Name Taken - Hold On (Cover Artwork)

Name Taken

Hold On (2004)


If there is a competition to see which of the two bands featured on last year's Name Taken/Bayside split would produce a better follow-up full length album, consider Name Taken the winner. A lot has changed since the band's early days, when they played songs at breakneck speed, with dual guitars and double-bass pedals flying every which way in songs over four minutes long. Surely, a lot of bands start out this way, and suddenly undergo a catharsis, producing an album that is proclaimed "more mature and focused", which is often synonymous with "devoid of energy". Luckily, with "Hold On", Name Taken manage to put out an album that admittedly sounds a lot like every other emo-punk band in the genre, but still contains the energy and sense of melody that most of the other bands forget about.

The musicianship is quite impressive throughout the entire album, with some noteworthy guitar work in the album's high octane opener "Control" and re-recorded "A Year Spent Cold". Chad Atkinson's vocals also shine, driving "I Quit My Scene" to a very memorable chorus. Songs like "Cover Up" and "We Give Up Sometimes" are very memorable, with crunchy choruses that you'll be singing in your car for weeks. The album's strongest effort, "This Was Never", is a fantastic rock song with a soaring vocal melody and furious drumming. Beau Burchell's production obviously results in a huge sound, but also provides some nice layers that are further appreciated with headphone listening (although he did bury some background vocals). The most serious fault with this, their first full-length with Fiddler, is having two of the eleven tracks be older songs that were simply re-recorded. Maybe it's just me, but very rarely do you hear a song that is completely re-recorded and sounds better than the original.

In a genre that's already full of many a boring band, Name Taken do a commendable job in separating themselves from the pack. Ultimately, the above-average vocals do a lot to produce this separation, and here's hoping that they can maintain this kind of energy in albums down the road. Yeah, it's not anything overly unique, but it's probably better than you expected.