On Saturday night I went out with a friend of mine from high school. We’ve been friends ever since those days, despite his move to the other side of the world two years before graduation. The friendship was built on music, specifically punk and grunge.
After a few beers and a live show in Camden, it’s obvious we both still love punk – but high school was a long time ago (well, 11 years ago).
Nameless to Me are a five piece from Pennsylvania that have been on our radar for a while as early followers of The Doughnut (then Copasetix). Still in school, I’m not surprised they’re attracted to the heady joys of punk rock. What is surprising, however, is that their brand of new school, pop punk is still a living breathing thing. Am I out of touch?
Here I am thinking fans of bands like New Found Glory, Good Riddance, MXPX and Saves The Day sprouted into something a little darker, faster and more aggressive. The emos grew up too, right? At the risk of sounding patronising, I find it quite sweet that Nameless To Me are so enthusiastic about a sound I assumed was dismissed with rather odd accounting teacher.
Two members of this band stand out for me. Justin Gladstone, the vocalist, has an interesting voice and a perfect one for their overall sound, but a voice I feel he sometimes uses better than others. The drumming from George Monrroy is along similar lines; competent and with a sense of fun and style fit for pop punk, but sometimes it sounds like his sticks are getting away from him.
The Nameless To Me Debut
Even though 11 tracks at two minutes something a pop do not add up to a lengthy recording, there’s a lot to this debut. Mixed between the punk rock cuts are a few skits, this first of which (‘Buzzed (Walton Terrace skit’) I feel should not have been the as early as third in the lineup, but no harm. The second half of ‘The Things We Do For Kingston’ incorporates aspects of the hardcore slash screamo sound I’d expect to hear from younger punk rock bands – and even this I feel is done in jest.
‘Homefield Advantage’ is the first track I heard from Nameless To Me, and this re-recording still includes the chugging, the melodic harmonies and a great breakdown (just before the halfway point) which have been stuck in my head since I heard the demo.
‘Robin Hood Adventure Game’ is another single worth highlighting. It encapsulates everything about this album, and has that heartbroken quality which would have ‘defined me’ before I got really jaded by the pursuit of love.
“From the first kiss to the last, And the days that went too fast. We’d sit and talk for hours, about this thing that we called ours”.
All in all, this is not an album I’d revisit often. It may sounds like I dislike it, but that’s simply not the case. I love it. I think it’s a celebration of youth and I’m actually a little jealous of these five guys. They have a band, record albums, play house shows, express themselves, dick around and seem to have fun doing it. I hope they keep doing it, and those that come after them keep doing it.