2018 is following suit).
Before hearing a note, a band named Tricky Lobsters has to be European. Surprise! Hailing from Rostock, Germany, they play an arena-ready brand of big, hooky hard rock that dabbles in the blues end of things a lot of the time. Think a less metallic Grand Magus with more Jon Lord-style keyboard action. Their latest, Worlds Collide, has some grunge and sludge elements too, but it mostly rocks and rolls. You might not wan to wear their t-shirt, but the album is a front-to-back good time.
Somehow, this isn't a Chip & Dale tribute act. Instead of chipmunks running around saving lives, it's angry French dudes doing really good noise rock with some psych and stoner thrown in for good measure. Join Hate, produced by Page Hamilton - yes, that one! - has some very strong songwriting, as well as a vocalist that can scream and sing in equally good measure. If you're looking for a good Nineties fix, this exceeds expectations.
Laser Flames On The Great Big News
Not so much a bad name as a long and somewhat convoluted one, their self-titled full-length is a big rock record with a wealth of subtleties that reveal themselves upon further listens. The initial draw is the vocal trade-offs between John Judkins and Stephenie Bailey, but eventually the deft blend of rock, metal, folk and ambient passages seep in and remind the listener how much talent and creativity is packed into the songs. Laser Flames continues to reveal and surprise.
Well, when you're a German one-man funeral doom project, what are you supposed to call yourself? We get it, gloom and sadness, no smiling allowed. A lot of Extinct is rote stuff for this genre, but the atmosphere and keys are sufficiently creepy. Closing the album with an inventive take on Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 (aka the Funeral March) puts it over the top.