Welcome to the rock-and-roll jungle.

By Casey Jarman & Michael Mannheimer

In rock 'n' roll, as in the animal kingdom, it's important to separate yourself from the pack. Why, then, are so many bands with animal names coming to the fore? Are these bands as cuddly or ferocious as their names might suggest? We tracked, hunted and eventually tagged 15 animal groups—all playing Portland this week to find out. Where appropriate, we offered an alternative band name for when the whole animal thing becomes passé.