I’ve no doubt that most of you, being infinitely cooler than I am these days, will have been aware of Friendly Fires and their amazing single Jump In The Pool for aeons, but I’m still relatively new to their work. They were recommended to me when I asked for suggestions for likely albums of the year and having listened to their eponymous debut album a great deal since first getting hold of it, I have to say that it’s likely to feature highly in my final list.
Their are very few duff tracks on Friendly Fires, and of the many great tracks probably 2 or 3 really stand out. Of those, opening track Jump In The Pool is my (current) favourite as it seems to sum all that’s great about the band with its blend of punk-funk rhythms, shoegazing style guitars and an air somewhere between euphoria & wistfulness. I assumed that the band were from Williamsburg or some other unfeasibly trendy corner of New York but in fact they hail from St Albans in the not very rock & roll county of Hertfordshire.
Still, don’t let that put you off as in many ways Friendly Fires remind me of a younger LCD Soundsystem in the way that they make music you could dance to at the same time as getting all introspective (as LCD Soundsystem did to such great effect on All My Friends) which is pretty impressive no matter where you’re from.