From Skullcrusher to Jockstrap: the bands who sound nothing like their names

Mark Beaumont
·2-min read

Skullcrusher

What they should sound like A biker gang of bionic speed metal abattoir workers playing guitars made by stringing pneumatic drills with electrified barbed wire, while screaming Katie Hopkins tweets at the volume of two black holes colliding, through amps last used to pour molten indestructium into the cast for a Terminator leg.

What they actually sound like Gorgeously gauzy alt-folk paeans haunted by the pale ghosts of pianos and acoustic guitars that drowned many years ago in a Laurel Canyon lagoon. Debut single Places/Plans, according to Skullcrusher – AKA LA singer Helen Ballentine – evokes maudlin memories of “being alone in your room, lying on the floor with a book and the window open, but also for letting someone in to lie with you”. Could barely crush a krill.

What they should be called My Melancholy Picnic.

Candy

What they should sound like Wholesome teen girl group dressed as 1950s cheerleaders, doing formation skipping to pop rap ditties about meeting Drake on Fortnite. Every chorus would last exactly 16 seconds, the optimum length of a TikTok.

What they actually sound like Open-minded skatecore pummellers as much into drum’n’bass, the Stone Roses and My Bloody Valentine as Hatebreed and Terror, gargling about hate crime, police brutality and the government kidnapping children. “Maybe it takes being pounded over the head with blast beats to do it, but we just want people to feel something,” guitarist Michael “Cheddar” Quick told Revolver.

What they should be called Wake Up to Concussion.

Jockstrap

What they should sound like Goofball LA stoner rockers and one-time house band for Howard Stern. Had one hit, MILF, in 1998; now reduced to subtly rewriting Bloodhound Gang songs into jingles for American football montages on ESPN to bypass copyright.

What they actually sound like Portishead’s corroded back-up disc. Londoners Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye write elegant golden age jazz, bossa nova and flapper ballads about sex, infidelity and prostitution, then feed them through the most evil machines available until they’re spasming, deformed chunks of urban glitch poetry. Then do dance remixes.

What they should be called X Æ A-12 Dusk.

Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips

Disco Inferno

What they should sound like Chic spontaneously combusting.

What they actually sound like Experimental ambient post-rock pioneers who spent the mid-90s trying to bridge the gap between Joy Division, Public Enemy and the Orb by trying to get us to pogo to running water, birdsong, car crashes and fax machines.

What they should have been called Springwatch Mindfuck.

Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat

What they should sound like The witchy dronings and feline squeals of a hooded Bullingdon Club initiation ceremony.

What they actually sound like More first half of Midsommar than second half, this Belgian act boast six albums of rustic battlefield neo-folk.

What they should be called Godspeed You! Black Cat Anus.