More Betterness!

No Use For A Name

Fat Wreck Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Hype! Hype! Who's got the hype?

No Use for a Name (NUFAN), an otherwise unknown band, is getting attention because the Foo Fighters recently tapped the band's guitarist, Chris Shiflett, to fill in the recently vacated slot by Pat Smear. NUFAN have been around for 10 years (that's a decade) and have not made any sort of a national impact.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Raise your hand if you only heard about them after Foo Fighters named Shiflett as Smear's replacement.

Thought so.

But after listening to NUFAN's recent CD, More Betterness!, I wonder if Shiflett made the best career move. Sure, after releasing 10 albums in 10 years and not achieving a "household word" success level must be somewhat frustrating and to join his favorite band, hell, I'd do it too.

But More Betterness! is an excellent slab of Green Day-ish power punk. Not all that adventuresome, but still done with integrity. They actually fit better into a genre I've not been able to pigeon-hole with a label. Bands like Ten Foot Pole and Mothermania fit in the genre. It's not really alt-rock, but it's dirtier than trad power pop punk like Green Day or Offspring.

The lyrics from "Life Size Mirror" encapsulate the band's appeal. Here you have lyrics that make you think, but you also have music that is appealing. "She was done before the start/ always mending broken hearts/ making others miserable not/ Knowing who she's hurting" push the band a million miles ahead of their competitors.

Additionally, in the CD's strongest track "Pride," the band proclaims, "You're not going to find me digging through my family tree/ Just to find out who I am/ I don't need to know that I'm linked to some murderer/ to live on the sam land." The song concludes with these lyrics "So do what you want and I'll decide my own history."

NUFAN fit into the breed of newer bands that combine street-smart emotional lyrics with music that rocks. The musicianship is tight with no instrument overpowering the other in skill. I look for this band to become a household name in the next few years, especially if the magic in More Betterness! is able to be captured in the future.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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