Has a Rochester band ever come up with a better post-rock opener than "No Pain"? For the first two minutes, the first track from Old Fame's self-titled debut EP launches guitar, bass and drums into a trance-like, mid-tempo stride. Then, in the final two minutes, the song pushes to stratospheric heights, taking the listener on a stoner-prog journey.
If the music seems to go everywhere at once, it's because Old Fame's mercurial sound reflects the emotionally-charged lyrical content. The varied themes - addiction, resilience, mental illness, family, and religion - are all interwoven. The quartet's lo-fi studio approach doesn't detract: It pairs rather well with the songwriting, vocal delivery, and urgency of lead singer Ben Armes, who makes the band punch above its weight class.