Album Review: Fake Names – “Fake Names”

Due for release on Epitaph Records May 8th, this debut album seems to have been on everybody’s radar since the the sharing of two teasing little snippets were unleashed, one early this year the sublime “Brick” and the other very recently in the form of the brilliant “First Everlasting”

So getting to give this the once over is something of a Coup De Gras for my curiosity.

The core of the band and founding members are Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion) and Michael Hampton (S.O.A., Embrace, One Last Wish) joined later by Bassist Johnny Temple (Girls Against Boys and Soulside) and finally they recruited the last important piece of the jigsaw, in the form of Refused frontman Dennis Lyxzén.  

A veritable who’s who of punk and everything in-between (no pressure then), from the outside looking in, the making of this band and album could easily bring very high expectations, but this project did only start as a jam, with 2 friends doing what they love the most. The words “Super Group” have been branded around, this certainly doesn’t fit well within the world of punk, nor does this serve to enhance what is already a very tight and lets face it, band that is simply doing what they do best in a way only they know how to.

As the two early releases have shown, this slab of power filled melodic music, has in principle the makings of album of the year and beyond.

“Brick” came first, this hit heights that made you wonder can this really be maintained or bettered?  Full of melody, an infectious energy that was held perfectly together with a vocal onslaught of wonderful control that screamed passion and belief in the revolutionary message and accountability that should come with abuse of power.

Then came very recently “First Everlasting” a song that hits on growing up and accepting your life history for what it is, a soundscape that hints of nostalgia, but with a fresh catchy modern feel that when seen live will defiantly get a crowd dancing and jumping around.

What stands this album out against so many others, is its ability to take lyrical content that speaks of personal, social, political and world issues that impact all of us.  “All For Sale” with its attack on the toxic side of capitalism, “This Is Nothing” absolutely stands out from the crowd, a powerhouse of bass line and awesome deep rhythmic riffs that surround a strong message.

“But this isn’t a new concept” I hear you saying, so where does this album score all the points, simple answer is a pureness of sound, a sound that is not adulterated in anyway and played with passion.  Try as you can, but not a pedal or tweak can be heard!  

Friends having fun, playing what the hell they want, saying what the hell they want, all makes for an honest and compelling sound.

“Super Group” No!   A group of super artists, creating an album of super proportions yes!

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