Household Names is an almost too-perfect descriptor for an alternative pop group. And with this group’s extensive background of songs used in television appearances, it is even more appropriate. There was a time when groups like Soul Asylum or Gin Blossoms were the centerpieces for any given film or TV show. And now, Jason Garcia and crew have created the perfect songs for a speeding car shot, moment of clarity, or running-through-the-streets-in-a-hectic-fashion. And all can be found on their third self-released album Stories, No Names.
“Driving To LA”, the kick start of Stories, No Names, is a prime example of a song that can be about nothing and everything all at once. You might not understand what Garcia is trying to say, but you will definitely feel some emotions of which, as the group’s songwriter, was desperately trying to make you feel in the first place. “Definitely” is another cut that brings out the 25-cent bouncy ball of emotion with an upbeat rhythm section and powerful electric guitar. “Firefly” is where the Rufus Wainwright in all of us is explored. Sadness lies not only in the desperate, Household Names makes this terribly clear as they throw this sad-hearted tune into their mixed bag of sunshine and temporary sanity.
For the pop lover in all of us, Household Names create the songs you want to hear on a small stage in a medium sized venue. The echoing vocals and harrowing guitar work spin through the air like the visuals of a Spike Jonze film. Although there seems to be a bit of self-preservation within their music, it is nonetheless severely entertaining. This band and Stories, No Names are the epitaph for clear and conscious alternative pop music.
Download: “Definitely” by Household Names
Download: “Driving To LA” by Household Names
[audio:100512-household-names-driving-to-la.mp3|titles=Driving To LA|artists=Household Names]
1. Driving To LA
2. Every Third Time
5. Live Without
6. My Sweet Day
7. Got A Good Thing
8. Your Other Life
9. Making Plans For Nigel
10. Happy For You