Review : Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
NmeOur official indie almanac insists the most important record of the last decade was The Strokes’ ‘The Modern Age’, the single that killed the combat trouser stone dead. But there’s an alternative theory. It postulates the noughties’ most influential tune was The Rapture’s ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’. The first release on the now-omnipotent DFA label, it proved scuzzy rock’n’roll could live in harmony on the same street, dammit, in the same bed, as sleek, sexy techno....full text
GuardianWhere would suburban bands be without the "commuter-belt boredom" that, we're told, inspired St Albans' Friendly Fires to create the pop/rave hybrid that constitutes their debut album? The trio seem to be on the fast track to mainstream success - they've already played in America and Japan, setting the scene for a Klaxons-style upward trajectory. The surprise is their sophistication; like Klaxons, they're just fluorescent enough to keep club kids interested, but their real commitment is to sparkling, modern pop. The album is full of it, every track pulsing and clattering around an electronic heart and almost never exceeding three minutes. Singer Ed Macfarlane's voice rarely rises above a blissed-out murmur except when the whooshing party anthems Lovesick and Paris move him to unfurl a falsetto. Lyrically, they veer between odes to suburbia, such as Photobooth, and dreaming big dreams ("One day we'll live in Paris"); either way, they couldn't be more likable....full text
DrownedinsoundThankfully Friendly Fires haven’t been too tarnished by the endless glow stick paradigms associated with the now dreaded nu-rave tag, and their laboriously recorded, self-titled debut only serves to confirm the burgeoning distance from a world of garish neon and questionable colour combinations.
Eschewing the acid revivalism of Klaxons, Friendly Fires are the laidback older sibling to their snotty, demanding, attention-deficit little brother. They make music with dancing in mind, and while they’re more than happy to expose an electronic underbelly, disco sirens are replaced with pernickety percussion. Falsettos serve more than a novelty purpose and the end result is a lean, trim ten track hit of blessed-out halcyon pop and shifting shoegaze.
You might be surprised to know they used play in a hardcore band. You probably already know that the purveyors of 2008’s slickest, disco punk filth don’t hail from New York, but St Albans. Despite the lack of cultural kudos, Friendly Fires don’t just pull it off, they revel in it. It’s a debut that bubbles with elements of DFA’s cooler-than-thou production and the house party inclinations of The Rapture, riotously polished off with Ed McFarlane’s vocal....full text
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