Just Friends

Nothing But Love

Written by: PP on 22/10/2019 18:19:07

"Nothing But Love" was originally released last year, and re-released by Pure Noise Records early this year, but given how unique an album it is and what an impact it has been having on the ska scene, a review of the record seems necessary. Just Friends are a musical collective comprised of members from multiple bands (Mom Jeans, Graduating Life among others), specializing in a peculiar format of ska that can only be loosely connected to the genre, such is the adventurous nature of the band's explorative and innovative approach to writing music.

In what feels like free-form jazz at times, Just Friends seamlessly traverse through genre fabrics as if they didn't exist. Quirky trumpets battle against gang shouts, unusual time signatures run rampant while elements of hardcore, hip-hop, and avant-garde are all mixed with occasional soul in form of female vocals. They go from sounding like Voodoo Glow Skulls in one song to Streetlight Manifesto in another, finishing off in old school hardcore, and even nu-metal-esque segments at times. The composition of songs follows no regular convention or standard, and if anything, the spirited blend of just about everything recalls the multiculturalism of bands as varied as Sonic Boom Six and Skindred, all in the context of what is essentially ska-punk at heart.

The whole album is further riddled with interludes in the form of phone calls, pre-taped 'live' radio programs. These are funny at first, but later end up distracting from what is a unique listening experience throughout. How many bands can go from indie-flavored soul-pop to Dog Eat Dog style rap-metal with trumpets song-to-song?

Not many, that's for sure. And that's what makes "Nothing But Love" such a quirky experience. It might not be among the best albums from 2018, but it will go down as one of the most genre-defying and original ones, which in itself is noteworthy. If they get this mix right on the next album, the result will be a masterpiece. We're pretty close here already.


Download: Never Gonna Bring You Down, Flex, Get Down
For the fans of: Voodoo Glow Skulls, Streetlight Manifesto, Catch 22, Dog Eat Dog
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.02.2019
Pure Noise Records

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