Listomania: The Ten Best Bands That Might Actually Be Cults

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There are plenty of bands over the years who have used the word "cult" in their names. From '70s hard rockers Blue Oyster Cult to '80s Brit rockers The Cult to '90s art rockers Cloud Cult to current indie darling duo Cults, the phenomenon isn't really all that new.

Meanwhile, other groups like Phish, Minor Threat and KISS who have developed such devoted fan bases they've been said to have cult-like followings.

But then there exists another set of bands -- acts like Akron/Family, who are set to appear tonight at The Loft -- that, intentionally or not, take the concept a bit further, often being accused of being actual cults. And, we have to admit, we can kind of see where folks are coming from.

So on that note, we've come up with a list of the ten best bands that might actually be cults.

(Oh, and also after the jump, we have details on how you can win one of five free pairs of tickets we've got to tonight's Akron/Family show.)

(Want one of the free pairs tickets? OK, just be among the first five people to email Pete, starting right now, with the words "Cult of Personality" in the subject line, and you're in! Good luck!

Update: Contest is over. Congrats to our winners!)

This trio of bearded weirdos have mysterious back stories and are constantly having to dispel rumors they practice a religion called "AK."

Nothing says 'cult' quite like 20-plus overly happy people in matching robes or military attire, singing about the sun.

Their "Dead Head" fans not only pioneered the cult-following phenomenon, but they've never quite been equaled in their willingness to travel in huge droves across the country to watch the band perform night after night.

The nine-member band of bohemians centers around the bearded, messianic figure Sharpe, who is played maybe a bit too convincingly by former Ima Robot frontman Alex Ebert.

The name kinda says it all, no?

If it weren't enough that Man Man ringleader Honus Honus bears a slight resemblance to David Koresh, the tribal rhythms and energy of their live shows are as cult-like as it gets.

These guys are perhaps the most frightening band to ever exist. Their guitarist is famously rumored to have eaten the brains of their lead singer (who had committed suicide), and, as if that weren't already enough, he later stabbed their bass player to death.

This hoard of performers initially began as a 140 member group of musicians promoting Frank Buchman's Moral Re-Armament movement, but now has grown to include multiple 'casts' that travel the globe encouraging "community service" and "leadership development". Wait, this one might actually be a cult...

Their fans, affectionately known as "juggalos," have long surpassed cult-like status, almost always referring to themselves as a "family." Wait a second, isn't that what Manson's followers did?

Their entire album is just re-workings of hymns sung by the Process Church in the 1960s. Not familiar? The Scientology offshoot believed that Satan and Christ would one day reconcile and rule humanity together, and were said to be among Charles Manson's inspirations.

Akron/Family performs tonight at The Loft.

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