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Born Radical

Friendly Foes

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Album Review

There's a fine line between pop-punk and power pop, and the Friendly Foes have the good sense to ignore it and let their two obvious creative obsessions spend some time together on their debut album Born Radical. Guitarist Ryan Allen (who also plays in Thunderbirds Are Now!) has no problems with turning up his amp and letting the distortion take hold, and with bassist Liz Whitman (of Kiddo) and drummer Brad Elliott (ex-Satin Peaches) pushing the tempos, it doesn't take long for Born Radical to build up a head of steam that means plenty of rock action, but they never skimp on the hooks and there's no shortage of meat on these melodic bones. The longest song on board, appropriately titled "Epic Jamb," runs just over four minutes, and the Friendly Foes know enough to keep these tunes lean and efficient (only two others crack the three-minute barrier); they round the corners with élan, and between the shout-along choruses, the spirited harmonies, and the unflagging energy, this is 21st century pop that honors its influences but doesn't waste time bowing and scraping to them. In a just world, "Rush the Land" would be blaring out of car radios across this great land, kids would be frantically pogoing to "Dying to Survive," and the Friendly Foes would be playing "My Body (Is A Strange Place to Live)" for cheering throngs in major sporting arenas. Who knows if or when any of that will happen, but anyone who loves pop music that's fast, loud, and good, snotty fun will be sure to like the Friendly Foes, and Born Radical is a debut that proves this trio already has the goods and then some.

Biography

Formed: Ferndale, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Friendly Foes is a Michigan-based supergroup comprising members of Thunderbirds Are Now!, Kiddo, and the Satin Peaches. Formed in November 2007, the group spent its early days fleshing out the material that Thunderbird frontman Ryan Allen had written between tours. The new songs were melodic, sugary, and purposely succinct, eschewing the popular sounds of 2007 for a mix of retro power pop and '90s-styled alt rock. With drummer Brad Elliot and bassist Lizzie Wittman onboard,...
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Born Radical, Friendly Foes
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