We'd Like to Buy a Vowel: The Seven Best Band Names Made Entirely of Consonants

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Okay, the band names on this list don't have to be made entirely of consonants. We let a couple of numerals sneak in because the artists were just too good to ignore, but we punished the artists for their lack of semantic ingenuity. We drew a hard line and excluded bands like CSS, because they rely on acronyms to make their name. We also excluded bands like Styx, because they suck.

M83 - Anthony Gonzalez's music comes transmitted with this galaxy-inspired moniker that's not too high in nomenclatural innovation (two numerals?! a real-world referent?!) but for such mesmerizing shoegaze electronics, we'll allow it. B52s - The best party band of all time should have been named Planet Claire. XTC - Not a particularly ingenious band name. But without XTC, one of our favorite genres—jangle pop—would be seriously diminished. 3. X - Just the gall necessary to claim a single consonant as a name would be enough to land these Los Angeles punk pioneers on the list, but their folk experiments and famously raucous live show make them worthy of owning 1/26 of our language.BLK JKS - According to our Emergent story on the band back in August, the JKS got their name from a wild weed. But the crammed-together letters evoke so much more. And any day now, they'll make a debut record that lives up to the cleverness of their name.
1.     Lynyrd Skynyrd - On top of inventing Southern rock, they also anticipated—make that instigatedthe entire vowel dropping movement.

Overall, we gave points for artistic excellence and willful exclusion of vowels. It takes a certain creativity to make any good band name. But to make one using only consonants? Well, that suggests a band with tremendous linguistic ambition, or maybe just too much time on its hands.

Musical quality: 6

Semantic ingenuity: 3

Total: 9


Musical quality: 10

Semantic ingenuity: 1

Total: 11

 

Musical quality: 9

Semantic ingenuity: 3

Total: 12


4. MGMT - For its willful and constantly defended exclusion of vowels from its official name, we acknowledge this electro-pop duo. For their insistence that listeners pronounce it M-G-M-T, we appreciate these guys. For their hip, tripped-out boogies, we place them on a pedestal.

Musical quality: 6

Semantic ingenuity: 8

Total: 14



Musical quality: 8

Semantic ingenuity: 7

Total: 15

 

Musical quality: 7

Semantic ingenuity: 9


Musical quality: 7

Semantic ingenuity: 10

Total: 17


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