The [Alternative] Animal-Themed-Band-name Guide

By Jo Phillips

Everyone’s aware of The Beatles, The Eagles, The Byrds and so on. But; we wanted to revisit the subject to create a listening list for the rest of the month (think natural). So we’ve left out the most obvious names, instead creating a blend of nostalgia, folk and electronic. Also note the often excellent artwork.

1. Band of Horses

Emerging from the American Northwest inn 2004, the band shuttled into alternative sub-culture. The band is comprised of Rob Hampton (bass), Creighton Barrett (drums) and Ben Bridwell (multi-instrumentalist). They tend towards mid-tempo rock with reverb laden vocals, creating deep provoking sounds.

Check out their song “The Funeral“.

2. Echo & the Bunnymen

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Echo & the Bunnymen are an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1978. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson, supplemented by a drum machine. By 1980, Pete de Freitas joined as the band’s drummer. The band had a couple of hits in the UK and attracted a cult following in the US. Their sound is a fusion of gloom post-punk and Doors-inspired psychedelic.

Check out “The Killing Moon“.

3. Them Crooked Vultures

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Them Crooked Vultures are a super group formed in LA in 2009. It’s comprised of John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) on bass and keyboards, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters and Nirvana) on drums, and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar and vocals. Although critical reception was lacklustre, the band maintains a dedicated cult-following in America and further afield.

Check out “Elephants“.

4. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds


After leaving Oasis after a much publicized back stage row with brother Liam, Noel’s solo career took off in 2010. Having freed himself from the massive audiences of the Oasis years, Noel could revert back to some form of individual creativity. Again, the band received a welcoming critical response and have enjoyed a niche following.

Check out “If I Had A Gun“.

5. Hello Seahorse!


A Mexican indie pop trio, Hello Seahorse! began putting sounds together in the early 2000s. By the time their third album was released in 2009, their sounds were more heavier and moodier than those before them.

Have a look at “No Es Que No Te Quiera“.

6. Deadmau5


Joel Thomas Zimmerman, a Canadian record producer and DJ, is the name behind the Dead Mouse mask. For his progressive house style, he has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and is currently one of the highest paid electronic musicians in the world.

Check the tune “Snowcone“.

7. John Foxx


The English musician John Foxx (originally Dennis Leigh) is one of those mystical artists whose work is best known through those he collaborated with rather than through his own sounds.

Have a look at his song “Subtext“.

8. A Flock of Seagulls


A Flock of Seagulls grew out of the Romantic movement, catering to a synth-hungry audience. Although they disappeared as quickly as they had arrived, some of their songs are still worth revisiting.

Check out “I Ran (So Far Away)”.

9. Fleet Foxes


The band is chaired by vocalist and guitarist Robin Pecknold who created the band in homage to the sounds of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Zombies and the Beach Boys. Taking shape in 2006, the band is a fusion of British folk and classic rock.

Look at “Mykonos“.

10. The Boomtown Rats

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The Boomtown Rats were an Irish rock band working in the late 70’s and chaired by Bob Geldof. Their second straight number 1 album featured the track “I Don’t Like Mondays”. It was inspired by a Californian teenager who had gone on a killing spree and used the line to justify his actions. The band was identified with the punk movement.

Check “I Don’t Like Mondays“.