By Laura Glick
Frenzied punches of thudding drums fly towards your tympanic membrane as the incessant kick of guitars jiggle your eyeballs. Sigh. No Use For A Name. Listening to them makes you feel good–worn out from the intensity of the experience, but good.
Born 13 years ago in drummer Rory Koff’s basement, No Use has risen steadily to the status of a pop-punk band economically sustained by their music. Averaging six to eight months a year on the road, Koff and mates have achieved a coveted position on the indie music ladder.
"We’ve gone through a lot over the years. It’s all learning experiences and things are steady right now," says Koff. "Dealing with putting the music out, getting albums out and getting into the studio and practicing. We’ve pretty much got a good routine now. After 13 years you learn some things."
Sewing together the patchworks of knowledge accumulated over the years, No Use has stitched a solid musical quilt in their latest Fat Wreck Chords release, More Betterness.
"We wanted to [do] something a little different, to get a little weird," he explains. "We didn’t go too far off-base. Same guys, same music."
Branching off into a mellower and more melodic vein, No Use still provides a solid disc with hooks and harmonies galore.
"Tony [Sly] actually sings, he’s not doing so much yelling, and it’s more musical," Koff says of More Betterness. "It was time to do it."
Fuelled by desires inherently self-fulfilling, Koff and company strive to please themselves first, with others hopefully following suit.
"People have to like us for what we are," he begins. "This album was kind of for us. No Use For A Name plays for ourselves. We started in a garage in my mom’s house, we weren’t playing for anyone. We went for years playing shows without playing in front of anybody."
Currently No Use is ankle deep in a six week tour and are still positive.
"We’re all still happy and clean," Koff says, laughing.
Performing material from More Betterness in addition to five other releases, they manage to arrange a delectable offering of pop-punk sound bites. Ranging from aggression drenched tracks like "Justified Black Eye" to bop-infected songs like "Why Doesn’t Anybody Like Me," No Use weave the metal, folk, sweet pop, and snarly punk into a neat package.
"I’m smiling about it every day. I love what I do," he says sincerely.
That love will be tested once again as No Use heads out on a second tour, covering the southern us with Good Riddance following the current road trip. This round will bring them to Calgary on Feb. 28 with Consumed and Mad Caddies. Head to the Republik to see more.