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No Use for a Name - The Feel Good Record of the Year (Cover Artwork)

No Use for a Name

No Use for a Name: The Feel Good Record of the YearThe Feel Good Record of the Year (2008)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: Ben_ConoleyBen
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Feel Good Record of the Year might not live up to its name, but the ninth full-length from these San Jose, California mainstays is the best album the band has released since 1997's Making Friends, save for some of the very best moments from More Betterness!. It's not so much that the album is a .
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The Feel Good Record of the Year might not live up to its name, but the ninth full-length from these San Jose, California mainstays is the best album the band has released since 1997's Making Friends, save for some of the very best moments from More Betterness!. It's not so much that the album is a return to form for the band; they've never strayed too far from their melodic skatepunk sound they landed upon after ditching their harder material in the early `90s. It seems instead as though the band has finally grasped what exactly it is they're best at and what their fans want from them, which are coincidently the same thing. No Use for a Name sound best when playing melodic skatepunk at a fast pace with hints of melancholy and the occasional acoustic song; No Use for a Name's fans like it when they play melodic skatepunk at a fast pace with hints of melancholy and the occasional acoustic song.

At its best moments, songs from The Feel Good Record of the Year would fit seamlessly on any of the band's older albums, especially "I Want to Be Wrong" with its killer bassline and the title track which feels like a B-side from Making Friends that someone eventually got scolded at for forgetting about. The piano-driven "Ontario" is a welcome break to the driving tempo carried through most of the album. While there are plenty of changes in the mood of the record while it plays through, those changes match the mood of the band, which has always had its own ups and downs lyrically and musically.

The band does stumble at times, though. "Yours to Destroy" sounds like a cross between the Ataris' version of "Boys of Summer" and a synth track left on the computer that someone forgot to erase. Meanwhile, "The Trumpet Player" throws the listener off track momentarily with its too-slow bass drum that sounds a little too similar to a NOFX song I don't like. But these few low points don't get in the way of what at its core is a fantastic return of a band that I miss rocking out to in my (friend's) car in the (high) school parking lot.

I don't know if this was a conscious effort by No Use for a Name to win back fans who have wandered away, but regardless, it has certainly brought me back into the fold and will most likely do the same for others.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
NOFX - The DeclineThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!NOFX - Punk In DrublicBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundNOFX - CoasterDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaThe Loved Ones - Build & BurnThe Flatliners - CavalcadeBad Religion - The Dissent of Man

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
hbwlons4 (October 20, 2014)

this is actually really good. listen to biggest lie, domino, trumpet player, and pacific standard time. if you like pop- punk, you'll probably love it

dbug (February 24, 2009)

I stopped listening to these guys after More Betterness, picked this album up and it's not too shabby at all!

ubercool (January 1, 2009)

Great Album. Smart band! Hope they keep it up! Look forward to seeing them. They have great songs, and they all play there instruments very well.

almostpunkenough (November 27, 2008)

"Sweet, but am I the only one who adored Keep Them Confused?"

not at all, it was in my top 20 of 2005. a great album,

this is even better though, and will reach even higher on my soon-to-be-made year end list.

Windfall (July 4, 2008)

A good opening track can not save this borefest.

cannsaw (June 5, 2008)

Sweet, but am I the only one who adored Keep Them Confused?

Problematiclogic (May 9, 2008)

Infectious as hell.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (April 10, 2008)

fuck the kids !

guyrocker (April 10, 2008)

This album rocks, I've been listening to it non-stop since I got my vinyl from Fat. I hope I can catch their next show with NOFX.

thatsyouth (April 9, 2008)

that guy is right about the trumpet player sounding kinda like mcr. but whatever

the real problem is.

in the song right before the trumpet player. Tony says "the trumpet player" and THAT bothers the FUCK out of me.

Jeevz (April 5, 2008)

I have to make a correction, it pales in comparison to Hard Rock Bottom. It's just better than their last album, that's it, case closed!

Jeevz (April 5, 2008)

Up there with Making Friends? No way! This album is maybe on par with Hard Rock Bottom, definetly better than their last effort (which isn't saying much). Give it a try, you'll know what I mean.

BarleyPat (April 3, 2008)

Freaky:

I completely get the Bohemian Rhapsody too, glad I'm not the only one that hears that! Not getting the USA-holes that someone mentioned though.

Johnny_J (April 3, 2008)

Hot damn dude! This is NUFAN's best record since 'Making Friends' for sure. Honestly, I was shocked when I first listened to it. Favorite songs are 'Biggest Lie', 'I Want To Be Wrong', and 'Under The Garden'.

freaky003 (April 3, 2008)

Yea, to the post below me. That's exactly what I thought when I heard those songs. And the piano song (I'm not sure what's it called off the top of my head), but it reminds me of Bohemian Rhapsody.. Everytime I hear it, I want to replace the first lines with, "Mamaaa"

joetheinvincible (April 3, 2008)

The Trumpet Player sounds like a My Chemical Romance song off the Black Parade. Like. Really sounds like it. Listen to "Dead!" or the title track and you'll see what I mean.

Great record though. The hardest moments are probably the best although the softer songs are great. Take it Home reminds me of Americans Abroad for some reason.

damo (April 3, 2008)

good review - sums up my thoughts entirely. Used to be one of my fave bands but i gave up on them after more betterness. Great return to the standard of Making Friends

maverick (April 3, 2008)

Easily better than their last two records, and on par with More Betterness!. Thank you, Bill Stevenson, for breathing life back into this band.

Also, "The Trumpet Player" rules, it's probably my favorite song off the record. "Biggest Lie," "I Want To Be Wrong" and "Under The Garden" also torch, too.

-Scott

Hey_ska (April 2, 2008)

Hey_ska agrees with Hey_asshole.

crashtester (April 2, 2008)

I think its a solid return but all these making friends links to this album are pretty far off. Ya the first song is fast like making friends but my beef with this record is how tony's vocals really slow down in alot of spots and dont match the speed and hype parts of those songs bring.

jaxkid1 (April 2, 2008)

"It's not so much that the album is a return to form for the band..."

"...what at its core is a fantastic return to form..."

..Oh.

FelixT (April 2, 2008)

"There is an Ontario in California as well"

Really? I should have searched wiki before saying that here then, it's true that a name is rarely unique to a town or a province/state. Sorry! ;)

Hey_Asshole (April 2, 2008)

ehhhh.

i do not understnad why everyone likes this band. i mean, they are not bad, but they sure as shit are not anything special either.

ben_conoley (April 2, 2008)

There is an Ontario in California as well

FelixT (April 2, 2008)

I bought it and I really like it. Way better than Keep Them Confused.

By the way, does somebody know why a song is called Ontario? I guess it's named after the Canadian province, but nothing in the lyrics seems to be about Ontario. Is that about an event that happened there? I am Canadian so I was just wondering. :)

BarleyPat (April 2, 2008)

I'm liking it so far, maybe the best since Making Friends. But I've heard alot of people saying that it has "folky" songs on it. Just for the record, acoustic guitars do not mean that something is folk. Just sayin.

Scruffy (April 1, 2008)

I'm glad someone else noticed the USA-holes similarity.

crotchrot (April 1, 2008)

The Trumpet Player sounds at first like Green Day, then USA-holes

thatsyouth (April 1, 2008)

I'm usually turned off my cds with more than 13 songs. this is a real solid cd. I did get bored in the second half though. Tonys voice is great. The music sounds better and more complete.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (April 1, 2008)

The rating is for the album, not the review (but a good review none the less). I do think that this is their best album since "More Betterness!", and it combines all their musical elements over the years into this album nicely.

punk_rawk_show (April 1, 2008)

got this yesterday, havnt listened yet, but i have alot of faith

thirtyseconds (April 1, 2008)

Where's Chinatown?

Looking forward to getting this

android (April 1, 2008)

good review. sums up pretty much everything I think about this record. while I really enjoy songs like "kill the rich" I wouldn´t have bothered if the whole record had the same energy and speed as the opening track.

TheMarc (April 1, 2008)

After the initial excitement of the return of some speediness wore off, this is just an okay album - the placement of the slower songs kind of ruins the flow for me.

Nap (April 1, 2008)

Really better than their last album. But it really fails sometimes. A 7 is good enough.

supafly (April 1, 2008)

Just when I thought NUFAN couldn't get any further from the band I once loved, they make this record......and (sort of) completely redeem themselves! I dig it.

baseball (April 1, 2008)

Solid album. I think it reminds me of More Betterness more than anything, with some influence of the last two albums and then a couple tendencies toward the old stuff.

Most importantly though, Tony's vocals sound good again, and the production is way better. Thumbs up NUFAN.

Also really like the cover art.

telegraphrocks (April 1, 2008)

Half okay, half boring-as-hell.

drewshaw (April 1, 2008)

i dig it.... wayyyyyyyyyy better then the last album.. apparently coming to aus with strung out... makes me smile cause last time i missed them and i had a ticket and everything... long story!!! fuckin love the biggest lie

LooseKanonYankee (April 1, 2008)

I wish you didnt overlook Tony's better than ever Vocals!

FrankFF (April 1, 2008)

To me this record could basically be summed up as Making Friends meets More Betterness. And i like it a lot (but i'll admit i'm biased towards NUFAN). In short, there's nothing really new in the formula but the various elements have been mixed to create something which is quite well-balanced between NUFAN's roots (i.e. mid-90's era) and their more mellower sound of these last few years. And the Blasting Room production really brings something to the sound that was missing in Ryan Green's latest works with No Use.

notfeelingcreative (April 1, 2008)

I should've just said that I agree completely with the review.

notfeelingcreative (April 1, 2008)

I'm quite shocked, but I'm actually really enjoying this album, I'm not a huge NUFAN fan, but this album has a pretty good mixture of the old and new No Use sound!

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