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Deborah Remus 02/16/10 09:14 AM

Tony Sly - 12 Song Program
Tony Sly12 Song Program
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Release Date: February 16, 2010

Tony Sly probably doesn’t need much of an introduction to people on this site. He’s already released many discs through Fat Wreck Chords, but this time the No Use For A Name front man is ditching the loud, distorted guitars for something softer. 12 Song Program is Sly’s first acoustic solo full-length and he proves he's capable of more than just playing pop-punk.

Back in December, the first taste of the record came when “The Shortest Pier” was posted and it’s a fitting example of what to expect. It’s retrospective and mellow, the tone and chorus depicting the lonely album art perfectly. The record closer “Fireball” is especially bittersweet and the way Sly sings the verses make it one of the album’s stronger tracks. It almost sounds as if he's actually in the room playing for you.

But that’s not to say there isn’t any fast-paced energy here. Some of the recognizable vibe from Acoustic, a split record with Lagwagon’s Joey Cape is present. “Second Act (End Credits)” is catchy and you can imagine it being played with a full band, much like you could when you listened to the stripped down version of the fist-pumping NUFAN tune “International You Day.” “Toaster in the Bathtub” is a cheesy song title, but it’s got an upbeat chorus and has some electric guitar underneath the strumming of acoustic chords and hand claps. He can still rock, even without a full band behind him.

Sly’s voice sounds as good as ever and he is responsible for most of the simple instrumentation, including the keyboard on tracks like “AM,” but he still gets some help. Karina Denike from ska-punk outfit Dance Hall Crashers never takes a solo, but she does contribute back-up vocals that blend in well with Sly’s on many of the tracks. The upbeat “Via Munich” features a violin and some accordion. Cape also sings a few lines of “Amends.”

At just a little over half an hour, Sly has created a nice collection of stripped down songs that’s actually a little shorter than some NUFAN records. If you’re looking for some great acoustic pop songs, or if you’re simply someone who has been anticipating this release since Acoustic came out, 12 Song Program doesn’t disappoint.

Track Listing1. Capo, 4th Fret
2. Via Munich
3. The Shortest Pier
4. Already Won
5. AM
6. Expired
7. Keira
8. Toaster in the Bathtub
9. Love, Sick Love
10. Amends
11. Second Act (End Credits)
12. Fireball

Recommended If You LikeNo Use For a Name, Joey Cape, Frank Turner

LinksCheck out Tony Sly on MySpace
Preview/Buy the Album at Amazon MP3

Alex DiVincenzo 02/16/10 09:29 AM

Nice review. This album is really good.

*Ro' 02/16/10 09:34 AM

Don't really think it sounds like Frank Turner, but great review!

satanisanerd 02/16/10 10:46 AM

Good review. This is actually an album that I really want to own.

RX XR 02/16/10 11:00 AM

always been a tony sly fan, gotta check this out.

CellarGhosts 02/16/10 11:20 AM

Good review, can't wait to pick this up.

jpgretzky15 02/16/10 11:46 AM

Love his band, can't wait to hear this

AP_Punk 02/16/10 12:05 PM

nice review!

i love this album.

James RE Hughey 02/16/10 12:06 PM


Originally Posted by *Ro' (Post 62228111)
Don't really think it sounds like Frank Turner, but great review!

I can hear a resemblance to Turner and also there is the fact of both guys doing something acoustic with their roots in punk that should be enough to connect them as RIYL bedmates.

Great review to this album.

The album on the listening party section of Spinner so everyone can listen to the whole thing now. I fell for it within the first few minutes.

Deborah Remus 02/16/10 12:42 PM

Thanks for all the kind words everyone! It means a lot, especially since this is my first review as staff.

mybreakingpoint 02/16/10 01:14 PM

awesome review. awesome record. love tony sly. such an underrated songwriter, has been for years & years.

smoke4thecaper 02/16/10 03:14 PM

Great first review, Deborah -- glad to have a fellow punk enthusiast on board! I love this record. Probably gonna end up in my top 10. Tony is a fantastic songwriter, and this is the best work he's done in awhile. He hasn't been this good with NUFAN for some time (not to say they're bad or anything). It's focused and still different while keeping a nice intimacy to it all. Reminds me of Trever Keith's solo effort from a few years back.

tpnations 02/23/10 10:27 AM

Very nice! I haven't listened to NUFAN in so long since my old CDs of theirs didn't survive the transfer over to digital. I love all things acoustic and always really liked Tony, so I'm definitely picking this up when I get home.

inthemidst 02/23/10 05:41 PM

Finally streamed the album, and it sounds great! Never been a huge fan of NUFAN, but I have a couple of their albums. I'm a sucker for the acoustic minimalist approach, so I'm giving this one a go.

tpnations 02/23/10 08:13 PM

"Capo, 4th Fret" is easily one of my favorite songs in this early year. Dude's voice is as good as ever.