Musical Mix Ups

As music fans, we’re constantly swimming in a deep sea of band names. From the minimalist (The The) to the extravagant (The Pains of Being Pure At Heart) and everything in between, it often seems like bands put just as much creativity into their monikers as they do with their music.

Just imagine a band’s frustration when, after establishing a snappy name for themselves, they discover some other new young upstarts who dared to name themselves something disturbingly similar. The nerve!

As much as it must drive bands crazy to have the added task of distancing themselves from their similarly named peers, it is an equally challenging burden for us music fans to have to mentally organize the wealth of music out there. That’s why we’re here to help!


The Kills: Lo-fi indie rock duo. Masters of cool. Similar to: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Raveonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

The Kills

The Killers: Over-hyped, bloated synth poppers. Attention-starved wannabe new wavers. Similar to: Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics


The Black Lips: Bluesy garage punks. Heavy on the fuzz, hints of psychedelia. Similar to: Jay Reatard, The Sonics, The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Black Lips

The Black Keys: Bluesy garage punks. Heavy on the fuzz, hints of—oh no. Similar to: The White Stripes, Black Mountain, The Von Bondies

Black Keys_______________________

Horse Feathers: Easy-going folky Americana-influenced duo. Similar to: Bon Iver, Damien Jurado, Deer Tick

Horse Feathers

Band of Horses: Reverb drenched indie rockers. Similar to: My Morning Jacket, The Shins, Rogue Wave

Band of Horses


Crystal Antlers: Experimental cornucopia of psychedelic soul, punk and prog rock. Similar to: No Age, Times New Viking, Atlas Sound

Crystal Antlers

Crystal Castles: She-Ra inspired Canadian electro/new rave duo. Similar to: The Klaxons, Late of the Pier, CSS

Crystal Castles


Delta Spirit: Passionate, high energy soulful folk rockers. Similar to: Blitzen Trapper, The Whigs, Plants and Animals

Delta Spirit

The Duke Spirit: Moody British indie garage fiends with touches of 90s grunge and psychedelic rock. Similar to: The Pixies, The Black Angels, The Morning After Girls

Duke Spirit_______________________

Opeth: Prog death metal clan of long-haired Swedes. Similar to: Katatonia, Pain of Salvation, Meshuggah


Otep: Poetic, female-fronted nu metal quartet. Similar to: Mushroomhead, Kitty, Chimaira


Seabear: Reykjavík-based indie pop rock group stemming from a one-man project. Similar to: Oh no! Oh My!, Great Lake Swimmers, Bishop Allen


Sea Wolf: LA-based indie pop rock group stemming from a one-man—ugh, not again. Similar to: Great Northern, Matt Pond PA, Cloud Cult

Sea Wolf_______________________

The Long Blondes: Female-fronted English indie art-pop group. Similar to: Be Your Own Pet, Los Campesinos!, The Noisettes

Long Blondes

Blonde Redhead: Female-fronted indie art—OK seriously?! Similar to: Clinic, Yo La Tengo, Asobi Sesku

Blonde Redhead_______________________

The Verve: Epic English semi-shoegaze guitar band. Brought up the tail end of Britpop. Similar to: Oasis, The Stone Roses, Spiritualized


The Verve Pipe: ’90s radio friendly, alt rock one-hit-wonders. Similar to: Collective Soul, Better Than Ezra, Dishwalla

Verve Pipe_______________________

Ladyhawke: One woman band. Electro, new wave singer-songwriter. Similar to: Little Boots, Cut Copy, Lykke Li


Ladyhawk: Canadian alternative folk rockers. Similar to: The Constantines, Hayden, Centro-matic


Los Lonely Boys: Three brothers. Guitar-based, Tex-mex flavored bluesmen. Similar to: Susan Tedeschi, Jonny Lang, Santana

Los Lonely Boys

Los Lobos: Country, blues and folk-influenced, Tex-mex flavored rockers. Similar to: Sir Douglas Quintet, John Hiatt, Ry Cooder

Los Lobos


Deerhoof: Experimental noise rock outfit. Similar to: Animal Collective, Enon, Sonic Youth


Deerhunter: Experimental psychedelic indie shoegazers. Similar to: Vivian Girls, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement


Did we miss some? What are other band names that you just can’t keep straight?

-Shelley Peckham

(To leave a comment, click on the title of the blog entry and scroll down.)

3 Responses

  1. Oh my god, thank you so much.

  2. This is amazing…you could on and on with this: Black Lips, The Black Keys, Black Angels, Black Mountain….

  3. Light the city and light this city

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