Clawing their way through the underground music scene in LA, the experimental newgaze grunge punk band Forget Your Friends just released their first self-titled album Forget Your Friends on OKTOHEART records in October 2013. Their high-energy shows have sold out the coveted Whisky Gogo and The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. With excellent lead vocals paired with hardcore screaming, Forget Your Friends has a big, fierce experimental punk sound. Forget Your Friends was recorded at Murder Music Studios in Canyon County, CA. Roman Marisak in collaboration with Forget Your Friends produced the final cut.
Forget Your Friends does not hold back on the distortion and reverb leading to a grungy baseline sound accented by spacey synths and keyboards. “Antarctica” sets off with reverbed synths before the drums kick in. Dramatic pauses and alternating melodic vocals and screaming punctuate the track. The distorted bass gives the song a looming quality, accentuated by the lyrics “that beat of darkness / shadows the aftermath.” “Antarctica” exits with a rhythmic, descending guitar bridge. Overall it’s a dynamic song, punctuated by dramatic moments: pauses, screams, and looming lyrics.
Forget Your Friends mixes it up throughout the entire album, especially in “Forecast” with the slow synth intro and spacey keys. The listener can imagine dark clouds rolling in as the lyrics ominously says; “it’s coming in / it’s looking innocent.” The repetition builds into the bridge, “trapped by a fortress,” echoed by screams so that the track feels like an epic journey through a tornado of sound.
The group explores slower rhythms later on in the record, held back by ringing chords and forlorn vocals, especially in “Slow Burning Summer.” This track starts off with a grinding metal machine intro and slow lead, and almost creepy vocals. The title of the track, “Slow Burning Summer,” mixed with the slower rhythm and phrasing “with the windows down in this town” creates a longing for summer to be over.
As though punk space electro wasn’t experimental enough, Forget Your Friends cuts an excellent acoustic track Drugs / Demo Version. With an energetic acoustic strum and gorgeous, P.S Eliot style vocals, this is a beautiful track to listen to. But don’t worry, they keep the dark vibe through their lyrics for this one; “your love is my drive and I just can’t give you up / your love is my drive and I’m going to get fucked up.” They certainly keep it real honest.
Although at times on the tracks, I found it difficult to decipher the lyrics, Forget Your Friends’ energy and dynamic sound enthralls. I hope they venture up to NorCal so I can catch them live. You should too.
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