13 Bands We Love Whose Shirts We Would Never Wear

13 Bands We Love Whose Shirts We Would Never Wear

13 Bands We Love Whose Shirts We Would Never Wear

If you wear band shirts every day, you usually invent a system. There are the shirts you wear with family (no gore, usually no rotten penises), the shirts you wear to festivals (rotten penises galore), and the lucky shirts that for some reason make you look really sexy (oddly enough for me, he was a morbid angel Gateways… shirt). Not only that, but you have certain personal rules when it comes to wearing shirts. No album art, for example, or no designs on one side of the chest…and sometimes a hard no to specific bands, even if you like them.

We can not entirely explain why some bands feel like they’re absolutely off limits to us when it comes to shirts. But as with a lot of metal, we find going with our guts is the smartest method, and for some bands our guts have put up a tough wall. So, in order to analyze why exactly we feel that way, here are 13 examples of bands whose music we really enjoy, but whose shirts, for some reason, just don’t interest us…


When we imagine someone wearing a Manowar shirt, it is tucked into their jeans. Manowar is the official band of dudes who consider themselves warriors in the army of metal proper, and this shit will always rub us the wrong way. Also, they love to do text and designs on the sleeves of t-shirts, which we never liked (not long sleeves, but real t-shirts). Obviously, “Blood of My Enemies” is a killer, but no, we can’t rock their gear.


We love the scathing black metal finalists Naglfar, of course. But their logo is an onion. And every time I see this logo, I think, Oh, that’s right, the logo of this awesome band. He looks like a fucking onion. This is your onion shirt. So yeah, while we dig Naglfar shit, but the onions make us cry. Maybe if they made a shirt that literally said “HAIL THE ONION” on the back, we’d go for it.

Biological hazard

In short, I can’t. A Biohazard shirt looks great when snagged on a lanky, sweaty hardcore fan, or a guy with a huge ass shoving his way through the pit. But I’m a bit of a teddy bear, and no matter how much Urban discipline meant the world to me growing up, I’ll never look like a budding badass rocking his shirt. Should probably pass.


Listening to Gruesome is always great, because their music exists as a tribute to old-school death. But maybe that’s why you’d never wear a Gruesome shirt – the tribute band thing. While Gruesome may reign we’d rather just go for a death Human shirt. Always ready to put these guys on the stereo, but maybe not on our chests.


Man, I don’t have time for all this fucking drama. Is my shirt the real Batushka or the real Bartushka? Is it a shirt from the right album or from the poser? Damn all that, I just want to represent a band with cool illustrations. Don’t engage.


Same as the Biohazard shirt, just in a different direction. HIM’s chocolate goth riffs are a guilty pleasure for us, but we’re no real Jack Skellington sitting on a freeway embankment, staring into our Sally’s eyes. We’re everyday burly dudes, and as such a HIM shirt would make us feel like we’re using the word “erotic” in a way that makes people uncomfortable. Pass.


Even though wearing a Vomitory shirt didn’t already imply a shirt with the word ‘vomit’ on it, this strip goes hard in the paint without nuance. Something about Cannibal Corpse’s morbid overkill makes their grotesqueness almost comical, but a shirt with the album title Raped in their own blood just feels too much at any family event. And yes, also because there would be “vomit” on it.

GG Allin

GG Allin’s legacy is one of punk’s most volatile and vengeful. GG was the real deal, a freak among men. But his name is associated with one thing more than anything else: devil. Allin is best known for pooping on stage in the blink of an eye, we’re not sure that’s a connection we want any punk savvy person to make when they see our shirt. Oh, hey, look. This guy is disgusted to have shit all over him.

Anaal Nathrak

Too many explanations. The pronunciation is obvious, and for some metalheads it would be fun to wear an Anaal Nathrakh shirt. But the other has to explain that it has nothing to do with anuses. We love these nihilistic bastards so much, but we just don’t have time to say, Actually, it’s uh-NAAAL, not “anal”.

mad ball

In our minds, a Madball shirt is simply too busy a garment for us. Hardcore allegiances, endless dramatic scenes, the desire to throw a punch anytime – that’s what we associate with a Madball shirt nine times out of ten. Which is a shame, because their music is rock solid and has influenced a legion of bands we love. That said, not sure we’re here for the kind of attention the grimacing baseball on our shirt would get us.

Devil Master

Too hard, too simple, and above all, too pink. A big part of what we love about Devil Master’s music is how snotty and sleazy it sounds; this guitar sound is fucking delicious in part because of its flippant fuzz. But translate that to a shirt and it’s a simple picture of a few candles on their logo, all the same color as Pepto Bismol. Nothing against those guys, but not our thing.


…you know what, I have no fucking idea why. I can’t for life explain why I don’t want to wear a Kylesa shirt, because Kylesa makes great music and their art is always cool. But I definitely do DO NOT want to wear a Kylesa shirt. If you offered me a Kylesa shirt and any other metal shirt, I’d take the other. No idea why, but hard “no” anyway.

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