No Use For a Name
Hard Rock Bottom
Fat Wreck Chords
No Use For a Name’s biannual attempt at ruining punk rock’s fine reputation is called Hard Rock Bottom, and may be their most successful effort yet. With only the busy drumming left to separate them from the Hanson brothers, this is a stunningly bland collection of dull pop songs with generic choruses and generally uninspired songcraft. There’s a difference between branching out and sucking up, and No Use is king of that latter one. Hurrah?
Some exception should be made for the relatively decent “Solitaire,” a fair enough stab at standard-fare punk pop, and perhaps even the potential attempt at writing an anti-war lyric on “Nailed Shut,” criticizing current US politics. However, the critique is so vague it’s hard to tell if it’s actually there. Nothing would please me more than to see No Use actually use their commercial impact to make a statement, but they seem too engrossed by their own money-grabbing egos to ever dare run such a risk. So instead then, they decide to ruin Sinead O’Connor’s “This is a Rebel Song,” draining any kind of protest from it by the sheer sound of their tame, safe performance. Mission accomplished, then.
Fat Wreck Chords: http://www.fatwreck.com