Select, December 1992
Friends evoke a by-gone age of English indie-pop, from The Chesterfields to Hurrah! – a permanent world of spring time, young love, strummed guitars and soft voices. And then they blow it all by being suffocatingly overproduced. Maybe even bands like this are afraid to jangle these days.
What's On, Birmingham
Perfectly acceptable but unmemorable rustic rock, bedsit indie guitar pop with reference points to Orange Juice and early Pale Fountains. With a trumpet.
The Hate Paper Doll
Hailing from Nottinghamshire and purveying their own brand of tuneful pop are Friends, a band who sound like a distant cousin to Creation groups such as The Bodines and The Pastels.
Singer and the driving force behind the band is William Jones; a vocalist who empathises with the joy of romance, nostalgia and being alive. The track “Still Alive” echoes these qualities and with a vocal line which could be mistaken for Julian Cope it is possibly the finest example of Jones’s creativity on the album.
Some of the compositions here are a bit too sickly sweet, in that the jangly buoyant feel is just too overpowering. “Let It Go” is anything but sickly sweet, it is a delicate and introverted piece of reflection; “Nothing makes a difference anymore”.
This is Friends fourth album, and with a healthy following in Germany and Spain this may be the record to gain them more recognition in their own neck of the woods.
So why are they doing what they do?, why do they sound like they sound? and why are they hovering on the verge of greatness? well, as their press release says: “Why Indeed” and you can’t argue with that.