The Top 10 masked bands of all time (volume 1)
SINCE time immemorial singers have coloured their faces or hidden behind masks. The masks enable the singers to be freer, take on news personas and cut loose. We’ve flicked through the record archives here at Anorak Towers and now bring you the Top 10 masked pop stars and groups of all time:
Without doubt, the funniest masked band of all time, are the might Gwar. In their time, they’ve cut off limbs, given birth to ghouls and wheeled out giant menstruating beasts on stage. Their warty, demon masks are almost as important as their brand of schlock rock and god bless the lot of ‘em.
Daft Punk were just just two nerdy French blokes before they transformed into super robots with amazing digital masks. Now, they can send people out to promotional events while they sit at home counting their cred and money. Deadmau5 has kinda copied them too, because it is such a great gimmick.
One of the few bands to come out of the Nu Metal scene with any sort of street cred, Slipknot performed behind a variety of masks, each looking like something from a cool horror film. Rubber faced clowns stalk the stage while others have massive nails in their face. All in all, Slipknot are not only an arresting band who will pound you musically, but they’ll also give you the willies by looking more evil than anyone else.
Bob Log III
Bob Log III is a genius and folk hero. His brand of shit-kicker blues is great enough on its own, but coupled with his stage show, it really is something else. Hiding behind a weird space mask, Bob jumps around in a spandex jumpsuit, crowd surfs in a rubber dinghy and plays entire shows with girls sat on his lap. If you’ve seen Bob Log III live, then you’ll know all about the wonder that is ‘Boob Scotch’.
Hip hop superhuman, Doom, is a comic book character come to life. Behind his metal villain mask, Doom creates some of the most brilliant, original and downright weird hip hop on the planet.
The most famous band to hide behind the mask, Kiss conquered the world with wonderfully pompous rock ‘n’ roll. Oddly, Kiss reignited their career when they took their paint off and performed with their horrible, naked faces. Thankfully, they’ve put the paint back on.
Liverpool’s psychedelic weirdos, Clinic, have been doling out incredible music for a while now and, all the while, they’ve performed behind surgery masks. As this video shows, they performed on national TV in America, to millions, with medical masks AND Beatle suits. Brilliant.
Los Straightjackets have a brilliant set-up – play some of the finest surf music ever recorded while wearing Mexican wrestling masks. What’s not to adore about that?
There’s nothing subtle about the wonder that is The Mummies. They’ve got two settings – fast ‘n’ loud and Jesus, they might explode! Wrapped in mummy bandages like they’re from a b-movie, The Mummies provide the kind of riotous rock ‘n’ roll not seen since people destroyed entire theatres while watching Bill Haley and Little Richard.
The scariest, most sinister masked band of them all. The Wombles, with their cheerfully dead murderer eyes, sang their way to the toppermost of the poppermost in the mid-70s with Remember You’re A Womble. How creepy were they? One ex-Womble confessed:
“I only recall appearing on Top of the Pops [as a Womble] once… You couldn’t play an instrument in those costumes! They were so hot and smelly from previous wearers that I got out of it as soon as I could. We never learnt any dance moves for these shows. I was just told to move around as much as possible. During these performances there was ample opportunity for us to ogle cute young teenage girls through those eye holes. They couldn’t see the leering rock musician inside. In fact, a pretty young girl once peered into my eye holes and whispered, ‘I love you, Womble!’ I did a little Womble dance in response, but if only she knew…”