Filthy Friends “Emerald Valley”
We’re not entirely sure what makes a ‘super group’ but for fans of alternative rock from the last few decades then Filthy Friends must be pretty close. The band combines Sleater-Kinney co-founder Corin Tucker, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and indie stalwarts Scott McCaughey and Kurt Bloch.
They ease us into this release with the slow and enthralling “Pipeline” and the grungy punch of “November Man”. Both songs do a great job of grabbing your attention and drawing you in to the album. That’s before they hit you with the wonderful alternative pop of “Only Lovers Are Broken”. Together with “The Elliott” these are songs that have the kind of alternative pop melodies designed to catch your ear on the radio.
Filthy Friends do a really great job of getting a sense of balance on this album. That means you have the quite beautiful haunting melody of “Angels” and “Hey Lacey”. Whilst the brilliant “One Flew East” is the kind of expansive and lush song that Florence & The Machine have built a career on. But you can contrast those songs with the crunching power pop of “Break Me” and the more angst driven sound of “Last Chance Country”.
Given the pedigree of the artists involved there shouldn’t be any surprise about the quality of this release. Unlike many ‘supergroups’ there is no sense of ‘novelty’ about this release. It’s a really cohesive album and demands to be listened from start to finish (and then played again). A timely reminder to younger bands of how to write an album rather than just deliver ‘tracks’ to randomly stream.