Lists

The Greatest Punk Band Names

No, the Pistols didn't make our list, but X-Ray Spex, a band Johnny Rotten hated, did.
No, the Pistols didn't make our list, but X-Ray Spex, a band Johnny Rotten hated, did. Barry Plummer
Many bands have been formed after would-be members started toying around with the idea of what they would name themselves. A good band name embodies a group's sound, but members also have to consider how memorable their name will be, how it'll fit on merch items and what it conveys upon first impressions.

Some band names may start off as a joke, but next thing you know you're in Denver's "Potato Pirates" and you've become so successful that you can no longer change the name. True story. Other times, you just don't give a shit and you want to start your music career by letting your intended audience know about your awesome sense of humor. Punk music in particular has some really fantastic band names. Here are some of the best in history.

X-Ray Spex
This British band formed in London in 1976 after being inspired by The Sex Pistols, which is kind of sad because Johnny Rotten never really had anything good to say about them.  Nervous Eaters
Formed in 1973, the Boston punk band first played under the name "Rhythm Assholes," another great name though not quite as relatable. They debuted as "Nervous Eaters" in 1977 at The Rat, Boston's main punk venue at the time. Ric Ocasek of The Cars produced their 10-track demo, which brought them to the attention of major labels. Electra Records ended up releasing their self-titled album in 1980. Lumpy and the Dumpers
This may sound like a fun name to give your exes, but it's a hardcore punk band from St. Louis with heavy reverb vocals. The band is also known for album artwork that's just as gnarly as their name. Amyl and the Sniffers
This ripping punk outfit from Australia has a great name but even better sound. From the second they hit the ground in 2012, it's been an explosive sprint, and we don't think they'll be stopping anytime soon. With straight-up, raw, in-your-face rock with heavier riffs thrown in the mix, you have no choice but to move whenever you hear them. It's a cheeky name, too. "Amyl" derives from "amyl nitrate" (aka poppers) and "the Sniffers" as in, well, you know. Parálisis Permanente
The band from Madrid, whose name translates into "Permanent Paralysis" (in case you can't figure that out), is on the edge of post-punk/goth rock with their dark lyrical matter and fashion. They were one of the pioneers of the underground movement "La Movida Madrileña" in the 1980s. But, make no mistake, they were way more on the punk side with their fast-paced and nearly Iggy and The Stooges-esque sound. Goons of Doom
Often described as "four mad cunts," these Aussie guys sing about hating their haircuts, Christmas, outer space, beer, skeletons and love. Not so Doom-like, really. Peter and the Test Tube Babies
Formed in 1978 in Peacehaven, England, PATTTB parlayed cheeky lyrics and ridiculous track titles ("Up Yer Bum" comes to mind) to become part of the Punk Pathetique movement that was marked by bands making fun of the working-class attitude. Drunk Mums
Hold your PTA jokes. Here's another contemporary Australian punk band with a great name, plus thrashing garage punk with scrappy guitar riffs. Their first album got a lot of attention for its cover art, which depicted the naked torso of a stripper named Peaches, as music platforms did not want to display it on their streaming sites. Viagra Boys
What kind of music do you get when you combine classically trained jazz musicians and screaming tattoo artists who love punk/hardcore? A special genre of post-punk made in Stockholm that takes the piss on Western society lyrically, but musically pumps out frantic disco-esque beats. The Boys Next Door
This was the first — and very short-lived — incarnation of Nick Cave's The Birthday Party, before they turned into a bleak and violent post-punk band. They were trashy, fast, and noisy and can be considered pioneers of Australian punk, up there with The Saints — a band that bassist Tracy Pew joined in '84. It's not the most clever punk name, but it's simple and memorable, and it just works. The Boys had a proto-punk sound as well, taking great influence from blues, especially noted in their track "Brave Exhibitions." Mean Jeans
We hate wearing pants, too. This 2007 Portland band is snotty and melodic, and they made an album consisting of jingles. Radio Birdman
These guys are considered Australia's godfathers of punk, influencing many of the bands that followed. Their name was taken from a misheard lyric in the track "1970" by the Stooges "radio burnin'..." Chubby and the Gang
This West London band formed just a few years ago and we're delighted to see there are still great band names coming up. Chubby makes pub rock with elements of '50s pop and hardcore-style vocals, so we'd love them no matter their name.
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