Some bands are known for their impressive musical talents, like Rush. Others are known for their commanding stage presence, like Alice Cooper. Some bands, like L7, are downright infamous, while some are notoriously goofy and lighthearted, like how Blink 182 started out.
We all know bands and singers that fall somewhere in those categories, but it would be silly to omit the various other characteristics that define the plethora of musicians the world has to offer. One of which I will specifically be talking about today.
There is an underlying mechanic that spans throughout the numerous genres of music, and unlike the Super Group mechanic I’ve written about previously, this one tends to undermine the musical participant’s talents. Not only that, but 98% of the time this mechanic proves to be a detractor against any sort of positive notoriety the band may seek.
What I’m referring to is, of course, the “Novelty” Band ideal. Unlike gimmicks, which is another subject I’ve previously written about, Novelty often hinders bands/singers from any sort of mainstream success. “What is a novelty band exactly?” A novelty band, most of the time, is a group that makes goofy and obnoxious dance songs.
We try to forget that Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” was a thing in the 90’s, we really do, and yet somehow we haven’t.
Those aren’t the bands I will be talking about though.
Instead, I’m going to talk about the groups that are a themed novelty band. For instance: the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim themed Norwegian folk band Skooma Cat.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a picture of the actual band, but here is a link to their BandCamp. You need to hear this. https://skoomacat.bandcamp.com/releases
“Oh! So you mean stuff like Dragonforce, right?” Not exactly. While Dragonforce is a bit of a novelty band, they are more appropriately categorized in the Power Metal genre (i.e. Rhapsody of Fire, Hammerfall, Iced Earth, etc.). But you’re on the right track! While Dragonforce may not be, Portland based “Pirate Rock” band Captain Bogg & Salty are very much the themed novelty band I’m speaking of today.
It’s Pirate Rock that’s fun for the whole family! Seriously, one of their songs was even featured on a Legoland ride.
These bands can be fun and immensely entertaining, but unfortunately they often don’t gather any sort of mainstream success. This can ultimately lead to them resort to a niche market like Barmitzvahs & and birthday parties, or even a band breakup. Sometimes that’s for the best, but it can really be a bummer for their fans. And, believe it or not, these bands DO have fans.
So we salute you, oh bravely themed novelty bands, for courageously putting yourselves out there to the hordes of internet trolls and drunken venue hecklers. Keep on keepin’ on, and always bear this thought in mind: At least you’re not Aqua.
Nick’s Notes: Wow, sorry about the late post everyone! There have been a lot of things in the works over here, and we’ve got some exciting things coming your way! We’re getting ready to launch our first video series on YouTube, and we’ve had an overwhelming response from awesome bands wanting to get some interviews posted here. First and foremost, I want to announce that we will be launching a weekly newsletter! You’ll be able to get a weekly rundown of all the exciting things going on here at That Music Junkie studios, so keep an eye out for the info soon!