Earlier this week, the Texas rock band Crown the Empire topped Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart with its new album Retrograde. You might say they scaled the summit of this particular chart — and wait — that’s the name of another rock band: Scale the Summit, an instrumental prog-metal band from Houston. Maybe you could even say Crown the Empire’s feat was so impressive, it was almost like Walking the Moon or Caging the Elephant.
OK, do you get where we’re going here? There are an awful lot of rock bands with names that follow this verb-the-noun pattern. Within the group, alternative radio-friendly bands like Walk the Moon and Cage the Elephant are kind of an exception, though. For some reason, the trend has long manifested itself (let’s say over a decade) in the heavier side of rock music, especially metalcore, post-hardcore and screamo — genres that Crown the Empire’s label, Rise Records, has often specialized in. There’s even an actual band that gets the joke so well it literally called itself Verb the Noun.
Think you’re an expert in verb-the-noun bands? See if you can tell the real ones from the fake ones in the quiz below. If you’ve been reading along we’ve already dropped one hint.