Release Date: Sep 23, 2008
Record label: Beggars XL
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Where 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.
On their self-titled debut, Friendly Fires serve up a very slick -- and very appealing -- mix of synth pop and dance-rock with unexpected nods to shoegaze that suggest their hard-edged, nu-rave sound might blur into something more interesting. The band crafts a big, hooky sound that loves melody, rhythms, and choruses equally, especially on "Jump in the Pool," which is just as fun and refreshing as its title suggests (the tropical-sounding drum breaks don't hurt), and "In the Hospital," a sleek track that sounds like the D.F.A. collaborating with Franz Ferdinand on an especially poppy day.