Release Date: May 27, 2016
Record label: Fearless
Get ready to shout and finger point... Real Friends have always been different to everyone else, and their second album sees the Tinley Park crew stretching their legs and separating from the pop-punk pack.The Jimmy Eat World-isms of ‘Colder Quicker’ finds the five-piece measured and thoughtful, while the subtle hook on ‘Empty Picture Frames’ shows that while they’ve lost none of their emotion, they are smarter and more interesting than ever before.There may be fewer hooks and a lack of a real fist-in-the-air anthem, but on ‘The Home Inside My Head’, these sad boys become men. Gracefully.Want more Real Friends? Good news! They're in our new issue.
Pop-punk is shaping up to have quite the year in 2016. Blink-182 and Modern Baseball both have new albums out this summer, while newcomers like Lakefront are looking to push the genre's popularity upwards and onwards for the foreseeable future. Right at the forefront of this push is the Chicagoland quintet Real Friends. Formed in 2010, the group had self-released five EPs before jumping up to pop-punk powerhouse Fearless Records in 2014 for their debut studio album, Maybe This Place Is The Same And We're Just Changing.
Illinois pop punks Real Friends have put together a set of songs for their sophomore full-length that oscillate between catchiness and banality. Although they don't take very many risks or expand a great deal on the sounds of their previous releases, they still manage to provide more than a few earworms on some of the stronger tracks here. "Mokena" and "Empty Picture Frames" are the two highlights of the record, the former finding its strength in a subdued introduction that opens up into rich melodic layers, and the latter being filled with hooks, from the bouncy verse riff to Dan Lambton's soaring vocals in the chorus.