Review by Shannon Shumaker
Lithuania’s newest release, Hardcore Friends is timeless. Fruzzy guitars and distorted vocals coupled with repetitive lyrics and catchy choruses carry the album, making it simplistic yet memorable - something that will easily worm its way into your head before it comes to an end, leaving you humming along shortly after.
“God In Two Persons” opens Hardcore Friends with some fast paced and nearly grungy sounding guitar work because those soon to be familiar low and slightly distorted vocals come in. Admittedly, it took me a couple of listens to really fall in love with “God In Two Persons,” but I’m glad that I gave it a few shots, because after my second or third listen, it was impossible not to hum or sing along with the insanely catchy chorus. Following that same formula is the following track, “2009,” which is also rather fast paced and catchy, with repeated vocals of “I’d rather be a monster than responsible for my crimes.” While definitely simplistic, it totally works, as you’re sure to be singing along by the time “2009” comes to an end. And that’s not to say that the song is overly simplistic - there’s this quiet moment about halfway through the song where everything cuts out except for the vocals and bass, and the soft change of pace is refreshing and exciting before the song really explodes.
Right when you think Hardcore Friends only really has one speed - fast and upbeat - “I Wanna Drink Poison” comes in and changes things up at the perfect time. While some of the more upbeat songs on the album do tend to feel a little similar and repetitive, “I wanna Drink Poison” mellows things out with an almost psychedelic sound. Despite the rather dark lyrical content, (“I wanna drink poison/Till I can’t see anybody”) the song actually feels pretty soothing. Again, you’re bound to be singing it by the time it fades into happier feeling acoustic track, “Coronation Day.” “Deaf Gene” is another strong track, especially in the soft and sweeping guitar work that almost overpowers emotional vocals. With “Deaf Gene” it also becomes apparent that no matter the differing sounds on each track, Hardcore Friends as a whole feels very warm, summery and inviting. This release couldn’t have come at a more perfect time of the year, just as summer fades to fall.
Following the same formula as the first few tracks, Hardcore Friends comes to an end with catchy and repetitive “Question” followed by the final title track. By the time “Question” comes to an end, it’s bound to worm its way into your head.
Lithuania pull out all of the stops with this album, as there is definitely a wide variety of sounds on many of these songs. While some of the simpler, fast paced tracks can definitely tend to sound similar, songs like “I Wanna Drink Poison” and fuzzy “Coronation Day” come in and mix things up, proving just how versatile this group is. Overall, Hardcore Friends is a great release for late summer and early fall, and will prove to be a must listen to record for the rest of the year.
Listen to "God In Two Persons" or "I Wanna Drink Poison"
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