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8PM – Doors
9PM – Show
If credibility were currency, Fake Names’ wealth would be off the charts. Composed ofBrian Baker (Minor Threat, Bad Religion, Dag Nasty), Michael Hampton (S.O.A.,Embrace), Dennis Lyxzén (Refused, INVSN, The [International] Noise Conspiracy),Johnny Temple (Girls Against Boys, Soulside) and the newest member Brendan Canty(Fugazi, Rites of Spring), the band is a veritable post-hardcore dream team. Howeverinstead of rehashing the past,Expendablesis a reinvention that sees the band dialingback the distortion and leaning into the melodies. The result pairs their unparalleledpedigree with a pop sensibility that’s slightly unexpected and wholly satisfying. “On ourlast record [2019’sFake Names] the general influences were 70’s U.K. punk and power-pop; butit wound up with a little classic rock vibe as well, like the Vibrators meetsAerosmith. We never saw that coming!” Baker explains. “The pop influences are a littlemore out front on this one and the production really helps it shine. It sounds more direct,more urgent.”While the band’s debut album was actually a demo that Epitaph founder and Baker’s BadReligion bandmate Brett Gurewitz wanted to release as is, forExpendablesthe bandenlisted producer Adam “Atom” Greenspan (IDLES, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). “On the newrecord the guitar tones are pretty clean, which is not what we normally do, but we’re oldenough to know to give Atom’s ideas a shot because that’s the whole point of bringingsomeone in,” Baker explains. “Atom had me play through amps and pedals way out ofmy comfort zone, but the sounds he built were perfect for the songs.” That sense ofcuriosity is a major thematic component ofExpendables,from the chiming harmonies of“Go” to the moody melodicism of “Madtown” (the latter of which could have just as easilybeen written in 1982 as it could in 2022). There’s also an economy to these songs that’srooted in the fact that they were recorded in the span of a week, which eliminated theoption to add superfluous instrumentation or arrangements. The result is an album thatretains the members’ purity of vision in a strikingly refreshing way.