More CD Reviews: Thee Shams, Name Taken

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Thee Shams - Please Yourself
2 out of 5 stars

Sounds Like: A derivative album deriving from a derivative album

See Also: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Rolling Stones

Yeah, Thee Shams fucking rock. And, yeah, that's a topless girl on the cover of the album. So what gives, music reviewer? Why only two stars?

Initially Please Yourself sounded like a fabulous album. In fact it was evocative of some of my most treasured memories: hanging out in rowdy juke joints in Mississippi, playing harmonica on the front porch, arguing about the virtues of Howlin' Wolf over Muddy Waters with the other guys at the mill.

Then I realized those weren't actually my memories. In fact, what the record actually evoked was the other albums by bands I had listened to who sung about those things. It's more than obvious that Thee Shams have listened to their fair share of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Exile-era Stones and all the requisite blues classics. But I find myself wishing I couldn't tell you that from just one listen.

- Mark Sussman

Name Taken - Hold On
1 out of 5 stars

Sounds Like: Emorrific pop punk

See Also: Thursday, Senses Fail

Name Taken is quite boring.

You might have heard of them before. Let me give it a shot: they're five kids who just got their first tattoos and first guitars. The lead singer doesn't play any instrument, thus ensuring he has little musical talent and can't write a melody worth shit. He'll painfully hold the most out of tune notes. Guitars will slow down during the verse and pick up during the chorus. The drums and bass will be barely noticeable, with the vocal levels too high.

It used to be that these kids would have to write hooks worthy of Jive records to hit the pop-punk scene, but now it's all about shouting through the nose without a hint of melody.

There will be those people who "totally identify" with the dude's laments about the unidentifiable "you." But those people are idiots.

- Nate Buchik