Whether it is glimpsed on a festival lineup, a local show or listed as the supporting act for a well-known band everyone has seen a moniker that made you wonder. From the deceptive and intriguing to absolutely hilarious here are just a few of such bands I have stumbled upon that deserve recognition.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
When my sister sent me the command to listen to RKS for the first time, I was pretty skeptical. I listen to some pretty “out there” music, but Rainbow Kitten Surprise? Really? It just seemed to be the wrong kind of “out there.”
Their unique name seems to harken back to their entirely unique sound. This band is literally unable to be boxed into any genre. A little bit Frank Ocean and James Bay, a little bit Modest Mouse and even Kings of Leon. Their spars songs add to the lyrics’ emotional vulnerability with such aching lines as “Say we’ll get famous and we’ll die with our names in every paper, every news report is any consolation. To the people that you love and all the people that you hate, but will love you all the same because you’re beautiful.” Backed by haunting harmonies and soft acoustics, they are definitely a band to check out.
Complete with skulls and dancing skeletons adorning the cover of their one and only album, you are probably inclined to think them a metal band. I know that’s what I assumed. However, as my high school history teacher often mused “To assume makes an a– out of ‘u’ and me” so I should have known better.
In reality, Skull Snaps is the obscure funk/disco you didn’t know you needed. Released in 1973, Skull Snaps self-titled LP features only five songs. Although the band disbanded soon after, the album has become an important source for sampling on rap songs. The drum rhythm from the first song “It’s a New Day” has been used in tracks such as “Take It Personal” by Gang Star and Camp Lo’s “Cooley High.”
Bass Drum of Death
While this band’s name is definitely intimidating, their members are less so. On record, the entirety of the bluesy garage rock sound is created by John Barrett taking on the role of vocalist/bassist/guitarist/drummer. A man of many talents to say the least. On tour however drummer Colin Sneed lends a hand. Ironically some songs such as “Crawling Back to You” use way more cymbal washing than bass drum, but this doesn’t mean the song is any less lethal. For lo-fi garage rock fans, this should be your first stop.
Apparently “Spidergod” didn’t have an adequate growl to it, prompting this hard rock/stoner rock band went for the alternate “Spidergawd.” Unlike many of the other bands listed in this article, Spidergawd ‘s music is about how you would imagine. Growling vocals, addictive heavy, guitar riffs are all here for your listening pleasure. Their latest album “Spidergawd IV” is one of few albums I can listen to top to bottom without having the urge to skip any tracks. A rare occurrence, indeed. “Stranglehold” is constantly in my Spotify queue. I might also add it is especially therapeutic when stressed.