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10 Bands Whose Names Don’t Match Their Sound and Frankly it Makes Us So Mad We Lit Our Car on Fire

“Never judge a book by its cover” is the type of thing a dickhead teacher says to a student to try to get them to read a real snoozefest like the 1911 slog novel Ethan Frome. But unfortunately, it’s pretty good advice and applies to music as well. Never judge a band by their name, because you may miss out on some surprising tunes, like these bands below. We also want to point out to any insurance agents reading this that the car fire was accidental and they should fully reimburse us. ’94 Honda Civics aren’t cheap.

Murder by Death

WHAT YOU EXPECT: The heaviest, most pants-shittingest death metal.

WHAT YOU GET: Fantastic Americana gothic alt-rock tunes perfect for soundtracking your worsening bourbon habit.


WHAT YOU EXPECT: Tthroat-shredding, vomitous vocals gurgling above chainsaw guitar tones, all backed with heinous blast beats.

WHAT YOU GET: Winding technical thrash metal that never once veers towards the “death” end of the metal spectrum. Pretty light as far as metal goes.


WHAT YOU EXPECT: Anime-influenced techno pop possibly with Iron Maiden-esque galloping guitars and dueling solos.

WHAT YOU GET: Screamo excellence on par with the best from Blood Brothers, Fear Before
the March of Flames, and Orchid.

Rites of Spring

WHAT YOU EXPECT: Either straight-up classical or pastoral ambient primitive folk music.

WHAT YOU GET: Exquisite hardcore punk which somehow begat the entire emo movement.


WHAT YOU EXPECT: Either NYHC or some variation of slam/beatdown hardcore.

WHAT YOU GET: Trippy, atmospheric indie jams with a fantastic sense of melody.

Strung Out

WHAT YOU EXPECT: Slacker indie a la Pavement, or lazy whiteboy reggae like 311, Pepper, or Slightly Stoopid.

WHAT YOU GET: Intense melodic punk injected with intricate guitar fretboard workouts that might make Yngwie Malmsteen jealous.

Jeff Rosenstock

WHAT YOU EXPECT: Anytime a musician just goes by their first and last name, I expect to hear a singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar and a Masters Degree in English.

WHAT YOU GET: Anthemic Bruce Springsteen-influenced punk shout-alongs that will make you yearn for your teens and a fresh start.

The Devin Townsend Project

WHAT YOU EXPECT: The most anemic, sexless, technically impressive jazz quartet this side of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

WHAT YOU GET: Progressive metal with a much bigger emphasis on fun than other similar acts like Dream Theater.

Los Campesinos!

WHAT YOU EXPECT: Either some Latin-influenced jazz, or a very throwback ’80s punk sound.

WHAT YOU GET: Literary verbose sadboi indie rock that you always seem to rediscover just after getting dumped again.

Reggie & the Full Effect

WHAT YOU EXPECT: Funk. Glorious funk so groovy that it makes you mom get up and dance at a wedding.

WHAT YOU GET: Hard-edged emo pop-punk which alternates between pure goofiness and seriously dark subject matter.

Photos by Julio Enriquez, Ferran, Smial, Amber