Anybody familiar with the punk scene knows that sarcastic and crass humor is simply a part of the culture and one of the results of this cultural attribute is an overabundance of offensive band names. We’ve seen provocative double entendres ever since punk’s inception in the UK; Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols, just to name a couple (legend has it that Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren, noticed the term “sexe pistil” at the Chelsea Flower Show).
While words such as “cock” are nothing more than a term for “mate” or “friend” in England, in the U.S.A., the Queen’s Engrish takes on a slightly different meaning. Take Cock Sparrer, for instance. In London Cockney its a term of familiarity amongst friends, from “Cock Sparrow”. In good ole ‘Murikan it might be considered a sword game that doesn’t sound particularly entertaining.
Forgoing any individual warrior names, such as Chicago “Rock Legend”, Blag Dahlia (born Paul Cafaro), which is a mash-up of the slavic name (blag) meaning “sweet, pleasant, blessed” and a reference to The Black Dahlia Murder, and disqualifying any punk bands not from the states – here’s my alphabetical list of the 10 most “distasteful” American punk rock band names.
Check it out below and argue your own choices in the comments.
Founded in June 2005, this Tampa, FL-based punk band enjoys writing songs about “farts, poopoo, private parts & Eric Roberts”. They also list various interests, such as, knitting, gardening, origami and alcoholism.
Formed in Chicago in 1985, this hardcore outfit devised their name by referencing the Bhopal disaster, a gas leak incident in India, which is largely considered to be the world’s worst industrial accident. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. Others estimate that 8,000 died within two weeks, and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases.
Arguably the very worst band name ever, the group was initially established in Los Angeles, CA in 1977 and were active up until 1982, during which time they released a half-dozen singles and EP’s including ‘Surfing With The Child Molesters’ before in 1994 leaving us with ‘The Legendary Brown Album’ (Sympathy for the Record Industry) the cover of which is a parody of The Beatles ‘White Album’. Have a listen to their hit single “I Wanna Punch You in the Face”.
Co-Founded by lead vocalist Keith Morris, who was an original member of Black Flag, the band, originally called The Bedwetters, came straight outta L.A.’s south bay suburbs of Hermosa Beach in 1980 – quickly changing their name to what might charitably be described as “an adolescent male bonding ritual”.
This crew of sex, drugs and alcohol-riddled DC punk fucking rockers, write catchy tunes with witty lyrics and equally poetic song titles, i.e. “Soberphobic”, “I Like Cocaine” and “I Hope you Get Aids”. The band name is pure schtick, but ironic given the current political climate concerning police brutality in the DC/Baltimore area. Checkout the band’s Facebook page – which, according to lead singer Dave, is consistently being infiltrated by “pussy cops”.
Jello Biafra was the former lead singer and yodeler of this iconic San Francisco punk band, which got together in 1978. The term “Dead Presidents” was a common 1970’s slang for money (because American banknotes feature pictures of dead political leaders, mostly presidents). The band took this name because John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy were shot and killed within ten years of each other; however, the name was not meant to insult the assassinated Kennedy brothers. In Jello’s words – the name was created “to bring attention to the end of the American Dream” and “to make the comfortable, uncomfortable and the uncomfortable, comfortable”.
A parody of the pretentious Indiana rock star John Cougar Mellencamp, this punk band outta San Diego, CA – which pretty much started as a Screeching Weasel cover band in 1994, devised their name in that same year. Their lampooning lead singer/guitarist, Chris Fields, has since played with The Queers and the Dwarves. The group’s latest LP, a cover album featuring the entirety of Screeching Weasel’s My Brain Hurts, was released in 2009.
Best known for having been the final backing band for GG Allin (born Jesus Christ Allin, hung like a lightswitch and known categorically for his hostile behavior), prior to his untimely death in 1993, the Murder Junkies are an American punk rock band whose name derives from being addicted to breaking the sixth (or seventh, depending on belief system) commandment. What can be more offensive than habitually, unlawfully and premeditatedly killing a fellow human being? For more about GG and his infamous, excessive behavior – watch the 1993 documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies.
Known primarily as a record producer, having engineered the recording of an estimated 1,500 albums, working with many notable acts, including: Nirvana, Cheap Trick, and The Stooges; Steve Albini was once guitarist and frontman of the now defunct Chicago punk band, Rapeman, which got its name from the title character of a Japanese black comedy/satirical manga series. Apparently, Albini and bassist David Washam became “sort of obsessed” with the comic.
10. Vaginasore Jr.
What better way to round out a list is there than mentioning yet another band hailing from Tampa, FL? Is there something in the water down there? The name says it all: an obvious lampoon on the influential indie rock giants, Dinosaur Jr. After their guitarist got hooked on crack and robbed a bank, the band decided to take a breather…but word on the street is they might be planning a reunion. We’ll keep you posted. For now, check out their bandcamp site. They’re actually pretty fucking awesome!Note about the author: Bobby Pickles co-hosts Dying Scene Radio. Check out the latest episode on iTunes, and for the love of everything unholy, please leave a nasty, distasteful comment about his counterpart, Bob Noxious. After all, offensiveness is an integral component of punk rock. Ciao, Motherfuckers!