Friendly Foes | Born Radical
Most Likely To: give your light therapy lamp a rest.
Songs get stuck in my head for two reasons. At best because they are good, inspiring songs that I can connect to on an out-of-body-experience level, and at worst because they are catchy songs. And even the worst reason isn’t bad.
With its first full-length release, Born Radical, the band Friendly Foes brings the worst to the table –and I mean that in the best way possible. Am I confusing you? Well, if your brain has trouble handling what I just said, then it will have no problem digesting the music.
The toe-tapping, finger-snapping tunes of this punk-infused power-pop band provides uplifting and fun music but with their simplistic lyrics and basic song structure it is evident the band threw the music through their speakers and into our ears. This album didn’t require much work from the band and in turn, doesn’t require any work for the listener. The songs aren’t complicated, and they don’t pretend to be; with their catchy but basic song structures, they pull off their intentions of just getting out there and writing some songs together well. Friendly Foes is having a blast and playing music without thinking too hard. With songs like “Breakfast Burritos” and “Get Ripped,” the band makes this fact obvious. In a time when bands are using off-beat and bizarre tactics to gain attention (see Of Montreal), Friendly Foes takes the opposite approach, and it seems to be paying off.
Singer/guitarist Ryan Allen took a break from post-punk rock band Thunderbirds Are Now!, picked up bassist Lizzie Wittman and drummer Brad Elliott, and just a little over a year later, Born Radical was born. The first song on the disc, “Full Moon Morning”, tells a story of how they came together. “Got an amp with some chords/ try’na sing ‘til my throat bled/ start a band we were bored/ not sure of what’s ahead.” The album goes along with a similar tone, and in my opinion the best song on the disc, “Get Yr Shit Together” (“One day I’ll get my shit together and if you don’t, you’ll blame it on the weather”). There is not a lot of variety in terms of style on this album until you come to the sixth track, where Allen gives his bleeding vocal chords a break and Wittman takes the mic for “Get Ripped.”
If for nobody else, I recommend this band to those out there struggling through winter climates that are getting the best of them. So to all those SAD sufferers, get out your fluorescent lamps and “pop” in Born Radical. You’ll be sure to brighten right up, jump out of bed and dance around to the radical, uplifting tunes that Friendly Foes provide.
Listen to “Get Yr Shit Together” from Friendly Foes: