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    South Africa 
  • Die Antwoord could be classed as a WSAT (Weird South African Thing).
  • William Onyeabor is a famous one. His origin is incredibly mysterious, but in 1978, he financed his own music studio, and bought a number of then cutting-edge synthesizers (which were prohibitively expensive in the 70s, especially in Nigeria). His music consisted of extended jams that blended African percussion, western funk and warbling synths, all with simple lyrics that alternate Silly Love Songs and political commentary. His 6 albums became great successes in Nigeria, and later had became a huge influence on artists like LCD Soundsystem. In 1984, he became a born-again christian and was seldom heard from again, never rereleasing his music until the Luaka Bop label managed to track him down in 2015.


  • Brazilian funk is pretty weird in itself (a WBF?) but is still a mostly authentic expression of life in the slums. Brazilian funk from Curitiba, on the other hand, takes everything weird in the genre, the openly sexual but silly-sounding lyrics, the repetitive samples and sound bites and the very liberal use of profanity and takes it even further.
  • Pato Fu alternates between regular if a bit quirky pop rock and outright exotic things, such as "Made In Japan" (lyrics in Gratuitous Japanese, outside from the chorus borrowing from "Mahna Mahna"), songs with titles such as "Uh Uh Uh, Lá Lá Lá, Ié Ié", and albums\concerts performed on toy instruments, along with toys themselves.

  • Neutral Milk Hotel - WHATs, but they're not humorous.
  • Devo itself qualifies as a WAT, with a devolved monkey boy as a mascot, his father, General Boy, Recombo DNA.
  • Wall of Voodoo did a fair amount of these, especially during the original line-up. The second line-up did a good job sometimes, too.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic is a Weird American Thing, by virtue of parodying stuff Americans would be familiar with. Or not.
  • Psychostick is a WHAT mixed with Lyrical Dissonance. For example, one of their most popular songs is explaining how a song is not a song, but a sandwich, set to hard rock. Another is a borderline screamo talking about tacos and how awesome they are. It does not make sense in context either.
  • The New York Dolls crossed glam into cross-dressing.
  • Clevelanders The Electric Eels would wear biker jackets adorned with safety pins and swastika badges just to provoke their audiences' disgust. For added confusion, they would double-bill with The Styrenes, who were often accompanied by several dancers.
  • Half Japanese were founded in Coldwater, Michigan in 1974 (or '75) by two teenage brothers with no formal musical training. Or interest in formal musical training. Especially chords. To boot, their first full album was a triple-LP set.
  • Suicide were formed by an organist and a performance artist in 1970 as a kind of free jazz outfit, and were probably the first band to self-identify as "punk". The New York duo's music was so weird and abrasive that no studio would touch them until 1977.
    Vaguely Interesting Trivia Time: The Boss threatened to walk off his label unless they agreed to sign Suicide, which became their first contract. Aside from aforementioned live cover, several songs show a clear influence, most notably State Trooper from Nebraska.
  • Another very early (pre-'77) "punk" group, Talking Heads, simply fit the WAT trope to a T, though frontman David Byrne hailed from Scotland via Canada.
  • Taking it one step further, The Residents, from a Concept Ambient album about the Eskimos in the Arctic, to a slowed down, distorted cover version of James Brown's live album.
  • Faith No More. Their music is very weird. The weirdest project of frontman Mike Patton is Mr. Bungle, a band that sometimes changing genres several times within a song.
  • New wave band The B-52s. They have a couple normal songs, but the vast majority of their stuff falls squarely into WAT territory. These are the minds that gave us "Rock Lobster".
  • Little Fyodor is a world-class W(H?)AT, with frenetic/manic music verging on outsider art.
  • Doctor Steel was both weird and humorous. (How could "babies with buzzsaws" be anything else?)
  • Ween is a definite WHAT, with weird lyrics and subject matter.
  • Primus is a WAT band, a band with such a strange mix of bass-led Funk Rock, Thrash Metal, Progressive Rock and Psychedelic Rock that they're the only band on Winamp with their own ID3 tag.
  • Frank Zappa is a definite WHAT. A Genre-Busting sound combining rock, jazz, classical, blues and god knows what else, lots and lots and lots of Epic Rocking steeped in extreme instrumental proficiency and Uncommon Time, wacky, satirical lyrics about things ranging from the counterculture to being infected with gonorrhea, and rock operas where the main protagonist develops a sexual attraction to kitchen appliances are just a few of the things he brings to the table.
  • Zappa's contemporary and frequent collaborator Captain Beefheart is another prime example of a WHAT. Albums like Trout Mask Replica must be heard to be believed.
  • There is also the American experimental hip hop trio Death Grips. Abrasive electronic beats that border on Sensory Abuse overlaid with an extremely angry man aggressively rapping lyrics that range between being terrifyingly Ax-Crazy and just plain weird are just the beginning of their strangeness. They are also known for their public antics, which include cancelling shows (and later, breaking up completely) out of the blue to suddenly dropping albums for free online and making the cover a photo of an erect penis.
  • Marilyn Manson took the "shock rock" aesthetic of Alice Cooper and really ran with it to the point of entering unquestionable weirdness, between the crossdressing, makeup, androgyny and abundance of surreal imagery (at times twisting familiar subjects, as the video for "The Fight Song" features a game of American football in the rain between goths and jocks), plus criticizing American culture with what usually enters Word Salad Lyrics ("All simple monkeys with alien babies\Amphetamines for boys, crucifixes for ladies").
  • The Velvet Underground. Urban legend has it that only 10,000 copies of their albums were sold during the band's career... But everyone who bought those 10,000 copies went on to form a band.
  • Cibo Matto often reference food in their songs, and have a strange, Genre-Busting style of music. Although based in New York, both founding members are Japanese.
  • They Might Be Giants have lyrics that can rival Rush and Weird Al in their being so eccentric.
  • Dog Police was three Memphis musicians with quite the musical chops, getting together to do weird comedy music. If their eponymous song (and music video!) isn't enough, there's "1-800" (highlighted in one special by the above mentioned Weird Al) and quirky tracks about butch women, middle class, burgers, etc., none sounding similar to each other.
  • The Tubes combined biting satire with envelope-pushing stage shows - just before MTV began transmission - most notably with the 1981 album The Competion Backward Principle and its accompanying video show.
  • Calvin Wilkerson. Shout-outs to cartoons, Epic Rocking galore, and barely any lyrics.
  • Country Music in general is often seen as a WHAT outside the US, and until The '90s was seen as this within the US, specifically as a Weird Humorous Southern Thing. Most Americans' exposure to it was in the soundtracks for Westerns (hence the now-outdated name "country and western") and a few novelty hits, and beyond that its popular image was of songs about farming, hunting, and women who kill their husbands told through a specifically Southern lens. Since its mainstream explosion in the '90s these stereotypes have mostly died out, though some country singers do still embrace them in a tongue-in-cheek manner. That said, the stereotype has evolved: country still prides itself on its Eagleland image, with common subject matter now including off-roading in big trucks, dinner at Kitschy Themed Restaurants, reverence for the military, and tons of hyper-specific local references.

  • The Arrogant Worms, a Weird Canadian Thing.
  • To many, Rush qualify as a Weird Canadian Thing. Political undertones in long-winded, wordy lyrics all wrapped up in a crispy Power Trio shell, while their singer / bassist / keyboardist sings at such a pitch that it takes a few listens to figure out whether he's male or female.


  • Visual Kei, an entire musical movement where Genre Mashup is cranked up and musicians dress up in highly extravagant costumes that cause much Viewer Gender Confusion.
    • The usual stereotype? Hard-hitting music similar to Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, Slipknot, or Converge played by musicians who look and even act like Gothic Anime characters.
    • By far the worst offender is Dir en grey. Seriously. Though they've abandoned their VK roots, they still easily qualify thanks to their weird sound, their singer's great vocal range, their sometimes INCREDIBLY heavy songs, even for Death Metal standards, and by far the best reason... Mind Screw. Tons of it.
  • Go on YouTube and search for "Halfby." You will not be disappointed.
  • Polysics, a Devo-inspired WJT tha mixes equal parts new wave, electronica, and Crazy Is Cool.
  • Shonen Knife and their bizarre lyrics about jelly beans and rubber bands.
  • Noise and Noise Rock, while not especially popular there, are much more mainstream in Japan than in many other countries, if only because said country has been producing weird, noisy groups like Les Rallizes Dénudés and Hijokaidan since The '60s and Seventies. Which, technically, predates both genres.
  • Japanese chiptune DJ Higedriver doesn't fall into this with his more widely known work, which are primarily amazing non-vocal chiptunes. But you take a look at some of his other albums, and you're finding songs like "2nd Massachusetts Love Platoon"
  • Yet another shining gem from Japan is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's PONPONPON song; complete with ducks, eyeballs, bread, dancing pink lunchladies with raspberries for heads, and pterodactyls that circle the Tokyo tower. And that's not even covering the weird parts.
  • The Boredoms. Two drum kits, a carnival organ and a swinging worklight, what can go wrong?
  • Versailles is a widget band in a widget genre. Still managed to get a decent international following, despite the cursed-with-immortality backstory, Kamijo's love of the stage, and Hizaki's frilly dresses.
  • Denpa song is essentially an entire style of music made to be as annoying yet catchy as possible often with over the top Moe vocals and themes. Madness mantras, wotagei chanting, and intentionally off-key singing are commonly found in songs labelled denpa.
  • Tokyo-based quintet Koenji Hyakkei, who wear their Magma influence on their sleeves, may be the only known example of Widget filtered through WTF.
  • Plus-Tech Squeeze Box. Their first album is pretty standard Shibuya-Kei fare, but their cartoon-themed second album, "Cartooom!" is when things get weird. With album art resembling The Fairly OddParents! or Dexter's Laboratory, barely comprehensible English lyrics, gratuitous use of stock cartoon sound effects, and song titles like Uncle Chicken's Drag Rag, it's about as widget as it gets.
  • Man With a Mission. Japanese? Check. Weird? Well, they constantly wear wolf masks and claim to be wolf-human hybrids created in a laboratory many years ago...
  • Japanese pop groups composed of cute teenage girls, such as Morning Musume and other Hello! Project groups, come across to Western audiences as Weird Japanese Things.
    • Hangry & Angry, with Hitomi Yoshizawa and Rika Ishikawa from Morning Musume, qualify as well.
    • For an earlier example that even has men on the line-up, Pizzicato Five. Twiggy!
  • BABYMETAL is the result of combining teenage girls singing Japanese idol pop music with heavy metal of all things. And making it actually sound good.
    • Which more than likely spawned LADYBABY, which is a similar take but including crossplaying male member doing the metal vocals.
  • Necronomidol are a darker spin on Babymetal, being idols whose influences include Black Metal, H. P. Lovecraft and occultism.
  • FAR EAST MENTIONS MANNEQUINS, or FEMM for short, are a pop duo that have been gaining some attention for combining Americanized musical stylings (complete with Surprisingly Good English lyrics) and a concept only the Japanese could come up with: two animated mannequins released by a secret organization for the purpose of seeking out other mannequins with the potential for sentience, ultimately aiming for liberation from humans and world domination. Their most popular video on YouTube, the bluntly titled "Fxxk Boyz Get Money", features the two mannequins clad in Elegant Gothic Lolita twerking robotically to a continuous stream of profanity.
  • Brand-new idol Society, better know simply as BiS, were a short-lived idol group whose raison d'etre was to twist idol culture beyond recognition with bizarre and horrific imagery, overt sexuality, and live shows that more closely resembled hardcore concerts than idol concerts. Musically, well, that they released a collaboration with Harsh Noise legends Hijokaidan should tell you all you need to know. They're meant to be weird even in Japan, but that they exist as a parody of uniquely-Japanese idol culture without rejecting it completely will probably make them extra weird to non-Japanese.
  • Sigh are a Black Metal band, which already makes them Widget enough, but they compound this with, ever since Infidel Art, composing their songs with the specific (self-admitted) intention of fucking with your head. Any given Sigh song is bound to have influences from a wide number of disparate genres, from classical to disco to dub reggae to jazz. And that's just on one album (Imaginary Sonicscape). Albums where this tendency is especially pronounced include Hail Horror Hail, Scenario IV: Dread Dreams, Imaginary Sonicscape, In Somniphobia, and Graveward, but it really applies to all of them except maybe the début.
  • Merzbow, a pioneering Harsh Noise artist who takes Sensory Abuse, Hell Is That Noise, and True Art Is Incomprehensible to levels you probably never thought possible.
  • Band-Maid, an all-girl metal band that is often compared to BABYMETAL. They dress in Meido outfits and preform high speed dual-shred heavy metal music.


  • The Australian "little bands" scene of the late '70s and early '80s is a STANZA among STANZAs.
  • The Avalanches create absolutely weird music out of intense sampling. Frontier Psychiatrist is possibly the most iconic example of the indescribable weirdness they create. Just take a look.

    New Zealand 
  • Split Enz was a case of a band actually trying to be as Widget-y as possible (Weird New Zealand Thing more precisely), though later subverted as they eventually got fed up with their Widget status. Even then, they still retained a sense of Australasian quirkiness right to the end.
  • Much of the humour of the STANZA Flight of the Conchords (and their TV show, where New Zealand is a Cloudcuckooland) comes from exploiting this trope.
  • The Topp Twins are a STANZA.
  • Every Christmas/New Year holiday break, New Zealand's national public radio station RNZ goes "mufti day" and hosts the "Matinee Idle" radio show, where So Bad, It's Good, campy and novelty music is played back for laughs.



  • Finntroll is a weird Finnish thing. They're primarily a cross between humppa (a Finnish variety of polka) and black and death metal, who sing songs in Swedish about how much fun it is to be a troll, smash villages and terrorize Swedes. They also have a fondness for dressing in steampunk troll outfits and for instruments like the kazoo and the banjo.
    • Lordi also qualifies to an extent.

  • Magma, with its militaristic nonsense chants, bizarre polyrhythms, and vaguely Hubbard-esque philosophical underpinnings, is one of the most notorious examples of musical WTF. Have a listen.
  • Absolute Psalm by Igorrr. Pampelmuse. Enough said.
  • Empalot, the avant-garde side project created by the Duplantier brothers of the famed metal band Gojira is a WTF, through and through.

  • German "kraut/kosmiche" band Neu! released the single "Super" in 1972. Now compare it with what was going on in Britain, like, say, Yes.
  • Can was a PEGS band. The core of the band were classical and jazz musicians, some of whom were students of Karleinz Stockhausen. They sounded pretty much like you'd expect jazz and experimental musicians who played rock and roll to.
  • New German Hardness (Neue Deutsche Härte) is a genre that really could have only come out of Germany, and not just because of the name. It was spawned from what was once East Germany, which had extremely strict laws that heavily cracked down on western music, because it's the Soviet Union, so duh. Because of this, only the biggest acts over here would ever get any sort of popularity there, and even then, it wasn't to the same level as America. Because of this, the music evolved differently, and the culture around it also evolved differently. New German Wave (Neue Deutsche Welle), which proceeded New German Hardness, was a major influence on the later genre, and was a German evolution of new wave music. This, combined with metal influences, lead to Oomph! and Rammstein establishing the foundations of the genre, which can best be described as "really damn German". A more mechanical sound, with loud, clear, deep vocals, with uncomplicated music and more usage of keyboards and synthesisers than in your average metal genre help define it. Complexity is valued in most metal genres, but not here.
  • Neo-Medieval music is another uniquely German thing. While it's caught on elsewhere, neo-Medieval bands are usually found in Germany. The name really says what it's all about, but for the uninitiated, it's sort of like Nordic folk metal's German cousin. All the typical instruments can be found: different types of bagpipe and drum, as well as various different types of pipes, flutes and string instruments. However, it's also a little less common to find modern instruments like (electric) guitars. Because of this, it's quite a broad spectrum; there are bands that pretty much just play straightforward medieval music, but there's also bands who sound closer to Medieval metal and could probably even be classified as some form of folk metal. The reason for its inception can probably be traced to the popularity of Medieval markets and historical re-enactment in Germany; indeed, quite a few of the bands in the genre started out performing at Medieval markets, and still do so today.
  • Kraftwerk are a PEGS band. They originally started out as just another Krautrock group before turning into one of the pioneers of electronic music, however quite a bit of their discography is comprised of songs about otherwise boring subjects such as using calculators ("Pocket Calculator"), how radio transmissions work ("Antenna"), train travel ("Trans-Europe Express"), calling somebody on the phone ("The Telephone Call"), and driving on the highway ("Autobahn").


  • The Fox by two Norwegian talk show hosts is one of these. The song consists of a man wondering how foxes communicates - as apparently it's a complete mystery to the human species - followed by a chorus of frantic "fox noises" (gibberish). The music video consists of people in animal costumes dancing in the woods. It manages to be hilarious and horrific at the same time.
  • The whole Black Metal genre counts as a Norwegian version of this, with its unconventional song structures, strange melodies, and often corpse paint-faced musicians. Immortal is perhaps the most widget example in the genre, due to their not-so-serious music videos and narmy song lyrics. (It should be noted that not all black metal bands are Norwegian; the Trope Maker is usually either considered to be Sweden's Bathory or the U.K.'s Venom. There aren't many black metal bands that aren't weird, though.)

  • Jonny Jakobsen, also known as Dr. Bombay, Dr. Macdoo and Carlito, is a case of really weird Sweden-made music. A notable Fauxreigner.

    United Kingdom 
  • When the genre first emerged around 1974, punk rock was a totally alien phenomenon. Really, think of mainstream Seventies rock. Now, think of Johnny Rotten. Even more so, there are really early bands that most people skip over, which are listed above and below.
  • London's Subway Sect looked like a gang of delinquent clerical workers and taped themselves performing Molière plays for kicks. Their lyricist would also intentionally use longer words than were necessary to avoid sounding too "rock".
  • The Bonzo Dog Band were a WBFT in the 60s before Monty Python existed, and have been cited as a major influence on Python. (Neil Innes later went on to work with Python, The Rutles and Terry Gilliam, while Vivian Stanshall had a less successful career performing comic monologues that were even weirder.)
  • Gorillaz are most definitely a Weird British Thing. The band consists of a blue haired, pain killer addicted lead singer with no eyes, a green skinned alcoholic satanist bass player, a young Japanese Tyke Bomb guitarist mailed to them when she was ten, a drummer from Brooklyn with a Demonic Possession issue, and a homicidal cyborg version of the aforementioned guitarist. They have such adventures as trying to blow up 300 ft. elk, fighting off the zombies that reside outside their studio, and escaping deals with the Devil by hiding out on an island made entirely of plastic floating in the ocean. Oh, and they technically don't even exist.
  • Black Sabbath qualified as a Wabbit when they first popped up. Heavy metal was brand new and apparently, at least once, one of their very first songs during an early concert sent half the audience running out of the venue screaming. And despite being hated at first, they've been Vindicated by History and are now widely hailed as the fathers of heavy metal, with each of the original members (and one replacement) being called a virtuoso or musical genius in his own right.
  • Cardiacs are a British band who take Genre Mashup to an extreme by combining the seemingly polar-opposite genres of Punk Rock and Progressive Rock, a blend often referred to as "pronk". Combine this with Word Salad Lyrics and Motor Mouth singing, and you get this.

  • The Rubberbandits certainly count: two Limerick lads who wear plastic bags over their faces to protect their identity and perform a strange combination of hip-hop, comedy and social commentary (occasionally), all while playing up their image (stupid eejit Limerick lads on yokes) as much as possible. Songs of theirs include "Spastic Hawk" (a children's book about a, well, sp*stic hawk—it's an insult in the UK and ROI), "I want to fight your father" (Exactly What It Says on the Tin), "Dad's best friend" (described as being a song about "the middle-aged man who babysat you once and didn't see anything wrong with letting you stay up to watch Videodrome") , "Double Dropping Yokes with Eamon De Valera" and their most famous song, "Horse Outside", which tells the story of Blindboy's (the two members are Blindboy Boat Club and Mr. Chrome) travails at a wedding trying to attract a bridesmaid, his principal offer being based around him owning a horse, whereas the other three lads have Mitsubishis, Hondas or Subarus. Oh, and What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? doesn't apply: Blindboy called up a radio show (Newstalk) while claiming to be on "legal yips": at the time, the Irish government had, um, accidentally legalised drugs, they say drug dealers used to sell their songs along with hash, the "yokes" in "Eamon De Valera" are ecstasy (yoke can also be roughly analogous to "thingamabob"), at least two of their earlier songs feature hiding drugs up your behind and one of their vines features a crack pipe. They also released an as Gaeilge version of "I want to fight your father", which not only was a decent translation but also rhymed, which is better than a lot of more "serious" bands can do. Their work is fairly provincial, especially their earlier stuff: decent chunks of it are incomprehensible to anyone with no knowledge of Irish slang, specifically Limerick, combined with a thick accent.