Shirt Stains – New Wave Of Bad Hideous Merch


Respect your elders… unless they’re wearing one of these shirts.

For those of you not in the know or just slept through Heavy Metal History class, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a British heavy metal movement in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The movement was a shift away from the blues influence groove that bands like Deep Purple had and focused more on a more uptempo punk and progressive rock-influenced sound. NWOBHM acts such as Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Diamond Head were huge inspirations to metal bands in America, leading to many of the subgenres we now have today. Thankfully, their merch hasn’t had as big an influence.


Judas Priest – You’re My Tur-Bro Lover

These full-splash shirts just don’t work. They really don’t. You can make a shirt like this with the naked bits of your favorite celebrities and it would still be terrible. It’s a shame that Judas Priest caters to the meathead crowd, but even bros feel like breakin’ the law. If the shirt was just the name and the angel, it wouldn’t be so bad. I mean, the angel’s pose is silly, but whatever. Unfortunately, someone felt the need to smear day-old clay from a kindergarten class all over everything. The grays and blacks really accentuate the doo-doo browns. Maybe it’s all a ploy to distract from that fact that “Sad Wings Of Destiny” at the bottom of the shirt is uneven and actually falls off at the end. It’s almost as if it was trying to avoid being seen with the rest of the shirt.

This shirt comes free with a P90X workout DVD. This shirt has it’s own sauce named after it at Buffalo Wild Wings. This shirt hangs out in the parking lot of an Auto Zone. This shirt has “Is Anyone Up?” bookmarked. This shirt still wears hats titlted to the side. This shirt says it’s going food shopping for the house and then just buys a 24 pack of Natural Ice.


Saxon – Denim and Lolther


Saxon may not be the first name on people’s minds when talking about NWOBHM, but they’ve been churning out albums and tours fairly consistently since the 80’s. Plus, Chris Jericho loves them, so that’s good. He might not feel the same way after seeing this long-sleeve shirt, though.

I really do hate the trend of long-sleeve metal shirts that just print the band name or symbols multiple times. It never ever looks good. The combination of red and white on this shirt kind of makes the wearer look like a giant Valentine’s Day card found in the clearance section of a Dollar General. I can only imagine what is on the back. My guess would be “Saxon Bird Saxon Bird Saxon Bird”.

Of course, that is just a minor quibble when compared to the front of the shirt. The name? Cool. The logo? Fine. The font for “DENIM AND LEATHER”? Oh for fuck’s sake. Looks like someone found a stencil font in Microsoft Word. I can only hope the next Saxon shirt has Comic Sans. Note: No denim and/or leather used in this product.

Raven – The Crap Is Back


We’ve covered Raven here at The Toilet before, so you know that deep down, we love them. Love can only go so far when it comes to a shirt like this. I think this shirt is what it sounds like when doves cry. It’s all so incredibly funny that laughter is no longer the appropriate response when seeing it. Screams of terror akin to seeing Cthulhu rising from the city beneath the ocean is the only proper way to address this shirt.

I can’t exactly put my finger on the funniest part of this shirt. The sassy poses? The tighty whities? The banana hammock? The god-awful pre-Photoshop job on their heads? Their expressions? The strange Mad Max-meets-Leather daddy getups? Look I know the 80’s were a strange cocaine blizzard, but come on. It’s great that the pack is back, but maybe the pack should have consulted a stylist first. Or at least worn some pants.


Black Sabbath – Sulphur Hydrogen Iodine Titanium

So technically, Black Sabbath came before the NWOBHM movement, but for the sake of laughing at this bad shirt, let’s throw them in. This shirt looks like you would find it at the weird discount store on the bad side of town right next to the the Diet Shasta Orange soda, faded Christmas decorations, and boxes of Larry The Cable Guy Beer Bread mix.

I know there are plenty of metalheads that want non-black band shirts, but it just feels wrong to have a white Black Sabbath shirt. The big lavender cross seem more appropriate for the wake of a great aunt you never knew about. There are more crucifixes on this shirt than in some churches. The idea of using periodic elements to form the band name is somewhat creative until your high school science kicks in and you realize that all those elements together don’t mean anything. And why is the font for Hydrogen bigger than the others? Is that a joke about Ozzy’s voice or just a goof in printing? I’m going with the latter.


Witchfinder General – Sure Billy, You Can Design A Shirt For Us

Witchfinder General tend to fall under the “influential, but not well-known” category. In some circles, they are better known for their album artwork than their music. Maybe they should have named themselves after a better Vincent Price movie. Hopefully this shirt isn’t an introduction to the band, because it will probably cause you to avoid them like that smelly guy on the bus that air drums despite not wearing headphones.

These are one of those situations where the band would have been better off just using their name and nothing else for the shirt. The font is pretty cool and fits in well with their gimmick. But no, they just had to throw in some artwork that’s closer to unfinished elementary school decorations than edgy metal band. Those are the most adorable witch hunters ever, you guys! Even the flames are harmless looking. Maybe a little color would have helped. That and taking out the punctuation-less sentence underneath it too.

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