No Use For A Name - Keep Them Confused (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

No Use For A Name

Keep Them Confused (2005)

Fat Wreck Chords

"Keep Them Confused?" Well, I'm not, as this is another brilliant NUFAN album with 13 songs that each could have been on any of their 5 previous albums on Fat (their New Red Archives late 80's / early 90's period was just from another era, though also great). No wonder they had Ryan Greene turning the knobs here again; it just belongs in this typical mid-to-late 90's melodic punk haydays category. And although some may want to move along, I couldn't be more happy staying with these catchy, mind-sticking tunes.

You'll get the same amazing melodic flowing songs topped with Tony Sly's brilliant harmonic vocals that we're so familiar with from their more catchy albums Leche Con Carne and Making Friends, while on the other hand they still please the More Betterness-adepts with a bit more of these easy-going, emotive songs. I guess they just continued with the same concept that their previous album Hard Rock Bottom had: mixing songs of both categories, and including some small string-parts, vocal sampling and a lot of pure brilliance in uncomplicated, grasping songwriting. Another constant with a lot of their songs here is the intro they use so smartly, be it vocal or instrumental.

This disc is still fresh in my player, which means that at this very moment my heart goes out to the faster tunes like the first 3 tracks, "Killing Time" and the excellent "Slowly Fading Fast," but speaking out of experience I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of listening to this album for another 50 times before these other, slower tracks will have raised themselves to equal brilliance in my ears. Maybe the biggest surprise to me were the lyrics of some songs on this disc. Sly always managed to write good metaphoric lyrics, and most of these songs are also dealing about relationships and personal feelings and disappointments. But in more recent years there was hardly any rebellion or denouncements in them, while here "Bullets" to me sounds like an anti-religion and "Killing Time" an anti-war song. I like that.

Those looking for changes might be disappointed; I would just have been disappointed if something changed. Refreshing Bay Area sublime melodic punk rock this is, and I'm pretty sure a lot of these song parts will be rotating through my head for the next couple months.