For Fans Of
If a someone asked me what pop punk was, it’s safe to say the first band the casual musical observer would direct them to would be Real Friends. They might not be as classic and timeless as New Found Glory, or as consistently impressive and adored as The Wonder Years, but Real Friends are undeniably as real, and as pop punk as you get. Their newest punch bowl of lazy-day pop punk tunes – ‘Put Yourself Back Together’. A little bit bitter and disgruntled and quite a bit miserable, it’s an EP that, like everything else that Real Friends have done, has once again effortlessly won over the adoration of fans.
The record begins with ‘Late Nights In My Car,’ a fast and driving song typical of regular Real Friends‘ self-reflective, angry-at-the-world attitude, which continues for the entirety of the EP. The frontman’s gritty archetypal pop punk vocals are worked in effectively with the dominating, fast percussion of the drummer that gives the song that extra tier of aggression. What follows is one of the most revealing and relatable tracks on Real Friends‘ repertoire to date; ‘Skin Deep’ is a song that reveals the incessant process of writing sad songs, and the necessity of heartbreak to do so. ‘Dead’ contains that boy-next-door lyrical sensibility those familiar with Real Friends have grown accustomed to, and the repeated line of ‘we can’t go back, it’s not the same’ is sure to make the song a fan favorite at live shows.
‘Dirty War’ begins vigorous and aggressive, with chugging guitar riffs and the desperate shouting/singing of the vocalist and as it progresses, reveals itself as one of the strongest songs on the EP. ‘I’ve Given Up On You’ are Real Friends’ at their most affecting, slowing down the pace to half-time to inject a deep depression and hopelessness into the song. It’s a track that is testament to why listeners are so enamored with Real Friends, their relatability and empathy with their fans is unlike most other bands that run along side them.
Some claim that Real Friends stick to a musical and lyrical formula geared to deliver exactly what pop punk fans across the board are craving. While this may ring true, Real Friends’ musicianship is defined by a pure sincerity and a ‘real’ approach that wins over the trust and dedication of their listeners, and will continue to do so in future releases. Nevertheless, shaking things up a little might not be such a bad idea.
1. Late Nights In My Car
2. Skin Deep
4. Dirty Water
5. I’ve Given Up On You
6. Old and Alone
7. Lost Boy