No Use For A Name - Making Friends (Cover Artwork)

No Use For A Name

Making Friends (1997)

Fat Wreck Chords

You can’t talk about 90s melodic punk for long without bringing up No Use For a Name, as their consistent output of records chock full of catchy, fast paced bangers fit perfectly with the material that was seeing success on the Epi/Fat labels. This was partially due to the fact that they helped to establish the sound with some of the earliest records in the Fat Wreck catalogue. Their second record on the label, Making Friends, really solidified their status as a staple of the scene and holds up pretty well to this day.

Making Friends opens with three of the strongest tracks in the No Use For a Name discography. “The Answer is Still No” kicks in with an explosive fury right out of the timeless Glengarry Glen Ross quote, “fuck you, that’s my name!”. It’s short, but effective and perfectly sets up the record’s clear crown jewel, “Invincible”. “Invincible” has such a great triumphant feel that it’s hard not to get caught up in epic atmosphere. The entire track is impeccably crafted, and is always due for another listen.

“Growing Down” is the band’s most criminally underrated track. Despite its inclusion on the "All the Best Songs” I never see this song get the praise it deserves, which is a shame, because it’s directly succeeded by one of the band’s most overrated tracks, “On The Outside”. I can see what made “On The Outside” work, and the bridge of that song is spot on, but something about it just feels corny to me, and not in a fun, whimsical way.

Making Friends does contain a few presentationally uncreative moments, but at their core, all 12 tracks are well written and melodically sound. While cuts like “Best Regards” and “Three Month Weekend” could have benefited from some more variety in the delivery, they’re still based around great melodies.

Though it failed to reach the unattainable standards set by it’s predecessor, Making Friends is a solid record, with a few skate punk essentials.