Fake Names – Fake Names LP (Epitaph Records)

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Perhaps Fake Names are an upcoming name on the worldwide punk rock scene, but its members are familiar individuals who shaped the hardcore music for decades. Brian Baker literally needs no introduction. His immense contribution to the punk rock community through his work at Minor Threat, Junkyard, and Bad Religion is utterly mindblowing. Just sum up his side projects on that bill, and you’ll get a hint of his augmentation to the scene. He decided to develop Fake Names with his best friend Michael Hampton (S.O.A, Embrace, One Last Wish), and Johnny Temple (Girls Against Boys). In the interview for Alternative Press, Brian affirmed that he invited Dennis Lyxzén (Refused) to join on the vocal duties when they both were in the backstage of Riot Fest 2016. The latest addition to this supergroup was Matt Shultz (Savak, Obits, Lab Partners, Enon…among the others), who took in charge of drums. With his addition, Fake Names has tied the circle and began working on the songs, which will later become an integral role of the album. They kept this project as a secret for four years until they’ve indulged us with a self-titled full-length album. Fake Names entirely rely on DC hardcore heritage, but they leave plenty of room for experimentations with the sound. Besides subtle hardcore punk consonances, the band embraces a wide array of styles such as soft rock, power pop, indie, and classic punk rock. The guitars are leaning towards that soft rock sound with deliberately distorted guitar inflections, but some structures reminiscent the power-pop sound of the eighties. Not to mention the brilliantly consolidated elements of seventies punk rock that uncommonly pairs to the aesthetics of DC hardcore. Dennis really nailed this one with his comprehensive range of vocal techniques, and his participation really develops the direction of the album. Somehow he accommodated the atmosphere that the group attempted to achieve with these orchestrations, and proved he was the suitable pick for Fake Names. The remaining portion of the group renders a great throwback to the eighties DC hardcore scene with enormous quantities of thought out guitar harmonies that sometimes evoke the spirit of Embrace and Dag Nasty. However, the band sails in multiple directions throughout the entire recording, so these similarities are certainly reduced to a minimum. These harmonizations have been supported by extremely exact basslines that define the massive ambiance of the entire group. Nothing would articulate so good without a very precise rhythm section, accompanied by dynamic drumming performance. Perhaps Fake Names are not so innovative, but they’re summoning some better days for the Washington melodic hardcore punk scene, which will not be disremembered because of this album. The album has been released on vinyl and compact disc by Epitaph Records, but it is also available at all streaming services.

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