Friendly Foes: Born Radical

Just a couple years old and enthusiastically brewing up some fresh power pop noise, current trends be damned, Detroit trio Friendly Foes come out swinging on their first album, and it’s clearly a first. “Full Moon Morning” opens the album with the band’s story in song, a song that’s more for themselves than the rest of us. With that short burst of intra-band self-reflectivity out of the way, we hear a group that is still very much rooted in the present – at no other time would a power pop trio be heard playing a song called “Couch Surfing.” Singer/guitarist Ryan Allen achieves an irresistible vocal blend with bassist/vocalist Liz Wittman (especially on the album’s standout, “My Body (Is a Strange Place to Live)”), who herself turns in a confident, elastic lead vocal in the tradition of indie power pop forebears like Juliana Hatfield and Kay Hanley on “Get Ripped.” If Cheap Trick ever decides to tour rock clubs again, this band should be at the top of their list for potential opening acts. (Gangplank 2009)

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