on 12 April 2006
I'm writing this review 9 years after this album was released, so I guess I can look at it in context. Making Friends is No Use For A Name at the absolute height of their skills. Front man Tony Sly seems to have written a set of songs that suit the pitch of his voice meaning that (unlike on Leche Con Carne) he doesn't have to stretch to only-just-reach the high notes. The production values on this record are better than NUFAN's previous albums but haven't quite smoothed off all of the rough edges, leaving a rawer, more heartfelt album than the later, more chart-pop efforts.
While NUFAN's earlier albums showed some wobbly vocals and iffy lyrics and their later albums tried to ride the coat tails of the pop-punk chart invasion by slowing down and singing in a gentle whine, Making Friends is a real rock album with real high-stamina drumming, great guitar work (from Chris Shiflett before he jumped ship to join the Foo Fighters) and top-notch singing. Dicky Barrett from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones guests on "Growing Down" (as he did on every album from this period...) and Karina Denneke from the Dancehall Crashers provides vocals on "On The Outside" but the really impressive vocals come from the band themselves who really sound at home doing some great harmonies.
If you're going to buy a NUFAN album, want to relieve the '90s punk boom, or just fancy a good album of rock music, this is a great choice.