It’s an issue which has come to the fore in the week rushonrock rather dubiously highlighted the latest sleaze and cheese opus by Italian hair metal (don’t ask) heroes S.E.X. Department.
Now as band names go this is one of those guaranteed to get the average rock fan to sit up and take notice.
You might as well call yourselves S&M R Us or Naked Babes Playing Rock or The Lita Ford Lingerie Collection (actually that last one does have a certain ring to it) if your sole aim is to attract listeners of a certain sex and age.
Of course bar a rather raunchy image of a rock chick wearing little more than a selection of leather wear there’s not much to say about S.E.X. Department. They’re Italian men who look a bit like women and that’s not really my department at all (although they can write a cracking pop rock tune).
It’s a name which doesn’t really do what it says on the tin but I’ve got to hand it to the lads – it did the trick in terms of grabbing my attention and earning a post on one what has become one the internet’s most predictable and transparent sites.
In the same week a CD by a band called Famous dropped on the doormat. Now you have to be bloody good – no, make that great – to call yourself Famous. When you’re clearly not. And judging by the hit and miss nature of your All The Wicked record you might never be.
But at least they’ve got balls and at least they grabbed my attention. Even if that attention span lasted only a little longer than it takes to put one CD into my hi-fi and take the same CD out again.
They did better than The Darkness back in the day. I remember tossing off Justin Hawkins and his old crew for weeks and months based solely on one of the worst names in rock and metal history.
I just couldn’t bring myself to listen to anything by a band which had put such little thought into their name. It didn’t sound rocky, it didn’t sound hair metally. It didn’t actually sound like anything at all.
Of course Justin has learned his lesson. Justin time. Hot Leg have raised eyebrows, smiles and expectation across the board – as much for the quirky name as the cracking tunes.
Thankfully bands can be good even if their names suck. Take Def Leppard – possibly the greatest pop rock band in history saddled by the silliest name this side of Spinal Tap. Or Deep Purple. Or Cream. On reflection The Darkness wasn’t such a shit name after all.
Then of course there are the brilliant bands with brilliant names. Think Metallica. Think Aerosmith. Think Whitesnake. And you heard it here first but now’s the time to start thinking Cherry Brakewells…seriously.