Born Radical, the debut album from Detroit-area band Friendly Foes, is an energetic collection of fast-paced power-pop songs. The band and producer Dave Feeny deserve applause for making a recording that really pops. These songs crackle with loose, garage-y power, making the disc sound like a punk album even though the band itself owes more to the Replacements than the Descendents. Lyrically, the songs here are often about nothing more than being in a band (“Full Moon Morning”, “Couch Surfing”, “Wild [Once in a While]”), but singer/guitarist Ryan Allen has a decent voice and an earnest, appealing delivery. He’s ably backed by bassist/singer Liz Whittman, providing a lot of nice boy/girl harmonies. Over 13 songs and 35 minutes, Born Radical doesn’t even bother to slow down for any change of pace songs, and it doesn’t need to because in keeping the album short, the band doesn’t have a chance to wear out its welcome.
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// Notes from the Road
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