Real Friends

Maybe This Place Is The Same And We're Just Changing

Written by: PP on 19/08/2014 21:52:58

One of the most anticipated releases in 2014 is the Real Friends debut album "Maybe This Place Is The Same And We're Just Changing" on the grounds of a phenomenal EP last year called "Put Yourself Back Together". This was an EP that didn't just put Real Friends on the map, it nominated them as one of the most exciting new bands within the realm of emotionally charged music in line with equally successful emotional wrecks in The Story So Far. Singer Dan Lambton's lyrics were so heartfelt they practically melted the CDs apart as he poured his feelings for the whole world to see sparing no details or honesty in his texts. Sure, they were cheesy at times, but it was the delivery and timing that made them work so well, thanks to a masterful sense of quiet/loud dynamics and when to absolutely explode your lines through the microphone. This earned Real Friends a place on many top 5 spots at the end of the year - including in this magazine - but it wasn't entirely without its faults either. The primary complaint was that it was virtually identical to The Wonder Years' material on "Suburbia..." both in terms of sound and the lyrical themes overall.

On "Maybe This Place Is The Same...", they continue to worship The Wonder Years throughout, but where they have recently evolved into a complex response to the lower-middle class problems in suburban America, utilizing emotive rock and intricate guitars as tools in their reflective analysis, Real Friends shift in the other direction. They rely on a more traditional punk rock / pop punk format with plenty more high-octane riffs, despite also going for the quiet/loud emo dynamics every now and then, never forgetting to provide explosive moments when necessary. This creates some much-needed breathing room between the two bands and makes it easier to listen to the Real Friends without your thoughts constantly revolving around The Wonder Years' expression.

Otherwise, the formula on the album remains roughly the same as on the EP. Real Friends are still led by their emotionally charged vocalist - which is a huge understatement really - whose clean, angst-laden vocals provide a window into stream-of-consciousness style stories about heartbreak, loneliness, and sadness. It's basically a god's gift to all struggling teenagers and young adults who just want songs about those feels, if you know what I mean. The constant outpour of emotional drainage can be a little tiring in the long run though because of the whiny vocal style that's the epitome of nasal and angsty delivery, but on the other hand it is also what makes tis album work so well.

Leitmotifs and instantly catchy lyrical phrases are a less frequent occurrence on the album than they were on the EP, but that is just a natural result of there being twelve songs instead of just seven. And reading through the lyrics sheet, you realize that Lambton is still laying bare those simplistic tidbits about his feelings, but the musicianship in general has taken a few steps forward leaving his lyrics less at the forefront than before. Over a full album it's not as impactful as it was on the EP, but it's still a release that should be on the shelf of any serious fan of emotionally charged punk / pop punk.


Download: I Don't Love You Anymore, Cover You Up, To: My Old Self
For the fans of: The Wonder Years, With The Punches, The Story So Far, Transit
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.07.2014
Fearless Records

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