Friend the Atom is an indie rock band from Ann Arbor, MI consisting of Mac Kish (vocals/guitar), Zac Kish (drums), Logan Rose (guitar) and Alec Spangenburgh (bass). They formed in the summer of 2014 and got to work writing songs for their debut EP entitled Oscillations. The songs are straightforward rock/pop that showcase a talented band but also don’t do much to create an original sound. You can hear hints of bands like Foxygen, Weezer and a couple dozen of other indie rock acts.
The EP was a complete DIY effort and has all the staples of a basement recording. Some of the guitars lack definition and the vocals aren’t compressed correctly but the biggie is always the drums. In particular the kick drum has very little separation from the bass. All things considered the songs are enjoyable but also there needs to be some major tweaking in order to compete with commercial releases.
The band kicks off with the title track “Oscillations,” which was the highlight of the album. It starts off with some solid guitar and a trudging drum beat and bass line. Kish sings, “Let’s get this party started I’ve been here waiting all night long.” The song contains White Stripes inspired type transitions that had a bit of attitude. Overall, the song was solid.
“Come Back Around” isn’t too shabby either. The verse revolves around clean upward strummed guitar chords which bear comparisons to Vampire Weekend. They create a loose, fun vibe that is easy to enjoy. Towards the end of the song the guitarist unleashes a long guitar solo that could have been wrapped up in about half the time.
The next track “My Mind is Gone” isn’t on the same level as the first two songs. It’s not as catchy and sounds the most predictable out of the four songs. Luckily, the band gets somewhat back on track with the closer “Falling Out” but it was still inferior to “Oscillations” and “Come Back Around.”
Friend the Atom is a case of wait and see. These meager beginnings have potential if the band plays their cards right.
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