For Fans Of
Despite being the gem of the pop punk scene, Real Friends have yet to be snapped up by a record label. They have however been snapped up by a considerable fan base of like-minded youths who align with the qualms of the modern adolescent and the band’s grounded, boy next door personality. Their mid 2012 offering, an Acoustic Songs EP is a collection of tunes that dials down Real Friends‘ energetic and enthusiastic pop punk ethic to a lower decibel that swaps their regular routine for a meticulously executed acoustic sensibility.
Being a brief minute and a bit, the EP’s introductory tune ‘I’ve Never Been Home’ makes it difficult not to immediately become attached to Real Friends. The band plays their best card with lyrics such as "I’m really just a kid whose stuck with all the fucked up things that come with life" and references to the well-loved emo band American Football in ‘Home For Fall.’ With song writing likely to hit home with most of the band’s listeners, relatability is proven to be the band’s best quality.
Like many of the bands involved in the thriving cult of pop punk, there is an undeniable sincerity and rawness to the band’s acoustic work, however the vocalist’s somewhat aggressive pop punk technique is barely dialed down in songs like ‘Anchor Down.’ In a song that is driven mostly by the vocalist’s pent up aggression and frustration, this gives the lyrics strength (‘fuck the past and everyone that dragged you here’). However, in ‘Home For Fall’ and ‘Floorboards’ it doesn’t seem to fit quite right, giving the sense that the band haven’t quite grasped the right way to translate their pop punk ethic into acoustic form just yet.
Real Friends still have a fair way to go and some room to improve as a band as a whole. Having said this, being unsigned and fairly new to pop punk, time is on their side and if we wait a little bit, they are likely to follow a path similar to that of The Wonder Years after the release of The Upsides. Their Acoustic Songs EP is proof of their ability to write music that is not only relatable but also leaves you with the feeling of having made a friend.
1. I’ve Never Been Home
2. Anchor Down
4. Home For Fall