Strip it down. Cut the fat. Verse chorus verse. No bridge? No problem. That s it: the simplistic formula behind Friendly Foes a pop-inspired three-piece hailing just outside of Detroit. But hold up...just because they choose the most economic way to get to power-pop s Pleasure Island, it doesn t mean their songs don t come without a hefty wallop, a fierce bite, and a few twists and turns to keep you on your toes. In Friendly Foes world, simple does not equate with boring. Inspired as equally by 70s punk-songwriters like Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello as they are the glory days of 90s indie rock (Superchunk, Guided By Voices, Chisel) with a healthy dose of Husker Du and Replacements-style bash n pop thrown in for good measure Friendly Foes craft rag-tag, rough around the edges rock songs that do away with pretense. Instead, they choose quick routes to get to the gooey guts of what makes for rock-solid jams: whip-smart lyrics and anthemic melodies delivered at an unrelenting pace. Their first full-length, Born Radical (released on Gangplank Records), delivers the Foes compact message in spades. Bursting with 13 dynamic songs, the album boasts lyrics that range from nostalgic looks at life before MySpace and Mp3s, to raging diatribes on rock and roll s currents state of affairs. Guitars slash and burn, the bass rumbles like a heard of stampeding elephants, and drums crash and bang with precise abandon. And it all comes from three distinct players who are hardly indie rock rookies Allen also sings and plays guitar in Thunderbirds are Now!, Wittman is one third of Kiddo, and Brad Elliott has done his time in the Satin Peaches, amongst others. Friendly Foes are just but a year old, but have already shared the stage with an impressive list of bands, including Sloan, the Walkmen, the Whigs, the Jealous Girlfriends, Born Ruffians, School of Language, Dosh, Cadence Weapon, Most Serene Republic, Rose Hill Drive, the Golden Dogs, and loads more.
"[An] Undeniably fun [and] frenetic band…a spastically structured brand of mid-'90s indie rock. --Spin.com
"A hyper-fuzzed, rousing, rough-around-the-edges rock outfit with sunny-pop in the middle of its jangled shred" --Real Detroit Weekly
"The verdict was in about 10 minutes into the Friendly Foes first live show. Everyone was telling their friends 'This is really good.' Ryan Allen can write a great song and deliver it live in a way that everyone seems to have a pretty great time." --Five Three Dialtone