“Friendly Fires” – Friendly Fires (Joint Review)

Today I’m going to be reviewing an album from last year; it’s the debut self-titled effort from Friendly Fires. To be perfectly honest this album went right under my radar last year and it was only until a fortnight ago when I finally got around to my local CD store and found the album on special. It’s getting re-issued in the next few weeks so I thought it would be a great album to review. I’m spewing that I didn’t pick up on the band last year, because I’ve missed out. Friendly Fires are in my opinion one of the more exciting bands out there at the moment and I really think that they should be better known.

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Friendly Fires - "Friendly Fires"

Friendly Fires - "Friendly Fires"

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Friendly Fires’ debut album is basically an updated take on 80’s dance music. It takes a few influences from 80’s bands, but still sounds incredibly modern. Built mainly around infectious bass lines and dance beats, it also incorporates very danceable guitar licks and while the band is not the first to do so, they are one of the better bands to utilise this sort of band and song-writing structure.

I think the biggest thing that jumps out at you when you’re listening to this album is the fact that these tracks could easily be remixed, and to great effect too, this isn’t a slur on the album, far from it, the album invites remixes due to the electronic nature of the music, yet it sounds “indie” and also something that sounds great away from a dance-floor. I haven’t heard many remixes of the songs on the album, but I’m a bit like my counterpart and try to stay away from the remix scene, if you’re into that kind of thing I would recommend that you look for some of the various remixes of these songs, because I reckon they’d be killer.

There is one criticism that I’ve got of the album, and that’s that it doesn’t really push any boundaries. Yes, it’s fun, but sometimes with albums like this you really need to add that little bit extra and not allow yourself to get to generic, which is what the band gets at times. But as I’ve said in a few of my reviews this year, there’s not much wrong in being “generic” when you’re writing songs to the standard they are.

I’m really loving this album at the moment and even though I’m not a big fan of the dance genre, I must admit this album really hits the spot and is a real achievement on the part of the band. The biggest plus on the album is the fact that it’s a great dance album as well as being one of the best “indie” albums for a while as well, and usually the “indie” acts on the dance scene are not this effective at collecting an audience that is not dance music minded. Ratings-wise I reckon this is one of the better albums I’ve heard, but also one of the more danceable albums in this day and age I’ve heard for a while. So in that sense I think I’ve got to give this album a 9/10.

Standout Songs: Jump In The Pool, Skeleton Boy, On Board

Rating: 9/10

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~ by Michael Hodder on August 23, 2009.

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