Friction - Hours of Operation: Discography 1991-1994 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hours of Operation: Discography 1991-1994 (2002)


I have nothing to say about this double-disc release. Friction was incapable of evoking any emotion from me. This is not to say that I disliked it, but I can't really say I enjoyed it either. The sound on "Hours of Operation: Discography 1991-1994" was repetitive and anticlimactic. Although the success Friction achieved at such a young age is impressive and displays a musical maturity beyond the band's collective teenage years, it doesn't seem to warrant a complete discography. Friction is clearly the bottom step in Bob Nanna's career ladder which he climbed to Braid and then Hey Mercedes. With this in mind, I find it hard to believe that an individual would buy this CD without previously being a fan of Braid or Hey Mercedes.

Friction lacks the appeal to be separated from Nanna's later works. The album is not without highlights though, including covers of songs by Carole King, Target, The Misfits, Jawbreaker, Joan Jett, and the Happy Days theme song. The lyrical styling is good, creative, and smooth. The songs "Subsequently," "Bowl Cut," and "Corrective Jerk" all have the ability to hold their own. Considering that this was essentially the first experience the trio had with playing their instruments, Andy Knudsen's guitar sound is decent, although a lot of the songs sound the same; those that differ from the rest have a unique catchy and borderline greatness to them. Nanna's ability to simultaneously play drums and vocals is demonstrated on the live cover of Carole King's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" performed at Montini High School's Battle of the Bands in the suburbs of Chicago. Nanna's ability is decent; however the vocals are weak and somewhat awkward, perhaps due to the youth of the band. Lyrical highlights include the line from Bowl Cut "if I could force a smile I'd realize that happiness is overrated." Also, the song Cassyflies contains a line saying "my angel has flown home. Maybe now her peers will realize… cassyflies." The lyrical concepts aren't necessarily groundbreaking; they're just pleasant and easy to digest.

Overall, although Friction gained a notable amount of success for what they accomplished at such a young age, it wasn't really worth the effort to assemble a complete discography of every song they ever recorded. If you're a fan of Braid or Hey Mercedes, check this out to see what the bands evolved from, if you're not, you aren't missing out on much.