Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Names Without Numbers-Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances

March 1, 2005

nameswithoutnumbersBand Name: Names Without Numbers
Album Name: Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances
Best element: Variations in sound with definitive style
Genre: Poppy indie rock
Website: http://www.nameswithoutnumbers.com
Label name: Torque Recording Company (http://www.torqueonline.com)
Band e-mail: nameswithoutnumbers@hotmail.com

As a band, Names Without Numbers is not entirely inexperienced. They have releases dating back to 2001, showing that they have had time to perfect their craft. They know what’s going on in the world of indie music. They haven’t outright said this, but Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances says it for them. With the poppy sound of Bleed American-era Jimmy Eat World combined with subtle emotional undertones, Names Without Numbers has created ten tracks worthy of applause.

There is an omnipresent energy throughout every song on this CD- no track ever gets boring. It feels as though they were thoroughly engaged in the moment when they recorded it, which helps engage the listener. With each track varying in tempo and style, the music never feels stale, and every track presents something fresh and new. There are more uptempo songs, such as the ‘new-school punk’ undertones of “Eight Hours from Omaha”, the darker, Alkaline Trio-reminescent “Stars Between Stations”, and more somber tracks such as “Sleeps with the Fishes”. There are even a few screamy parts, such as the breakdown in the middle of “Waking from the Coma”. While each track does vary in sound, Names Without Numbers has definitely carved themselves a niche in the world of indie rock music.

The lyrical arena is the only area where this album falls (slightly) short. The lyrics, while meaningful and diverse in subject matter, are a bit surreal and feel a bit forced at times. This isn’t a consistent problem; songs such as “Never Settle for Anything Other Than Mediocre” and “The Fourth” stand out as very clever lyrical efforts, so the talent is definitely there.

Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances definitely deserves a recommendation. While nothing in here is truly groundbreaking, Names Without Numbers has created a release with replay value.

-Andrea Goodwin

Independentclauses@hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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