As long as the Internet has been around to offer musicians a platform outside of the censorship of TV and radio, a shift toward unpronounceable band names—whether by Holden Caulfield- and New York Times–standards or by those of the general English-speaking public—has been an unignorable factor in most music scenes. There’s apparently something big happening in rap right now called SOB X RBE, and for some reason the Tech N9ne influence of substituting random letters for numbers has become the norm elsewhere in the genre. But none of these rappers face the same odds held by Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire of ever gracing the Tonight Show stage.
While some of eX’s “fuck”-toting peers have found a way of subverting the censors (see: STRFKR), others have leaned into their names entirely. The latest of which, Melbourne’s Tropical Fuck Storm, have just been invited on tour by Modest Mouse to spread their immodest moniker across marquees nationwide. As much fun as the ultra-literate punk-blues band are, though, it’s not all Bee Gees covers and reverse-spaghetti dinners; frontman Gareth Liddiard has some choice words for his fellow “fuck”-rockers.
“Can I just say that I’m not a big fan of rock ’n’ roll or whatever it’s called?” disclaims Liddiard, mouthpiece for a group of musicians who unequivocally play rock ’n’ roll. “I am a massive music snob and my opinions mean shit, so ignore me.” Well, maybe it isn’t all that serious.
Anyway, with Tropical Fuck Storm’s debut LP A Laughing Death in Meatspace touching down in the US on October 26 via Joyful Noise, here’s Liddiard’s ranking of ten prominent bands with “fuck” in their name.
1. Fuck Buttons
These guys are good. Nice chaps, too.
2. Condo Fucks
People will hate me for this but I can’t understand the music these guys make. I don’t get why it’s good. I see these guys and I get the impression that the way I feel is the way most people feel when they see my band. So I kind of like them, too.
3. Fuck the Facts
Yeah, this is more like it, pretty good. Are these guys married? Sounds like they are. But if they’re not, we’re hearing some profound sexual tension.
4. Nice as Fuck
Yeah, kinda nice. Dunno about “as fuck,” but kinda nice.
Sounds like Jane’s Addiction crossed with Nirvana. Or a good version of Live. Does anyone else wish Live were Dead?
6. Holy Fuck
I wouldn’t state their name emphatically if I saw them. I’d say, “Let’s go get a drink,” or something like that.
7. Fucked Up
They don’t sound that fucked up to me. They’ll be fine after University. Try “Sono L’Antichristo” by Diamanda Galas. That’s fucked up.
Life’s a risk, is it? Try taking one every now and then, dog.
9. The Fucking Champs
They should stick to fucking.
10. Star Fucking Hipsters
Yeah, I dunno. They’re not hipsters. A hipster would never admit to being a hipster. The name is a bit out of date, though. They should be called Star Fucking Woke People. I see they did a split 7″ with a band called Jesus Fucking Christ which is a far more relatable name with “fuck” in it. FL