Silos and Smokestacks

An Album By

Names Without Numbers

Review by

Names Without Numbers 2020

Listen now

Silos and Smokestacks is a classic emo album from the newly rejoined Names Without Numbers. The Omaha-based pop-punkers have resurfaced with a solid release that represents their genre in its truest sense; it’s not a groundbreaking release, but, in some cases, you’re just looking for a new flavor of ice cream. Because of that – and, unfortunately, this feels like the easy way out – what you glean from the album is purely based on your preference. If you’re looking for a never-before-heard style or perspective, Silos and Smokestacks will be a disappointment. If you’re looking for a misunderstood, awkward, hopeful work that can’t wait to grow up, then bingo, you’ve come to the right place.

It’s an entirely predictable album, but, in all fairness, it works for its nostalgic feel and substantial lyricism.

Breaking down Silos and Smokestacks, let’s take a journey through some of the tropes each track represents in the pop-punk genre. They have a very definite place in the story of the record – all well done and honest but assuredly repurposed for a new generation.

  • “Firing Squad”
    The tale of what completes a life that is missing something. In the bridge, it takes your hand and pulls you up, like a good friend or a brother. The soul of emo is that you’re not alone, and this song is anthemic to that message.
  • “Dragonfly and the Owl”
    The high dive into romance, the ballad, and the sonnet. It’s “Hey There Delilah” or “Chasing Cars.” It’s cute, but not a standout unless you are looking for a track to remind you of what young love feels like. It’s an easy listen.
  • “Middle Ground”
    The break-up/make-up song filled with the innocence of believing everything can be fixed by meeting in the middle. The song you listen to as you speed over to your significant other’s house while playing out the next step in your head.
  • “The Apathy Anthem”
    The “Let’s have fun and not care about anything else” aka “We don’t give a shit but don’t look too hard because not so deep down we really really do” song.
  • “For Today”
    The empathetic encourager. Everything about this song embodies the genre NWN has been a part of. Relating to self-doubt and the struggle with confidence, the band uses a memorable melody to reach out and encourage the ability to overcome that which they fear. The past may have sucked and tomorrow feels like quite a ways off, but today you’re good enough. Embrace that.
  • “Style”
    The kiss and tell. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a cover of Lady Swift herself and that it’s a really great soft-punk twist on the original.

It’s an entirely predictable album, but, in all fairness, it works for its nostalgic feel and substantial lyricism. The album embodies the mainstay of emo/punk/anti-music that defines the amazing culture that it is. It’s full of brazen emotion and honest experience, the base of the special brand of pop-punk that Names Without Numbers has fashioned as their own.

Features

Imperial Triumphant - 2021

Alphaville’s Metal Renaissance

With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.

By

Photo by Alex Krauss

Full Feature
Gaerea

Trapped in Limbo

Black metal may not be the first thing on your mind when you think of Portugal, but GAEREA is here to change that. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt sat down with GAEREA to discuss the band’s music, their mysterious name and image, and how office work can be art.

By

Full Feature
Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.

By

Full Feature
Atreyu- 2021

Atreyu's Baptism

At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.

By

Photo by Ashley Osborn

Full Feature
All Features