Though two bands having similar names was understandable in the past, when you couldn't just Google your own name to see if it's been taken, there's no excuse for this in the Internet age, and yet it still occasionally happens. Here are eight pairs of bands with the same (or similar) names.
1. Deerhunter/The Dear Hunter
There are two reasons why progressive rock band The Dear Hunter has an awful name: that pun is absolutely cringe-worthy, and there's already a band named "Deerhunter."
Which is Better?: Deerhunter, hands down. Deerhunter is one of the best American bands of the last decade, while the Dear Hunter melds all of the most pretentious aspects of Coheed & Cambria, the Decemberists, and Arcade Fire into one boring mess.
When Chuck Schuldiner chose to name his metal band "Death" in 1984, there was no way he could have known that another band named "Death" already existed. The original Death, a punk trio from Detroit, broke up in almost complete obscurity in 1976, and only found fame when its album ...For All the World to See was posthumously released in 2009, eight years after Chuck Schuldiner tragically passed away.
Which is better?: Though both bands are pioneers of their respective genres, my favorite Death is the metal band. Its 1988 album Leprosy is truly a classic of extreme metal.
3. The Dinosaurs/Dinosaur Jr.
As I wrote about in a previous article, Dinosaur Jr. was originally known as "Dinosaur," before a San Francisco psych-rock supergroup called The Dinosaurs forced it to change its name, even though Dinosaur (Jr.) already had two albums under its belt.
Which is Better?: Absolutely, undoubtedly Dinosaur Jr. The Dinosaurs were just a bunch of burnt out hippies playing awful '80s pop that pretty much nobody remembers anymore.
4. Galaxie 500/Galaxie
In 2002, a Canadian indie rock band formed and chose to name itself "Galaxie 500," yet it somehow took several years to realize that there was already a highly influential band of the same name. The Canadian Galaxie 500 released two albums under that name until wisely dropping the "500."
Which is Better?: The original Galaxie 500. The Canadian Galaxie 500 has the typically bright, loud, beat-heavy sound of 2000s indie that everyone is (hopefully) sick of at this point.
5. Black Tambourine/The Black Tambourines
When I searched for UK band the Black Tambourines on Youtube, a sidebar popped up featuring a playlist by D.C. noise pop band Black Tambourine, just in case I happened to confuse the two. This is as good an indication as any that The Black Tambourines should have chosen a different name.
Which is Better?: Black Tambourine, though I ended up enjoying the Black Tambourines way more than I wanted to.
6. Ice Age/Ice Age/Iceage
There are actually three bands with the name "Ice Age": an American prog-metal band, a Swedish thrash metal band, and a Danish post-punk band (which goes by the one-word "Iceage").
Which is Best?: The Danish Iceage, which is one of the best European bands in recent years. Swedish Ice Age is nothing special, and American Ice Age is pretty embarrassing.
In the tradition of the Black Tambourines, Canadian band Braids has taken the name of a highly influential band from the '90s American underground and simply pluralized it.
Which is Better?: Braid, because I'm a sucker for Midwest emo.
The Nirvana everyone knows (and most of us love) was only around from 1987 to 1994, but the first band to name itself "Nirvana" formed all the way back in 1965 in the UK. The original Nirvana reunited in 1985 and is still around to this day.
Which is Better?: There's a good reason why the American Nirvana is the one you've heard of: it's clearly the better band. The British Nirvana plays the sort of quirky psych-pop that should be expected of a British band from the late '60s, but it's nothing that hadn't been done better by the Beatles or Pink Floyd.