There are very few things in this world I would willingly own up to enjoying even if it meant enduring endless grief — but hair metal is one of those things. That being said, I always involuntarily cringe when someone asks me to recommend a band in the genre, because, well, a lot of the names are total crap. I completely believe you have to judge a book by it’s cover — how else will you know if it’s any good? — and a band’s name has always served me as the first clue in their “cover,” so to speak.
Hair metal band names require a few certain things; references to animals or power or danger are a plus. If there can be allusions to sleaze and/or sexual prowess, maybe juxtaposed with virginal innocence, you’re headed in the right direction. And if they can do all that and throw in some umlauts and misspellings, then it’s gold. But there is such a thing as too much, and those monikers are the ones that just make you wonder exactly how coked out the band members were when they decided that it would be a good name for band.
And so, I give you the ten worst.
10) Steel Panther
When you have a band that’s already been through four name changes, you kind of expect them to settle on something grandiose and amazing in the end. But “Steel Panther?” Yeah, it has the animal and power connotations, but sometimes, ferocious animal plus literal metal does not equal greatness. It’s just… kind of lame and disappointing. I expected more from the band that gave us “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows).”
9) Danger Danger
Repeating the word “danger” negates whatever subliminal danger warnings Danger Danger are trying to throw at us. Repeat it enough and it’ll lose all meaning. Danger, danger, danger, danger. While we’re on the subject, what is it with the repeating of words? With song titles like “Nasty, Nasty,” and “Bang, Bang,” one starts to wonder if the band members all have some kind of speech impediment. Or a Neanderthal’s version of dirty talk. It’s hair metal, so, yes, it needs sleaze — but this is just silly.
8) Mr. Nasty
I can’t help but snicker at this name. It’s sound like someone asked a non-English speaker to try to come up with something racy that could possibly make them seem badass to the ladies.
No offense to Mr. Rachelle, but this is just a failed attempt at trying to sound badass and, well, tough.
6) Enuff Z’Nuff
Their name is literally the only reason I wouldn’t listen to them for so long. The simple reasoning being that it’s a dumb name and it’s spelled stupidly and it just makes them seem like they’re trying too hard to grab on to those hair metal coattails. Shame really as they’re one of the best bands of the era.
5) Britny Fox
The second animal on the list to get the short end of the stick. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the girls-names-with-an-edge as a method for selecting band monikers. Alice Cooper, good; Molly Hatchet, good; Lizzy Borden, pretty good; Lillian Axe, pushing it; and then we have Britny. Maybe I have a stick up my ass about the name “Britny,” but it just grates on my nerves and doesn’t exactly translate to a heavy metal good time. It’s too over-the-hill stripper-with-C-section-scars, not a raising-hell-at–the-Seventh-Veil kind of stripper name.
4) Sleeze Beez
Points for rhymes, but poor guys are just trying too hard. It’s got most of the elements of a hair metal band name, but, somehow, it just doesn’t quite work.
3) Slik Toxik
Unimaginative, unmemorable, and overall, unappetizing. There’s nothing about the word “slick” that makes you have the good kind of dirty feeling. It’s sleazy without the kitsch, which, even “Sleeze Beez” has.
How do you make a pretty damn awesome beast of an animal sound tame and cartoony? Why, you refer to their least beastly appendage and put a “z” at the end of it.
1) Candy Harlots
I – I have no words. No wait, I do. CANDY HARLOTS? What the hell is that? That’s like the worst possible combination of words you can come up with if given the task of trying to combine a sweet innocenct feeling with sex. No wonder no one else has ever heard of them.
But fear not, there are some decent hair metal names too. They’re just not as obvious…