Expendables is the second album from punk rock supergroup Fake Names - Dennis Lyxzén (Refused, the International Noise Conspiracy), Brian Baker (Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Dag Nasty), Michael Hampton (S.O.A., Embrace), Johnny Temple (Girls Against Boys) and Brendan Canty (Fugazi, Rites of Spring).
If credibility were currency, Fake Names’ wealth would be off the charts. Composed of guitarists Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Bad Religion, Dag Nasty) and Michael Hampton (S.O.A., Embrace), vocalist Dennis Lyxzén (Refused, INVSN, the [International] Noise Conspiracy), bassist Johnny Temple (Girls Against Boys, Soulside) and the newest member, drummer, Brendan Canty (Fugazi, Rites of Spring), the band is a veritable post-hardcore dream team.
However instead of rehashing the past, Expendables is a reinvention that sees the band dialing back the distortion and leaning into the melodies. The result pairs their unparalleled pedigree with a pop sensibility that’s slightly unexpected and wholly satisfying. “For our last record [2019’s Fake Names] the general influences were '70s U.K. punk and power-pop; but it wound up with a little classic rock vibe as well, like the Vibrators meets Aerosmith. We never saw that coming!,” Baker explains.
For the new album, the band enlisted producer Adam “Atom” Greenspan (IDLES, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Baker continues, “The pop influences are a little more out front on this one and the production really helps it shine. It sounds more direct, more urgent.”
Expendables is the latest exchange in a musical conversation that spans four decades. Baker aptly refers to the lineup of Fake Names as a “mutual admiration society” and says that once the five members got in the same room together, it felt as if they had already been in the band together for years.