6 Tips to Identify and Avoid Overrated Bands


Let's face it: there's a lot of awful music out there. Back when we had Napster, we never felt bad for illegally downloading a song, even if we knew we should—like when "Save the Starving Children of Africa" commercials come on and you change the channel. No one likes things that suck.

During this golden era, shitty bands were exposed at a faster rate than they could be cloned (Blink 182, Sum 41, etc.), saving us a lot of money in the process. Unfortunately, the music industry locked down our piracy parade and now we're at the mercy of guesswork again. But don't worry...el Intersection has the inside scoop.

Over time, I have compiled what I believe are the best tips for avoiding shitty music from bands with names that promise more than the band can deliver.

Tip #1: Avoid bands with food in the title.

Mickey Mouse getting kicked in the balls
Mickey v. Cake. Little Lisa knows the answer.

Unless you have synesthesia, delicious things don't belong in your ear. However, this method normally produces results for bands because we have been trained from an early age to recognize that things like cake, meatloaf, and jam do not, in fact, suck. Moreover, only a terrorist would say such a thing. This fact did not escape crappy and overrated bands like Cake, Meatloaf and Pearl Jam.

Getting fooled by this type of band name often leads to this scenario: some guy comes up to you on the street and declares Cake sucks, but his screams of "I meant the band!" are drowned out by the sound of you viciously—and repeatedly—kicking him in the sac.

Mickey v. Cake. Little Lisa knows the answer.

Tip #2: Avoid bands whose name brags about their talent.

Better than Ezra frontman
His first album: "Ezra: Better than you think."

There are a few reasons this should make you drop a band's CD immediately. First example: Good Charlotte. Hey, I'm not asking for Unfuckingbelieveable Charlotte, but it could sound more like a band name, and more importantly, less like a Lifetime movie. Maybe make the effort to set yourself apart. Better than Ezra took a bold step by using direct comparison, but this, too, failed. The problem here is two-fold: first, there's no frame of reference (who the fuck is Ezra?), and second, no sir, you most certainly are not.

His first album: "Ezra: Better than you think."

Tip #3: Avoid bands with official titles that mean nothing.

The Presidents of the United States of America never fooled us, but their hit song "Peaches"—which made it pretty clear they were "going to the country" to absolutely destroy some goddamn peaches—left a lot of questions. Most notably: why?

Upon further investigation we also discovered that the Kings of Leon are much closer to false idols back home in their evangelical town (but we're pretty sure they're not any sort of kings) and the Queens of the Stone Age aren't even women (but we're pretty sure these guys probably are some sort of queens).

Tip #4: Avoid bands with names that prey on childhood memories.

Fall Out Boy and The Ataris each stole their names—from a Simpsons character and an early video game system, respectively. These bands apparently slept through the 90's during which time these things were both determined to be fucking awful.

Neverending Story character
What here doesn't end in therapy?

The worst offender of this bunch is the band Atreyu, whose name was stolen from the 80's movie The Neverending Story. Their "music" is the aural equivalent of forcing your childhood memories to sit on Falkor's lap just long enough for things to get...uncomfortable.

What here doesn't end in therapy?

Tip #5: Avoid bands with names that evoke violence.

Honorable mentions in this category are Sting and The Dismemberment Plan, both of which lose any badass credibility the moment you hear any of their songs—normally over the PA system at Pottery Barn.

Lindsay Lohan with knivesFor bonus points: How many have been in both?But Guns N' Roses is easily the most successful of this group. This band was able to remain relevant for decades despite a lack of any albums for 15 years. The band name is irresistible, as evidenced by the fact that more random guys have been in Guns N' Roses than in Lindsay Lohan—though not by much.

Tip #6: Avoid bands with names comprised of random words stuck together.

Often, these bands, like Arctic Monkeys and Goo Goo Dolls, have horrible reasons for their band names. They rely on your confusion—or lack of brain function—to sell records. Regardless, neither compares to the deception by Vampire Weekend.

Music critics seem to love everything Vampire Weekend does. I haven't seen this much blind adoration since Germany in '33. But here's what you should know: it's a group of Ivy League-educated hipsters who think it's cute to write songs about grammar and dress their music up in dashikis. If they were so eager to make emo kids sway back and forth, they didn't need to write a fucking album; just open a window and let a cross breeze in.

Now you know their secrets. Good luck out there.

C'mon, one more:

Kate's picture

Meatloaf isn't a band- he is a freakin' legend! Pearl Jam's older stuff is pretty cool, the newer stuff is utter shite though. Also QoTSA are awesome, if only for Dave Grohl.

Totally agree with the rest of it though.

NG Hatfield's picture

1. Neutral Milk Hotel
2. Cunnin' Lynguists. The Raconteurs. Immortal Technique. Sublime.
4. Cold War Kids. Marcy Playground. Smashing Pumpkins.
5. Dead Kennedys. Dropkick Murphys. The Knife. Rage Against the Machine. Iron Maiden.
6. The Stone Roses.

Carney's picture

Good points

Gavin Pitt's picture

Neat article. I know a guy who slept with one of the Sum41 guys.

Pearl Jam rock. I've seen them every time they come here to Perth. And technically, they're not named after a food, but a slang term for semen.

btw- Okay, Fall Out Boy (the band) sucks, but THE SIMPSONS didn't suck in the Nineties! It really only started sucking from 2000- onwards.

Other exceptions: The Cranberries (1), The Jam Tarts (1), Electric Six (6), And They Shall Know Us By The Trail of Dead (5), Army of Lovers (5), Concrete Blond (6), Aphex Twin (6), Something for Kate (6) and the Soggy Bottom Boys (?)

f... u except for their last album they are an awesome band

but thats all the bands....

dude stop living under a ROCK. Cake and Pearl Jam will be more awesome than you will ever hope to be you little punk

Goog guidelines, but I wouldn't say there are no exceptions to the rules :)

i would like to see you trying to come up with a good band name, is actually harder than it seems, but hey, feel free to spread shit all over good bands, like blink 182 and arctic monkeys.

hahaha blink 182 a good band. That was a funny joke.

This article was only a comedy article. Don't take offense if your favorite band was named in it.

btw, Vampire Weekend's self-titled album was still solid and you know it.

Now I feel like I have horrible taste in music. Thanks a lot.

I like the fact that you don't give a sh*t pointing out bands you determine to be crappy based solely on the name of the group. Which screams of shallowness beyond comprehension, yet you make absolute perfect sense.....
(checking for anit-paradigm crumple zones)
WARNING: no zones detected, no zones detected.
-End of transmission-

Sit on a dick, BITCH!

If Better than Ezra is *not* a proud Basque man, you better have a damn good reason for that picture being there. I would hate to think it was to demonstrate the ludicrousness (?) of Better than Ezra.

Greetings from the part of PA known as Little Bilbao.

Well, all that leaves is country, so... I like a lot of those bands. music is an opinion don't hate people for what they like. That said, your kind of a douche. I bet you listen to some terrible music.

1) String Cheese Incident
3) King Crimson, Mr. Bungle
5) Tool, Widespread Panic
6) Infectious Grooves, Hairy Apes BMX, Break Science, Bassnectar

There's more, but I'm going to bed.

Who the hell does this guy think he is judging the world's music? Music is an art, and these are artists. You might have an opinion of one work being better than the other, but your dry comedy and lackluster attitude about decent musicians won't get you very far, buddy.

Go on and find yourself a nice Native American "raindance" band and make fun of their shitty music. I fucking dare you. :)

Yeah, I was about to say, who made you supreme overlord of everyone's opinion of music? You're probably one of those people who has to reference a top 100, 1000, etc. list and look for a person's name to consider them talented.

this article is horrible.

Unless you have synesthesia, delicious things don't belong in your ear.

You get a 5 just for this.

I can understand why some people could dislike this type of music. 1) they are like 12 years old (probably, because if the 'golden era' of your life was when you were downloading blink182 off of napster, you are like 12).

2) You are black, or would like very much to be black. I am not saying all black people hate alt-rock, however, a lot of black people have a bad taste in their mouth because a lot of people who do like alt-rock talked a lot of shit about r&b and rap when it first came around and mostly sucked. Its a defense mechanism, once the sting subsides, and you actually listen to some of this music, you will probably like... atleast SOME of it. Even if you dont want your gangbangin friends to know.

3) You are hopelessly emo. If all of your music sounds nasally, and the chord progressions are all very much the same (because smug fucktards have a tendency to only learn how to play 1/15th of an instrument before they declare themselves musical masters)... and all the dudes in the bands look like goth girls with expensive clothing. Then yeah... you fucking defy logic anyhow.

this is stupid. never judge a book by its cover. dont be this dipshit who missed out on great music because you followed stupid "guidlines" like these.

there is a reason behind all these names. i love the ataris and there name was from kris roes large atari collection from when he was young. good charlotte got their name from a name of a book

Guns N' Roses rules(d). T.W.A.T