Tuesday 22 October 2013

Pet Friends - Contact EP

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

They're still unsigned but it's not doing their music any harm, and given the step-up between this record and their EP 'I Don't Want Pet Friends' from the summer, there could be the odd label starting to sniff around Pet Friends by now. For the time being however, they seem happy writing, recording, improving and letting us have their tunes for the price of our choosing. You could call the aforementioned EP and new effort 'Contact' as pre-season friendlies, warming up the squad and honing the skills ready for the bigger games to come in the future. This isn't a commercial EP, so the band would be relying on their cult fanbase as well as pure quality of music to propel them towards the top half of the table. They may not be perfect just yet, but this trio of songs indicate that they're getting there.

Again they absorb a few decades of guitar music, from punk, indie, math-rock, grunge and more, so the sound is nothing startlingly new. That said, 'Money' packs a punch with some sturdy drumming and great guitar work; it's a sound that's easy to appreciate and also shows imagination and writing talent. Importantly, it doesn't follow a set format despite the odd familiar sound. 'Language' goes one better. The only reason this isn't the lead-track is probably down to its less commercial, less regular sound. Slower in pace and with a spoken-word lyric, it shows great skill from the band in keeping things toned-down to preserve the atmosphere. It's something like a less vicious Campag Velocet if they had a penchant for indiepop mixed with '90s alt-rock. This is perhaps the best song we've heard from the band so far, and when they do let loose towards the end it works brilliantly. That mathy, experimental rock sound comes through on 'Rare Earth Metals', sounding like a merger between early Bloc Party and Foals, but with punkier overtones. Again the fact that they're pushing their sound marks this out as a highlight too. By the next EP we could have a band who are in full flow, and it could be quite something.

Pet Friends' website

Stream or buy the EP

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