I guess it’s been long enough now to say that No Use For A Name have been a defining band in the Southern California power pop/punk scene.
They’ve been at it now for fifteen years, which is a long time to be doing anything, especially in this corner of the music world. Most pieces of the sound carved out by No Use For A Name are conventional at this point, though in some small way they created the very conventions they’re living by. Every song is super catchy. Though they catch you with stop/start rhythms, and creative vocal lines instead of the one guitar riff, and repetitive chorus method used by far too many pop punk bands these days.
Lead singer Tony Sly can definitely sing (at least in the studio, I’ve never seen these guys live). While contemporaries like Lagwagon, and followers like The Ataris probably sell way more records, No Use are as good or better (or way better in the Ataris’ case). A ton of kids will probably see these guys for the first time this summer, as they’re on the entire Warped Tour, and it’s their first big tour in a while. For better or worse, Warped is the exact place for them.
I can’t say I had my life changed in any small way by this record. But by the same token, fans of poppy power punk will, and should, eat this stuff up. It’s the best record yet by some of the leaders of the genre.
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Stuart Anderson, Editor