Tag Archives: No Use For A Name

Tony Sly Tribute Album To Drop This Fall

I still have a tough time believing that it has been a year since Tony Sly left this world.  Sure, I did not know him personally, but I was pretty damn good pals with the music he wrote seeing how much I listened to it.  To this day, I still listen to No Use For A Name as well as his acoustic material.  It will forever be on my playlist.

I remember bumping shoulders with him backstage at a Cincinnati Warped Tour years ago where I was more concerned about how many beers I had consumed over taking in all that was going on around me.  I was quick to apologize and he just smiled at me as he and the rest of his band headed to the stage to play some songs to a sea of fans.  I recall taking in their set and telling my partner in crime that day how lucky I felt to have just seen them play live again.

On October 29th, Fat Wreck Chords will officially release The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute.  This important release will include 26 covers of Tony Sly songs from Tony’s friends such as Bad Religion, Rise Against, Frank Turner, Anti-Flag, The Bouncing Souls, The Gaslight Anthem, and many many more.  I am still waiting for more details on when the album can be pre-ordered and check FatWreck.com almost daily as I know the vinyl version of this will be something that will sell out quickly.

Tony Sly Tribute

The good folk at Fat had this to say about the upcoming release: “We can’t express how much it means to us and Tony’s family that each of the artists and bands on this album took the time and effort to contribute such meaningful and interesting interpretations of Tony’s songs. All proceeds from this compilation will go to the Tony Sly Memorial Fund.”

Tony Sly passed away in his sleep on July 31st, 2012.  He was 42 years old.

Album Review: Joey Cape / Tony Sly – Acoustic Volume 2

Has it really been been 8 years since Tony Sly and Joey Cape released their first solo album collectively?  I can remember the day I heard cuts off that release and bragged to my close friends about it.  Soon they were just as hooked as I was with the acoustic renditions of Lagwagon and No Use For a Name (NUFAN) songs.

Hearing those punk rock songs acoustically was just something so new and exciting for this listener.  Keep in mind, this was before many of the punk musicians started their acoustic projects.  It was a new method of sorts and would pave a side road for punk rock music forever.  It’s save to say the revival was made possible by Cape and Sly.

Cape and Sly would continued with their solo careers separately after the release and both dropped some remarkable albums, but nothing was as memorable as their first attempt.  Over the past 8 years, Cape and Sly really built their reputation as solo artists and decided it was time again to take some of their classic songs and create acoustic renditions of them for all to head.  Needless to say when I found out via Fat Wreck Chords that Cape and Sly were releasing Acoustic Volume 2, I got a tad excited.

Once again the duo took 5 songs each from their back catalogs and turned them into acoustic masterpieces.  To keep with the idea of their original attempt, they both wrote and recorded brand new tracks to add to the mix.  The result is a sequel to an amazing release that follows the same path of awesomeness.

Cape took the first half of the album and started it with “I Must Be Hateful” taken from 2003’s Blaze. The already amazing song sounded more powerful than ever when broke down into acoustic form.  Cape loses the rasp in his voice and gently sings with assistance from soft piano.

“Know It All” was one of my favorite tracks off of 1994’s Trashed, and 18 years later it continued to impress me on a different caliber.  “Alison’s Disease”, originally found on Live Fat, Die Young, was a tearjerker to listen to.  I remember the original on the Fat Wreck compilation, but this round was almost as hard to listen to as Fat Mike’s acoustic version of “My Orphan Year”.  Amazing on how slowing down a song can unleash so much emotion.

I was so happy to hear “Resolve” on this release.  Listening to Cape play a more folky version brought a smile to my face even though the track pays homage to their drummer Derrick Piourde who passed in 2005.  “Broken Record”, Cape’s all new track, followed the same path as previous tracks with a mellow mood.  The song perked up half way through but ended just as soon as it started.

Sly took over the remainder of the album with a powerful version of “Black Box”.  Maybe it was the accordion in the background with piano and a strings section, but the new and improved version taken off the 2005 NUFAN release Keep Them Confused sounded better than ever.

“Soulmate” was my choice track off this release.  The track was already one of my favorites in the 90s on Leche con Carne! and hearing it all over again in a different way was just refreshing.  A new take on an old classic was just what I was looking to hear.  I could not help but feel the same way I did when I heard “Justified Black Eye” for the first time in acoustic form back in 2004.  It brought a smile to my face and I instantly sung along.

“Chasing Rainbows” was a fun take on the original found on More Betterness!, but overall I still preferred the 1999 original.  “Pre-Medicated Murder”sounded nothing like the version found on Hard Rock Bottom. The slowed down version was eerie in a sense to listen to and enhanced the lyrics so much more.

Sly’s original, “Liver Let Die”, was a barroom masterpiece in it’s own carried by strumming acoustic guitar.  The song was likable and held out an instant invite for me to learn the chorus and sing along.  The track ended with a crowd chanting “one more song, one more song” and to me was a perfect way to put this release to sleep.  It also provided for a taste of what Sly has in store for his listeners in future releases.

What happens when punk musicians age?  They grow up, maybe have a family, live life, but never put down the guitar.  If you are thinking that this album is “just another punk rock side project” you are wrong.  This album is a celebration by two men and their career featuring some classic songs.  I am glad I only had to wait 8 years for this because honestly, 10 years might have been too long.

If you like NUFAN and Lagwagon, chances are you already know about Acoustic Volume 2.  If you dig acoustic music, check it out, you will not be disappointed.  Punk rock or not, this duo make for some amazing renditions of classic cuts I feel many can appreciate regardless of what genre of music is preferred.

Tony Sly – 12 Song Program – CD Review

After 20 years of fronting well known punk rock act No Use For A Name (NUFAN), Tony Sly continues his passion for music with a different approach by releasing his first full-length solo album.  Last month 12 Song Program dropped thanks to Fat Wreck Chords who have been associated with Sly for most of his career.

Having teamed up with Joey Cape on the 2004 split release Acoustic this is not a new territory for the seasoned punk rocker but is something that he has wanted to do for a couple of years now.  Writing songs in the past that did not fit the NUFAN slot, Sly took recent down time from his band and started recording original material that ranges from folk to pop all with help from his trusty acoustic guitar.

Not going at it all alone on the album Sly received some help from other Fat Wreck musicians/friends including Fat Wreck owner himself Fat Mike as well as Dance Hall Crashers’ Karina Denike who lent her vocals to many of the tracks.  The more mature approach was stripped down and not over produced full of many songs that would be perfect for an unplugged show at a local bar.  With sing along qualities and in depth lyricism this album has a repeat playability written all over it.

Opening track “Capo, 4th Fret” brought back memories of my obsession I had when I first heard the split album with Sly on his acoustic guitar.  The track emulates that of a NUFAN song but of course slowed down and more personable with Sly almost giving reason why he is doing what he does.  “I would live for the sake of others so they could do the same” finished the very lonesome track.

The more upbeat “Via Munich” carried along happy tune about feel good  relationship while away.  Quick and to the point, the track featured Swingin’ Utters‘ Darius Koski on violin.  “The Shortest Pier” jumped back to a miserable feeling of hopelessness.  “AM”, featuring Fat Mike, was one of the songs that stuck in my mind after hearing it.  The song strayed away from sounding like the other tracks on the album with Sly singing at perhaps his most sincere.

“Expired” was an acoustic plucking jam that easily could aid in a drinking problem.  Denike’s beautiful voice matched up with Sly’s towards the end followed by a sample taking from Taking Arizona all surrounded with piano.  This was one of those tracks that deserved another listen immediately.

“Keira” was a likable whisper of a lullaby written by Sly for his daughter.  “Toaster In The Bathtub” was full of witty comparisons to assist in cheering up a certain someone.  This is one of those songs that is best sung with friends loudly whether Sly himself plays it or if it pops up on the jukebox.

“Love, Sick Love” was another choice track of mine on the album even if it was about going different ways.  I could not tell if it was a flute or an organ but whatever instrument was used in the background just kept a certain chill throughout the song with Sly and Denike’s singing.  The lyric in the song “putting out a fire with a flamethrower is strange” might be one analogy I should reference to more often.

Joey Cape helps Sly with vocals on “Amends” and as good as it sounded I was so disappointed with how quick the track was.  At just over 2 minutes I was kind of hoping for a more extended cut of this track as I love hearing the two sing together.  Honestly thinking about it, that would be my only complaint with the entire album; it was too short.

Closing song “Fireball” showcased Sly singing his loudest and perhaps most heartfelt over the other tracks.  The sad song reflected hardship on someone who clearing was without home and had a void in their heart.  The singing matched with the heavy strummed acoustic guitar playing made for one powerful song.  If only there were more tracks on the album to keep that momentum going.

If you were a fan of the Sly/Cape split Acoustic, you will be a fan of 12 Song Program but if you are looking for an extension of NUFAN chances are you will not appreciate this album one bit. It is a punk rocker making music but to a different caliber.

Sometimes punk rockers who grow up trade in their beat up electric guitars and mellow out for a good reason.  It’s not because they are giving up, it’s because they refuse to quit on all the talent they are capable of even if it means slowing down a bit.  Case and point with Tony Sly who dropped a really great release start to finish.  One needs to remind themselves that this is a personal Sly project full of his likable melodies and will rub off a little more unique than when he is with his band that finds a name not that important.

Download This! Tony Sly ‘Via Munich”
Download This!Tony Sly “The Shortest Pier”

Look for Tony Sly to be touring throughout the spring with other Fat Wreck Chords alumni including Teenage Bottlerocket and NOFX.

03/20/10 Austin, TX – SXSW Music Festival w/ Riverboat Gamblers, Teenage Bottlerocket, Cokie The Clown, Dead To Me, Smoke Or Fire, Banner Pilot, Cobra Skulls
04/21/10 Eugene, OR – McDonald Theater w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
04/22/10 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
04/23/10 Billings, MT – Shrine Auditorium w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
04/25/10 Saskatoon, SK Canada – Odeon Events Center w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket ****SOLD OUT****
04/26/10 Winnipeg, MB Canada – Burton Cummings Theater w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket ****SOLD OUT****
04/27/10 Fargo, ND – The Venue w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
04/29/10 Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
04/30/10 Covington, KY – Madison Theater w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
05/01/10 Sauget , IL – Pop’s w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
05/02/10 Kansas City, MO – The Beaumont w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
05/04/10 Fort Collins, CO – The Aggie w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
05/05/10 Albuquerque, NM – The Sunshine Theater w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
05/06/10 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre w/ NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket
05/07/10 Las Vegas, NV – Sunset Station Amphitheatre – PUNK ROCK BOWLING w/ NOFX Teenage Bottlerocket, Fucked Up, Youth Brigade, Guilty By Association
05/19/10 Perth, Australia – Amplifier w/ Joey Cape
05/20/10 Adelaide, Australia – Fowlers Live w/ Joey Cape
05/21/10 Hobart, Australia – The Brisbane Hotel w/ Joey Cape
05/22/10 Melbourne, Australia – Corner Hotel w/ Joey Cape
05/23/10 Wollongong, Australia – Uni Bar w/ Joey Cape
05/26/10 Sydney, Australia – Annandale Hotel w/ Joey Cape
05/27/10 New Castle, Australia – Cambridge Hotel w/ Joey Cape
05/28/10 Caloundra, Australia – Kings Beach Tavern w/ Joey Cape
05/29/10 Brisbane, Australia – The Zoo w/ Joey Cape
06/02/10 Wellington, New Zealand – Bar Bodega w/ Joey Cape
06/03/10 Auckland, New Zealand – Thirsty Dog w/ Joey Cape