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Published: 2002/01/23
by Chris Gardner

Someday I – Currently Nameless


In any given musical movement, be it hair rock, grunge, gangsta rap,
funk-metal, or ska, three general groups emerge. The A group includes the
innovators – NWA, Nirvana, and The Specials – who serve as the touchstone.
They swirl a variety of influences into the gumbo and concoct a sound that
makes even casual passersby stop and say, "Damn."

The B group shares some of the same influences but owes a sizeable debt to
the A group. This group maintains much of the spirit of ingenuity that
makes the A group revolutionary, but, while the results are often nothing to
scoff at, the talent pool is noticeably diminished. Think Tupac, Bush, and
Fishbone. (I must admit here that I am a B-grouper at best. This whole ABC
tier idea was stolen from some hard-rocker. I shudder when I tell you that
I may be ripping off Lita Ford or Sebastian Bach here.)

The C group is influenced almost entirely by the A and B groups. Think
Westside Connection, Collective Soul, No Doubt, and the like. While there
may still be talent, the spark that made the innovators special is now
stale, dated, and dim.

The jamband genre is starting to spit out C Group bands. You see them from
time to time. They are the bands who started out covering a few Phish tunes
here or there, maybe some Panic too dood, and they call "Goin' Down
The Road Feelin' Bad" a Dead
original. They achieve a modicum of regional fame, falter, and fade away.

Currently Nameless does not necessarily fall into this C group, but they
have the trappings. The prog-ish, white boy funk is stale. There are hints of
character here, but the band more often sounds like a replication than an
innovation. There is no specific influence, just a general jambandishness,
a feeling that we a have seen all of these tricks before.

Despite a roster that carries three guitars, they lack the dazzling lead
work that can save these bland verse-chorus-verse groove tunes, and the band
members are not yet tight enough to hug the hair-pin turns they write for
themselves. Searching for a voice, they try on a variety of costumes, none
of which seem to fit correctly. The soulful acoustic ballads strike closest
to a distinct sound, but even these, "St. Alia" in particular, conjure up
shades of Eddie Vedder.

Still, there are pieces here to work with. Several sections speak to the
band's nascent musical prowess, and Sean Daley's voice should shine once he
settles into himself. While the songs do not always strike the mark, the
band seems admirably intent on writing songs of some weight.

All is not lost. Currently Nameless could undergo a growth period that
capitalizes on their promise. They could develop a signature sound or begin
writing songs that stick to the brain.

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