When you’re in a band, changing your name can be a dicey proposition. You risk confusing old fans, but you have the opportunity to pull in new ones. A Boston garage-pop trio with the un-Google-able name Girlfriends certainly saw it was a time for a change. Girlfriends were darlings of the Beantown DIY punk scene, but in May 2012, they threw caution to the wind and renamed themselves Bent Shapes.
Like I said up top, they already had a pretty good thing going. The band (guitarist Ben Potrykus, bassist Supriya Gunda and drummer Andy Sadoway) had played together since 2008, and were local live favorites. They also had a slew of mini releases, cassettes, 7-inches and other bits of audio, digital and non. Despite the local traction, in May 2012, they opted to change the band’s name. The decision was pretty practical. “For one thing, there’s several other bands named Girlfriends or Girl Friends and people were starting to get confused,” said Potrykus in a May 2012 interview with Boston’s The Pheonix.
Bent Shapes wasn’t the first name they struck on. For a time they considered calling themselves Feels Weird. The band quickly decided it probably wasn’t the strongest moniker they coulda picked. They did stick it in their back pocket though. On August 20, they released their debut full-length, and Feels Weird was the title. The record is chime-y and charming, and it skitters and shakes with adolescent abandon and pop-punk effervescence. The record opens with the raging “Behead Yrself, Pt. 2.” It’s a barbed ode to not looking back, to looking forward. You gotta try something drastic to get anywhere. Maybe not so drastic as the title, but a name-change every now and again isn’t a bad thing.