Thursday, September 18

Friendly Fires- 'Friendly Fires'

. Thursday, September 18

Friendly Fires
‘Friendly Fires’
XL Recordings
September 1st

The party album of the Summer has arrived. Friendly Fires debut LP is the product of two years hard work via a string of fine singles matched only by the sonically similar Late Of The Pier. Like LOTP Friendly Fires craft a blend of joyous dance floor fillers with thought provoking song writing and epic choruses. Unlike ‘Fantasy Black Channel’ though ‘Friendly Fires’ is a more relaxed affair, sure it has it’s moments but if Late Of The Pier are running around the disco spilling drinks and causing mayhem then FF are on a yacht with P. Diddy schmoozing and sipping cocktails. It’s a more grown up affair.

A range of influences blend and mesh here, The Rapture and the post punk spiky jerk riffs that preceded them, label mate Beck’s pop eclecticism and countless beautiful waves of euphoric noise all combine to make an album that twists and surprises at every corner. The album is self produced as well bar ‘Jump In The Pool’ (Paul Epworth behind the desk on that one). The bands singles output is all here, ‘Photobooth’, ‘On Board’ and ‘Paris’ all fit in nicely, never dominating and taking attention from the newer songs. It’s testament to the album and strength of song writing on display here that a song as strong as ‘Paris’ has competition for the albums best track.

‘In The Hospital’ and ‘Jump In The Pool’ both share ‘Paris’s grandiose pop template with big choruses and foot tapping rhythms throughout. ‘Paris’ however is the behemoth that cannot be ignored, a song so perfect and cinematic in scope you suspect the band will never top it, the rest of the album however is a frantic race for second place.

There are two basic sonic arrangements on display here. Number one is the glacial pop epic as mentioned. The second is the angular Gang Of Four meets DFA punk dance sound as exhibited on ‘Lovesick’, ‘Skeleton Boy’ and the New Order aping ‘Ex Lover’. This part of the album provides the climb up for the other half’s come down, a perfect counterpoint to the slower, more relaxed elements here.

Following two years in the making the 10 tracks here could be described as measly, this is not a band that suffers from padding or filler so another couple of tracks could only have enhanced ‘Friendly Fires’. That is a minor gripe however in what can only be described as a brilliant debut album from a fine band.

'Jump In The Pool'



Post a Comment