No Use For A Name - Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

No Use For A Name

Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers (2017)

Fat Wreck Chords

The thought that it has already been five years since Tony Sly’s passing is pretty crazy. He meant a lot to so many of us in the punk scene. This year Fat Wreck Chords is keeping his legacy alive by releasing No Use For A Name’s Rarities Vol 1: The Covers which is a collection of cover songs that has just very recently seen the light of day. The track list covers a pretty wide variety of tunes that the band decided to give their own take on from tunes by The Misfits to Social Distortion to Depeche Mode to Cheap Trick to Sublime and even an oldies theme tune.

The collection starts out swinging with No Use For A Name’s cover of The Vapors’ main (and probably only?) hit “Turning Japanese.” Complete with that unmistakable main riff No Use For A Name took the song from a delicate-sounding new wave song to something that could have easily been a hidden bonus track on Leche Con Carne — big, melodic vocals from the Tony sung over blaring power chords, while being backed up by the band’s signature vocal harmonies.

A good amount of the songs like “Turning Japanese” are straight, pop punk-infused covers like “Hybrid Moments” by The Misfits and “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick. There are some others though that do stand out from the rest. They took a hardcore route with their cover of “I’ve Heard” by Dag Nasty and they even recorded a distorted guitar-driven version of “The Munsters’ Theme” where they even threw in a brief part of “The Adams Family Theme” as a fun bonus. The final track is No Use For A Name’s rendition of Kiss’s “Beth,” but instead of recording with classical orchestra the band trimmed it down to just two acoustic guitars in the beginning and then suddenly the full band blasts in to take over turning what was once a soft and heartfelt love song into something that would get the pop punkers to mosh to.

No Use For A Name’s Rarities Vol 1: The Covers is a solid release overall because for those that loved No Use For A Name and Tony Sly it is a pleasant and unexpected surprise that they can add to their collection. This is also a really good introduction to the band for punk fans that may not have listened to them before. It is also a very approachable album for people who are just being introduced to punk music, too. Where ever you fall in to these groups, this is definitely a record that should not be overlooked.