blood.sweat.tears music syndicate | est. 5.02

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Review: No Use for a Name - The Feel Good Record of the Year

Artist: No Use for a Name
Album: The Feel Good Record of the Year
Fat Wreck Chords

BSTscore: 66

For more than 20 years now, NUFAN has been a force in the punk genre. I’m proud to say that I’ve been along for the ride for more than half of it. I first fell in love with the band on Making Friends and as the band’s sound evolved on More Betterness!, I was hooked for good. There are few bands that have the staying power as NUFAN.

The Feel Good Record of the Year is the band’s 9th full length album. I’m glad that I gave this record a few more listens before writing this, as parts of the album grew on me with each listen. Unfortunately for NUFAN, the album’s shortcomings did not disappear. It’s hard for me to say, especially for a band that I enjoy and respect, but this is one of the most poorly arranged albums I have ever heard. “Choppy” might be the best word. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good songs on this album (“Yours to Destroy, "The Feel Good Song of the Year"), but the overall flow and melody of this album is terrible. This feels like a compilation CD. I think that if this album were broken up into 3 EP’s, I would enjoy it a lot more.

Save for “Sleeping Between Trucks” (a very out of place acoustic song), “Kill the Rich” and perhaps “Domino”, there aren’t any songs that I would remove from this record, but I end up skipping around the album in an attempt to hear songs in a audibly appeasing order. The first songs are reminiscent of earlier material, with driving guitars, blast beats, and angst. The more recent and familiar sound returns with “Yours to Destroy” (although the intro seems out of place). This is interrupted mid-album by the aforementioned acoustic dredge and followed by “Domino” which is a vocal nightmare mixed with upbeat guitar riffs. It doesn’t work for me. The balance of the album drifts between the faster sounding material and melody before being disrupted again by “Kill the Rich”.

As much as I like the majority of this album as individual songs, I still feel this was piecemealed together. The vocal harmonies of Tony Sly and Matt Riddle are still as powerful and unique as any band out there. The lyrics are heartfelt and meaningful. There are many reasons to really enjoy this album, and yet I can’t get around the lack of flow. I guess I expect more from the band. If you pick up this album, be warned that you may be better suited listening to it on shuffle or random than straight through.

Musicianship: 65
Vocals: 85
Creativity: 60
Impact: 55

Favorite Song: "Yours to Destroy"

Listen to No Use for a Name

No comments: