… I seemed to always pass them up focusing on other bands over the years…
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m embarrassed to say that I’m reviewing a cover album covering a man and his band that I never knew much about before. I have always known the name No Use For a Name from hearing a couple of their songs in the cars of friends, or seeing them listed in past Warped Tour line-ups; but, I seemed to always pass them up focusing on other bands over the years. For those who aren’t familiar, No Use For a Name was a band playing their version of 90’s pop punk or, as some other people may call, melodic hardcore. The band made their rise to punk fame after they replaced their first lead singer John Meyer with Tony Sly. With Tony’s strong lyrics and their inescapable catchy melodies they were easily signed on Fat Mike‘s Fat Wreck Chords label with open arms in 1993. Sadly, this past year on August 1st at the age of 41, Tony died in his sleep leaving a wife, two daughters, devoted fans and countless friends in the music community. With Tony being taken before his time, those friends have come together to cover their favorite songs of his band No Use For a Name.
Listening to Tony’s lyrics makes it pretty clear that this was clearly a very depressed, but very talented young man.
Seeing the list of 33 great bands that came together for this compilation made me feel like I really missed the boat on No Use for a Name. The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute includes Bad Religion, Pennywise, NOFX, Rise Against, The Bouncing Souls, Strung Out, The Flatliners, Lagwagon, The Gaslight Anthem; and the list goes on. There are also pop punk bands like Simple Plan and Yellowcard, in addition to some ska with Mad Caddies, and from across the pond, British folk punker Frank Turner, giving this album a little something for everyone. This writer’s favorites would have to be Bad Religion’s take on “Let it Slide” and The Gaslight Anthem doing “Capo 4th Fret“. Listening to Tony’s lyrics makes it pretty clear that this was clearly a very depressed, but very talented young man.
“One of my dearest friends and favorite song writers has gone way too soon. Tony, you will be greatly missed.”
After listening to the album start to finish for months now, I figured I would share my thoughts with my friends at kilScene. “The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute” came out back in October of last year and if you have not heard it yet I strongly recommend you buy a copy. Tony and No Use For A Name released 9 albums and Tony released a number of solo albums as well, which now I feel obliged to pick up as well. Yes it’s the same old story of a young musician being taken before their time, but it always seems that the greats go out that way. In closing, Fat Mike said it best about his friend Tony in a posting on Fat Wreck Chords website, “One of my dearest friends and favorite song writers has gone way too soon. Tony, you will be greatly missed.”
Please feel free to pick up The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute right here.
Special kilScene Contributor