Monday, May 09, 2011

Friendly Fires and the new sound of England

I have been ignoring what has been happening over in the UK musically speaking for awhile now. This is partially due to all the good stuff being produced by the Yanks locally as well as my disillusionment with all the bands that were coming out of England that sounded too much like SEX PISTOLS redux for awhile. But slowly some new interesting sounds have been emerging as the Brits have remembered how to dance.

FRIENDLY FIRES are releasing the second full length, "Pala", to a quite a bit of hype so I thought I should check in to see what all the hubbub was about. I rather enjoed the two singles I have heard from them earlier so I thought a full album would be worth my time. The jury is still out on the whole album but there are moments of the record that are really quite good. For those not familiar I would characterize their sound as rhythmic pop with a world beat that travels in uplifting lyrics. The album opens strong with the uplifting "Live Those Days Tonight" and the goregous "Blue Cassette". These are far and away the strongest songs on the album. "Hawaiian Air" is a funky number about flying away for the hell of it, or a commercial jingle for their favorite airline. Parts of the record seem to steal from PRINCE of all places, particularly on the falsetto laced "Hurting" and the R n B influenced "Show Me Lights". "Pull Me Back To Earth" echoes their previous hit "Kiss of Life" with it's afro rhythmic approach.

Friendly Fires, along with THE KLAXONS and DELPHIC, give us hope that the UK still has some musical tricks up it's collective sleeve. Go get this and get ready to dance!!

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