Best Band Under Legal Drinking Age: Silent Friction
Formed in the summer of ‘99 after the demise of local teen idol group Yellow Five, Silent Friction never fail to draw a crowd. Their quirky sound has been refined over the years under the influence of bands such as Weezer and Sunny Day Real Estate. With their charming melange of hard indie-rock, playful pop, and emotional lyrics, these guys have the sound and the stage presence that shows they’ve certainly found their place in Nashville’s music scene...Best of all, Silent Friction’s dedicated members aren’t afraid to act their age, but they still take their music very seriously-these kids are the real thing. check out the band’s web page at www.silentfriction.com
-Nashville Scene “Best of Nashville” Reader’s Poll 2001 (April 5, 2001)
Kids who work to keep the fun in indie rock. Drawing on influence from the Pixies, Weezer, Sunny Day Real Estate and the Cars, they produce enjoyable, wide-eyed pop.
-Rage Magazine (May 24, 2001)
Young guns in the Nashville indie rock scene who temper their jumpy, nerd rock a la Weezer with a sufficiently fragile frontman to give them that “emo” edge, a mixture propagated by acts like The Promise Ring.
Silent Friction, perhaps the best loved of the young pop-punk outfits in Nashville, will be bidding farewell to 2001 by meeting their constituency where they live-at the Hendersonville Skating Rink. This is a genuinely cool idea. If any local rock band can sound credible calling for a “couples-only skate,” Silent Friction can.
-Nashville Scene (December, 2001)
To paraphrase Adam Ant- Can’t drink, can’t smoke, what you gonna do? In this case, skate! One of Nashville’s most inspired new bands, Silent Friction, headlines this creatively conceived New Year’s night for the all-ages set. Punk-pop and roller skates? Nothing this cool has come along since Xanadu. Too bad Olivia Newton John didn’t think about the horrible possibilities of drunken skating in a circular bar. Thankfully, this gig is alcohol free.
-Rage Magazine (December, 2001)
Quitters Never Lose
Since its inception, Silent Friction has suffered form the same ailment that attacks many young bands at the beginning of their musical experience - "influence-a." It's a common affliction among today's musicians, with many acute sufferers actually living healthy, successful lives (Creed, American Hi Fi and Nickelback are among them). There's no real cure, but some patients have been known to make miraculous recoveries. We're happy to announce that it looks like Silent Friction is on its way to unencumbered music-making without the symptoms of this debilitating disease.
While their earlier recordings were rife with Weezer-isms, from the ba-ba melodies to the tortured-soul lyrics, the young guns in Silent Friction (most of them still under the legal drinking age) have recorded an EP, Quitters Never Lose, that gives a glimpse into the band's promising future. They haven't completely shed their overriding influences, but on this EP they show they've put on more rhythmic muscle, and in their live show lead singer Matthew Bell is turning into one of Nashville's most frenetic and impassioned frontmen. Consider this EP a temperature check on a band recovering from the feverish effects of "influence-a."
-Jason Moon Wilkins, Rage Magazine CD Review (January 31, 2002)
The newly released seven-song EP Quitter Never Lose- which these local punk brats will be celebrating at NXT Generation- continues the development of their breathless, punk pop, adding more varied, dynamic and playful arrangements. If you miss the CD release party, you can catch Silent Friction at Indienet on Tuesday, Feb 5.
-Nashville Scene (January 2002)
BEST EMO BAND THAT DOESN’T SUCK: SILENT FRICTION
So many young bands in Nashville seem to be tribute bands in disguise, copping a popular band’s style under the pretense of “new” music. Silent Friction offer the opposite. Their live performances belie their inexperience, with charismatic frontman Matt Bell delivering his lyrics with paranoid stoner intensity, lead guitarist Kelby Caldwell pulling solos that walk the line between cock-rock indulgence and Built to Spill-esque artistry, and bassist Nathan Hansen and drummer Dan Sommers providing an inventive rhythm section. Their standout track is “Fuck Girlfriends,” a Weezer-style ballad with a guitar-screeching climax. (An added bonus: They’re the only band whose members have all posted their diaries on diaryland.com)
-Nashville Scene “Best of Nashville” Reader’s Poll 2002 (April, 2002)
The Thought That Counts
Punk music has been in a rut since The Ramones. The drummer hits the bass and snare as fast as possible, the guitarist plays the same three chords over and over again, and the singer screams a lot and hopes people catch a phrase here and there. Enter Silent Friction, whose debut album gives a new dimension to a genre in serious need of some depth.
Even to call Silent Friction a punk band is selling them short. Experimenting with multiple rhythms, tempos and time signatures, The Thought That Counts offers a more eclectic sound than most punk rockers could ever hope to claim. Sleeping with the Fishes and Fallout play like swing music shocked into overdrive, and Menagerie of Memories is a lyrical odyssey that would make Ani DiFranco proud. Their stylistic ingenuity keeps The Thought that Counts from falling into the monotonous scream-playing common to the punk scene. However, for those who crave straightforward ear-thrashing, the album's first song, Fathers, Hide Your Daughters, puts bands like Blink 182 and Boxcar Racer to shame.
Thought falters a little with its slower numbers. Luvsick does an impressive job of slowly building in intensity from start to finish. But The Words by Heart begins with an engaging melody which then gets smashed into a wall of noise, and the album's final number is somewhat damaged as the singer transitions from singing to wailing.
These minor flaws, however, are typical of freshman efforts. The Thought That Counts has all the raw power and exuberance to be a solid success, and the members of Silent Friction have both the talent and creativity to ensure that their second album will be even more technically solid and musically inventive. For the languishing world of punk rock, Silent Friction is a breath of fresh music.
- Jeff Havens, Rage Magazine CD Review (August 8, 2002)
For the past two years, we’ve watched Silent Friction with curiosity. They seemed to be headed in the right direction, but their recorded output hinted that they could just as well be a band with more ambition than talent. They always stood in the shadow of local heavyweights like Lifeboy and Esposito, so it was difficult to say whether they’d pull through or not. Their new, complex-beyond-their-years full-length, The Thought That Counts, should shut us up for a while. The first three songs shoot by in a pop-rock blur, running Silent Friction’s influences (Weezer, Ozma, Ben Folds) through a blender. It’s the middle of the record, though, that really ups the ante. The schizophrenic start of “Nothing Lasts Forever,” jumping from noise to riff to riff, sounds like a band bent on cramming their music down your ear hole. The intricate and long-winded development of “Menagerie of Memories” has the structure of a Boston song, but the angst of a Victory Records band. Silent Friction release their record with a show at The Muse, and they play Guidos the following week, on Aug. 16.
-Nashville Scene (August 2002)
The Thought That Counts
Prior to releasing their first full-length, quartet Silent Friction couldn’t escape the Weezer comparisons. The 14 songs on this disc, however, cast aside geek-rock influences in favor of fast and furious pop-punk filled with gloriously sloppy guitars and antsy, muscular rhythms. The lead track “Fathers Hide Your Daughters” charges forward with the exuberance of an old Green Day tune. “Until You Come Home” thrashes at it’s punk rock best, while frontman Matthew Bell screams and pines with more anxiety than a jilted lover. The band slows it down a bit for “Trembling Decisions” and “Luvsick,” incorporating intricate melodies into catchy, Sunny Day Real Esatate-ish college rock tunes. The band quickly cranks it back up with “Nothing Lasts Forever,” piercing the eardrums with high-pitched sound effects that sound like a Space Invaders game on the fritz. It’s hard to forget the hooky chorus and jazzy breaks in “All Fall Down,” or the dark overtones of “The Words by Heart.” Lyrics revolve mostly around girls and “I just wanna be with you” lust. The tables turn, however, on “Jailbait,” when a 17-year-old girl develops a crush on a band guy (true story, maybe?). “I buy her cigarettes and make her mix cassettes/ And I have no regrets...” Bell sings. The story is refreshingly simple and honest, just like Silent Friction’s hard-hitting new release.
-Heather Johnson, Volume X Magazine (Cat’s Music Monthly, November 2002)
Raucous indie rock played for the sheer joy of it. While there are definite emo and geek rock aesthetics at work here, Silent Friction's stuff is also a mix of almost every brand of big-guitar college rock. Standouts in the local scene.
-Rage Magazine (January 23, 2003)
MY EPIPHANY/OLIVER’S ARMY/SILENT FRICTION
Three of Nashville’s most popular young groups come together at The End to blow some eardrums. My Epiphany play hardcore that’s sensitive and melodic, yet also dynamic and energetic. Oliver’s Army are more spastic, favoring nonlinear songs that turn and stop on a dime. Specializing in rock riffs and clever pop hooks, Silent Friction are the most accessible of the three.
-Nashville Scene (January 2003)