Three-piece Friendlys released their seven-song EP Dabbing on June 18. Using heavy fuzz and simple, repetitive melodies, Friendlys bring a wave of noise-rock to the Chicago scene.
The album opens with glitchy noises that are subsequently enveloped in a wall of fuzzy power chords. After the glitches fight back and become prominent again, high-pitched vocals come in to become the focal point. Simple, yet sad guitar riffs complement these vocals. The vocals represent their style well: simple and repetitive in the best possible way. Moreover, if it weren’t for the massive amounts of fuzz and random noises, this EP would be all but empty sounding.
Their sound is definitely an acquired taste. There are definitely moments where you wouldn’t lose anything by skipping. However, songs such as “Tilt” would make just about anyone’s playlist. Being the third track, it is definitely their fastest paced and poppiest song. Not without its noisy moments, the song changes more in dynamics and timbre than in the melodies being played.
After this song, the EP starts to lose its grip on the listener. The downfall of the release is that one can only listen to so much repetitiveness. The next two songs, “Ultimate Thule” and “Rover,” have an almost identical structure. All the while, the sixth track “Penumbra” is essentially a less catchy version of “Tilt.” This segment of the album is best suited for situations where you want to listen to something that won’t command your attention.
The EP does end on a high-note, however. The closing song “Lay” starts out with a happy waltz – something unique to this album up until this point. Friendlys also does a nice job by subtly adding in hectic noises and guitar parts to complement the main guitar riff. This song also gives the listener one last reason to nod their head vigorously with the most damaged and distorted guitar throughout the album.
As mentioned before, “Tilt” is probably the only track that would survive on its own. But this should speak to the great continuity that Friendlys achieved within their EP. Though this may not be a release that will have the internet buzzing, it is definitely a work that’s worth checking out.