Fake Names

Fake Names

Epitaph, 2020


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


This was a project that was announced shortly before Corona shut the world down, and it’s nice to see the album coming out on time. Formed by members of D.C. punk bands, including Brian Baker of Bad Religion/Minor Threat and Johnny Temple of Girls Against Boys teaming up with Dennis Lyxzen of Refused on vocals, Fake Names isn’t exactly hardcore and they’re not exactly pop punk either. On the opening track, “All for Sale,” they hit a nice middle ground of alt rock and pure punk without a lot of speed and intensity but a good range of melody. It’s as if they took all the elements of their other bands, all that diversity and rage and watered it down into a watery stew. “Being Them” is very midtempo and Lyxzen’s vocals are good, but there’s just not much there.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If you’re here looking for a brand new punk supergroup playing at warp speed and loving every minute of it, then Fake Names ain’t it and you’ll be disappointed as a result. If what you’re looking for is more midtempo so-so punk from a group of veterans, then you might have found exactly what you wanted. There’s some good melodic stuff here, like on “Heavy Feather,” but other tracks like “This is Nothing” just fall flat; they never really get off the ground and don’t elevate to the heights previously established by these guys’ other bands.

Overall, this just comes across as a bunch of friends teaming up to make a record without any real expectations from their other bands’ fanbase. What you get is a disappointing disc of midtempo punk that doesn’t do much for any of the musicians included. Though the final track “Lost Cause” is decent enough, there’s not enough here to really recommend. This is more of a curio to check out if you’re a fan of any of these other bands. If not, then don’t bother with it.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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