Namen Namen: Namen Namen
Every once in a while a local band sends an album my way, and I get the feeling they won’t be only local for long.
Fort Wayne has seen its share of amazing artists: Orange Opera, Vandolah, Thunderhawk, B-Sharps, and Heaven’s Gateway Drugs to name a few. Four-piece Namen Namen can be added to that list. Their six-song self-titled EP is all buzzing, jangly guitars, punk-rock energy, and garage-rock abandon with just the right amount of ’60s pop aesthetic. It’s the real deal.
Comprised of twins Dylan Record (vocals) and Ron Record (drums), Kellen Baker (guitar), and Zara McCord (bass), Namen Namen hails from the Fort but have been scorching stages across the Midwest and did an East Coast tour early in 2022. They are releasing their debut EP on Chicago-based Massif Records, and let me tell you, this will push these Midwesterners into the stratosphere. It will also never leave your headphones.
“The Horrors of Spider Island” opens this banger, a head-bobbing chunk of post-punk pop confection that brings to mind bands like Parquet Courts, The Teeth, and The Fall. Dylan Record tows the line between melody and throwing fisticuffs with his in-your-face vocal delivery. Baker’s guitar buzzes and rakes across your brain while the rhythm section of McCord and Ron Record make a solid foundation to where the band can take flight. “Dracula AD” brings to mind bands like No Age and Japandroids, bringing a touch of melancholy in the barbed-wire guitar squall. And the gorgeous “Mona” brings to mind the Velvet Underground and Donovan’s Euro psych pop.
Elsewhere, “The One I Love Most” is a post-punk charmer that should end up on the high school mixtapes of any lovelorn algebra student wanting to impress that special someone (if this was 1988 and not 2022.) “2021” ends this jangly excursion with a firm kick in the pants in pure Richard Hell and the Voidoids style.
Looking for the next great thing? Think that great garage rock revival stopped in the 2010s with Ty Segall? Well, Namen Namen would beg to disagree. They’re going places, so catch them on a stage near you before it’s too late.