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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Coney Hatch - 1985 Friction
 
Coney Hatch - 1985 Friction



ARTIST: Coney Hatch
ALBUM: Friction
LABEL: Mercury, Anthem (Canada)
SERIAL: 824307-1, ANR-1-1046
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1997, Anthem (Canada), ANK-1070 * 2015, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY272

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Carl Dixon - vocals, guitars * Andy Curran - vocals, bass * Steve Shelski - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Barry Connors - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Ain't Love * 02 She's Gone * 03 Wrong Side Of Town * 04 Girl From Last Nights Dream * 05 Coming To Get You * 06 Fantasy * 07 He's A Champion * 08 State Line * 09 Burning Love

WEBLINKS: www.coneyhatch.com


Background
'Friction' is the third and final album by Toronto based Coney Hatch. A popular band upon their arrival in 1982, their crisp style of hardened melodic rock bought them a load of fans and interest. In between times they released a second album in 1983 called 'Outa Hand'. By the time 1985 rolled around, the band had lost their razor edge to the melodic confines of commerciality - in the process losing drummer Dave Ketchum - replaced by former Toronto basher Barry Connors. According to previous AORster Polls, this album has proved to be a popular draw - it even featured in Boulevard Magazine's Top 30 AOR albums of all time. Whether that is a reputable barometer of success is highly debatable - AORsters after all are a one-eyed lot - aren't we? lol! In all honesty though, 'Friction' lacks the raw potential and power of the first two albums - the debut in particular. However, though it may sound watered down by comparison, the radio friendly vibes emanating from its grooves will appeal to radio rock fans, and less so to out-and-out hardened rockers. There are a bunch of good songs - some less appealing, as to the playing time: 36 minutes. hardly enough to whet your appetite over surely? The album was produced by Max Norman, but unlike previous projects that he has worked on (namely Ozzy Osbourne, Loudness and 220 Volt), the big-time production seems scaled back against those efforts.


The Songs
The band get underway with a big intro on 'This Ain't Love' - a spacious production and it all sounds promising. Carl Dixon's voice still the major attraction with this band. This is as close to the 1982 debut as we're gonna get. AOR makes an early entrance with 'She's Gone' - and it's a far cry from their raucous early material. Certainly this is no 'Devils Deck' or 'We Got The Night' - however, the track has some nice qualities. Andy Curran gets to sing lead on 'Wrong Side Of Town', and it has to be said, throughout all of CH's work and I repeat it yet again, that Dixon's vocals are far superior to Curran's - yet the band continued with the split singer system. Why? The two commercial tracks on the album are probably the best ones here: notably 'Girl From Last Night's Dream' and 'Fantasy', both with ample keyboards and easy on the ear choruses. 'He's A Champion' and 'Burning Love' are the sort of stomping hard rock tracks better suited to their prior albums - though the latter has a very melodic chorus, while 'State Line' is a faster paced effort - something this band excels at. Pity the speed factor is missing throughout.


In Summary
Despite the radio oriented appeal, the band and the album winked out of popular opinion. Their label dropped them soon after, the band continuing on for another year before calling it quits. Coney Hatch briefly reunited in 1992 to support their 'Greatest Hits' album 'Best Of Three', but did not turn it into a fully fledged comeback. Carl Dixon went onto a solo career. Curran went on to the bands Soho 69 and Drugplan, Shelski survived a bad car accident and went on to work with Larry Gowan. A good band - very unlucky and underrated by all.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on March 15 2007 11:09:14
I saw these guys who were bottom of the bill with Iron Maiden and Fastway. Very good live band from what I remember, but their studio albums never did much for me?
#2 | sabace on April 13 2007 17:08:56
great melodic band, OUTA HAND lp is my fave!
#3 | jeffrey343 on April 08 2008 17:41:45
'Fantasy' is one of those songs that just epitomizes AOR to me. Being in my early 40s now, this song really speaks to me. Coney Hatch isn't the most consistent of bands to me, but I could take their three albums and create one monster CD of about 12 songs.
#4 | Jez on June 13 2008 04:43:06
3rd top class release and an absolute classic. Why this band was never huge is beyond me as they had everything going for them. All three of their albums are essential. This one is their best, with an excellent blend of Heavier tracks (Coming To Get You, He's A Champion) and a lighter, slightly more melodic (She's Gone, Girl From Last Nights Dream), although all contain the killer choruses and tight playing/ production we all love.
#5 | Nick C on August 23 2008 12:35:15
Packed with classics....Girl From Last Nights Dream is brilliant. Odd that they never hit big as any rock club I'd go to would have a packed dance floor when any of the tracks from this came on (well generally any from Coney's 3 releases). Ooozes class....State Line still gets the adrenaline rushing too!
 
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