# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

No Use For A Name - Keep Them Confused

  by Alex Halls

published: 6 / 7 / 2005

No Use For A Name - Keep Them Confused
Label: Fat Wreck
Format: CD


Diverse, but far from cutting edge ninth album from San Jose and Fat Wreck signings No Use for a Name

No Use for a Name (NUFAN) has long been at the centre of Fat Wreck’s existence, drumming out albums that maintain that catchy appeal within a punk rock centre. This four-piece; Tony (vocals, guitar); Matt (bass); Dave (guitar); and Rory (drums) from San Jose, California is always guaranteed a sell-out crowd, whether it be in its native America or here in Europe. 'Keep Them Confused' is another worthwhile release from the band, the ninth full-lengther if you include the 'Live in a Dive' record. With a touch more mellifluousness than previous NUFAN records, especially in 'Divine Let Down', which doesn’t even break into the band’s usually more upbeat styling, 'Keep Them Confused' will certainly suit anyone who has a penchant for neutral punk rock. Tony’s vocals are always soft on the ear and, here, nothing has changed; sometimes soothing, sometimes a little raspy: certainly not what you expect from a punk rock singer but likeable all the same. NUFAN songs have always told a story and this differs not on 'Keep Them Confused'. This storytelling observes the sadness that fear brings in 'It’s Tragic,' which may well be portraying people’s weaknesses after terrorist attacks, where a common bond is formed briefly but, regrettably, soon dissipates as memories fade. In 'There Will be Revenge', the lyrics concern the difficulties a person faces once they have been condemned in the eyes of others, where loyalty is betrayed and, along with other topics of equal worth, the record goes on to provide food for thought for any punk, young or old. 'Keep Them Confused' is great on the whole as it has the depressing moments and the optimistic, such as in 'Black Box' which combines the two beautifully, contrasting the feelings they evoke and thereby exemplifying NUFAN’s variety, not just on the album, but within individual songs too. There are moments, however, where the album feels less punk and more mainstream, something No Use for a Name are tending to do of late and that the band should be criticised for: although it may only require the proverbial slap on the wrist. It does take the shine off the album a little, but certainly not enough to overlook another successful addition to NUFAN’s punk rock portfolio. The record label appears to be intimating the hard work that has gone into producing this album: it does show. Yet, with a band like No Use for a Name, 'Keep Them Confused' is not particularly cutting-edge as it exhibits much of the same music as we have heard on previous albums. In essence it would be fairer to state that the record presents NUFAN in a way that we are accustomed to. There are the occasional over-melodious sections, (melody having always been a strong part of the band’s records) and there are also the tracks that grab you by the scruff of your neck, intent on doing some damage but, perhaps, do not quite have the bite to match the snarl. It is with the moderately aggressive tracks that 'Keep Them Confused' then begins to take shape: its diversity is its strength and, thus, its character. Fat Wreck is certainly sure of this and who would dare to disagree.

Track Listing:-
1 Part Two
2 There Will Be Revenge
3 For Fiona
4 Check for a Pulse
5 Divine Let Down
6 Black Box
7 Bullets
8 Failing Is Easier (Part Three)
9 Apparition
10 It's Tragic
11 Killing Time
12 Slowly Fading Fast
13 Overdue

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