Friction—Hours of Operation (2002) review


Rating: 4/10

Friction is an emo rock group from Chicago. Hours of Operation is a two-disk discography showcasing the early years of the band’s music. This compilation was released on April 16th, 2002 and has over an hour and a half, more than 30 songs, of the band’s music from 1991-1994.

The album as a whole is a really interesting way to hear a band find itself. It begins with their earliest music, with songs such as “Squelch” and “Terra Cotta”. In the beginning, the music does not match the vocals very well at all. The vocals are slightly too quiet for the music in the background which ends up overpowering the actual vocals. The first few songs really all sound the same and they all have slow vocals with heavy music in the back and it really is not a good mix. What starts a dischord post-hardcore dripping in angst slowly begins to transform into friendlier sounding melodies with each song. However the vocals still do not match and it is very displeasing.

As the album progresses you can see the band flopping between the dischord and the poppier sound, struggling to figure out who they are. The second disk begins with a song called “Auburn” which is only slightly better than anything off of the first disk, and showcases the poppy and friendlier feel that the band had begun to develop. All of the songs sound as if they had been recorded in a garage with the microphone on a computer. The vocals are just completely overshadowed by the thrashing guitar and drums in the background.

Friction does not bring anything new to the world of music at all and the only positive thing I can say about this album is that listening to a band find themselves is an experience. Other than that, they sound pretty much like every 90s garage band.