Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Gentle Friendly ride anything but slow

Gentle Friendly - "Ride Slow"
Upset the Rhythm
-out now
3.5 / 5

This debut album from South London's Gentle Friendly utilizes a thick, woven mesh of electronica (keyboard, dense guitars) to form a dizzying fog of sound that has drawn comparison to Animal Collective. While Gentle Friendly doesn't have ACs' harmonies, nor do they match the intricacy of AC's sonic mayhem, they do have "Lovers Rock," a song with a cool drone/sway and cyclical instrumentals akin to older Yo La Tengo. Sonically, it is from this latter band that these songs derive, and fans of such will find themselves in familiar, but fresh territory. Where Gentle Friendly is lacking, however, is in the rollercoaster of up-and-down emotive moments that more polished acts evoke: there is no explosive moment on these quick fifteen tracks, nor are there typical song arcs (intro-build-chorus). As YLT's "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out" holds a special place in our hearts, perhaps "Ride Slow" will find its place for some. Solid, outside-the-box song structure that appeals to the 90s droner. Recommended.

Listen to "Lovers' Rock": www.myspace.com/453173424

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