Only Surfbort could have an album title as innocent as Friendship Music yet fill it with tracks that exude an infectiously gritty, punk ethos. This juxtaposition is precisely where Surfbort’s magic lies. They’re an incredibly fun listen, yet at the same time, clear skill and craftsmanship is detectable among each anthemic lyric and electrifying guitar riff or drum beat. Friendship Music perfectly incorporates both of these elements, making it the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll cocktail that will have listeners coming back for round after round.
Each track on Friendship Music is united in one simple fact: they pack a mean punch while wasting no time at all. Only a few tracks on the album encroach upon the 2:30 mark but each and every single one is still wholeheartedly memorable and impactful. The sharp lyrics, in conjunction with fuzz-infused chord progressions and thunderous drum fills, makes for a listening experience is instantly commanding.
This is what’s so notable about Surfbort and Friendship Music alike—time is not needed. The band doesn’t waste any time with too long guitar solos or endless choruses. The rawness of the lyrics and music alike translates to a boundless energy that gives the album an innate sense of celebratory freedom. Friendship Music is riddled with seventeen sonic blasts of pure power, all of which take up residence in the listener’s brain long after the music has stopped.
A large aspect of what makes the tracks on the record so memorable is the realism behind the lyrics. Throughout the album, vocalist Dani Miller delivers a gospel for the modern age. Everything from the selfies, anxiety, the heaping plate of disappointment that is Donald Trump (“we’re so sick of you, forty five” may just be my next tattoo), and general societal apathy is addressed with whip-smart commentary on the pitfalls of the present day. Friendship Music is a wild, rip-roaring catharsis for those who grit their teeth any time a push notification from a news outlet emerges on their phone, or finds themselves mentally (or physically) rolling their eyes at preposterous strangers in public. It’s the ultimate punk rock anecdote for the jaded and individualistic soul, and frankly, it’s about time a record of this nature came along.
Those who have been fortunate enough to see Surfbort live are well aware of how undeniably palpable their vibrance is, and this is an element that seems to have directly translated from the stage to the studio. Friendship Music bubbles over with life, both in its energy and the realism of the topics it tackles. It’s an album you can listen to while pissed the hell off, happy, bitter, sad, anxious, and quite possibly every sensation in between. In his book Accidental Revolution: The Story of Grunge, Kyle Anderson writes that creating a universal appeal within music is, in essence, more difficult than originality. This record however, is a combination of both. Surfbort’s work is inherently one of a kind, yet it has a magnetic appeal that yields the ability to draw ears from all points of the sonic spectrum. Through Friendship Music, Surfbort has single-handedly created the ultimate punk rock anecdote for 2018.
Friendship Music is set for release on October 26 via Cult Records/Fat Possum.