"No Use for a Name is a serious band dedicated to their fans and their shows. Die-hard No Use for a Name fans will attest their live show is not to be missed. No Use for a Name's remarkably powerful sound and insightful lyrics make for quite a performance." So Fat Wreck Chords' rather po-faced press release, accompanying The Daily Grind album, rather self-consciously claimed. Well, quite. That 1993 set was NUFAN's first for Fat, the beginning of a truly beautiful friendship that endures to this day. No Use for a Name were already six years old by then, yet still hadn't found a stable lineup, but they did have two fine albums under their belt -- 1990's Incognito and 1992's Don't Miss the Train, both released on New Red Archives, and later reissued on Fat. The unit remained highly unstable, but that didn't stop NUFAN from continuously climbing new heights over the years, and now, an astonishing two decades old, the new-school veterans are still going strong, their records eagerly awaited, their shows as exhilarating as when they first took the stage. All the Best Songs is a grand retrospective of the high points of their Fat years. "It was just like making a mixtape," frontman Tony Sly explains, and that's its true function, a handy compendium of two-dozen fan and band faves. Accompanying the super music is a superb booklet, filled with bandmembers' recollections about the songs and their time with the group, all splattered with dozens of cool photos. And to sweeten the pot a bit more, NUFAN toss in a pair of unreleased numbers -- "History Defeats" and "Stunt Double," recorded in 2005 during the Keep Them Confused album sessions. The former is an excoriation of the current state of the States wed to a bright and breezy pop-punk backing, the latter a lavish downtempo rocker with emo overtones. Buy Best Songs for that pair or just to have most of your NUFAN faves in one place, but buy it.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene