I first encountered a live performance with Forget Your Friends gracing the stage of the august, one and only Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood. Now I do not use the word ‘graced’ lightly because that is exactly the word that sprang to mind as they played their first track and my mouth remained agape in bewildered awe for the entire set. Why, you ask with expectant replies dripping in flabbergasting detail? Well it’s really simple. Being familiar with the groups recordings prior to my debut stage front fan appearance, I was utterly astonished by the group’s ability to sound so phenomenal live. Certainly better than any recording that had previously caressed my aural canals with such skill and elegant style.
I choose not to describe their sound and instead, leave it to the groups own description, namely Forget Your Friends is a Experimental New gaze band with members hailing from the mecca of Los Angeles & the Valley of Kern County California.
I choose a single word…incredible.
With the impending release of their latest offering Spells just days away, it is a timely opportunity to review what’s on offer to those Forget Your Friends familiar and introduce all others to the concept of how your life can be immeasurably enhanced when provided with a Forget Your Friends soundtrack.
Forget Your Friends began recording Spells on Friday January 13th at Big Bad Sound in Hollywood California. Whether the date, the place and the event are mystically entwined remains to be revealed, however the work of producer by Alan Day of the band Four Year Strong is utterly superb as is the engineering delivered by long time band friend & collaborator Roman Marisak of Spacetime/Professional Murder Music.
The band, consisting of the sensational Pony Curtis on guitar and vocals, Adam Jackson on drums, J. Peters Bass and vocals guitar and, finally, the one incredible element that bonds the entire ensemble together for their magic to blossom is the angelic Charlie Kennedy on vocals and guitar, immediately awaken your senses with the collection opener California Gloom. The tremendous lyrics reveal the nature of the title and are delivered spectacularly, but the distorted accompaniment provide the listener with an additional, and sensational dimension. I can’t help but associate the music with an experience akin to listening to one Forget Your Friends song, poolside and rooftop at the Andaz on Sunset Strip and watching the gloom of the LA haze make its way from downtown and finally enveloping you in the total LA gloom. Just amazing.
Comfortably Uncomfortable is sequenced to utter perfection following the opener because your excitement is lifted by a track that is simply WAAAAY beyond your lofty expectations. The track opens post feedback at a faster pace and, before long ebbs and flows like a Malibu tide in timing, allowing opportunity for each band member to truly shine. From angst driven lapses into pissed off execration, through to choral harmonies offered as if from aloft, this tack has got the lot. This is followed by a ‘clean’ version of the track, just as the name suggests, but timely reminder and note to self…don’t piss Charlie off.
Rumors is an upbeat number musically, and highlights vocal capability beautifully, but moreover is demonstrative of Forget Your Friends incredible ability to ensure that every song is a complete expedition. A journey in timing, in style, in delivery, dare I say in perception of time and space, but Forget Your Friends still remain masterful in blending each element into superb complete package.
Last, but by no means least is Bravelight. This track lures you in gentry before providing powerful guitar and beat, but rest assured the vocal delivery will soon arrive to guide you through the harmonious kaleidoscope that is this brilliant track. By finale, you find yourself returned from a true musical journey and the overwhelming urge to see where you will be guided next, becomes irresistible. Just go back to track one and you’ll be fine.
This collection is representative of the tremendous diversity and skill that is within the capacity of each protagonist, but together as a band they remain true to their signature sound. This recording is the finest offering yet from Forget Your Friends and worthy of every excited exclamation I can muster. It leaves me in a state excited glee desirous of more and a profound desperation to get to a gig…NOW. The moniker Spells could not be more apt.
Bravo FYF, so well done.