Sao Paolo’s Firefriend are prolific for their output, Decreation Facts is their seventh LP since 2016. The tight trio create soundscapes which captivate and have redefined the psychedelic shoegaze genre by ever pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved and placing no limits on their work.
Recorded by the band in their garage between late 2021 and early 2022, it deals with intense themes not many are willing to tackle such as the rise of fascism, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, virtual reality, environmental disaster and the third world war – always through symbols and indirect references, which only makes it more poignant. After all, there is not much to be cheerful about for a lot of the world’s population right now, so why not embrace what is going on around us.
When asked about the evocative cover art and the themes present the band explain “that strange figure made of twisted debris suggests several things. Like everything else in this century, truth and interpretation are being mixed, sometimes it looks like an object; or a new form of life; maybe a person in armour, or a new robot. We’re not sure what it is, and this uncertainty, like the uncertainty about what a human being is, is the kind of question our XXI century is forcing on us. Now, when we are so well crafted to create and destroy, whether it is new forms of life or reality itself. Decreation Facts is our testimony of the times, we’re writing music right now and we’re all deeply shocked by how this mad century is unfolding. “Destruction” is the word… destruction either by accident, disaster or sheer brute force. We hope that cover brings up all these questions, as they have shaped all these new sounds.”
Opener ‘Rainbow’ hypnotises and haunts, with a riff which hooks deep intro your cerebral cortex. Title track ‘Decreation Facts’ features a miscellaneous noise background and haunting dual vocals which force your attention deep into the track. ‘Acid Rain High-Speed Clouds’, as its name suggests, is a high energy track that would fill dancefloors across the globe and ‘Hunt’ is a complex exploration of sound from the first note to the last. ‘The Lost Decade is a piece of pure nostalgia but could never be accused of being boring and yet ‘Outer Limits’ and ‘Infrared’ channel the softer elements of space rock.
‘Shooting Stars’ acts as an intermission of sorts before ‘Moldy Cream’ sets phasers for the heart of the sun, and beyond, taking listeners above and beyond the earthly plane. ‘Beatrice’s Cake’ is gentler, approaching things with a feather touch rather than an iron fist before ‘Last Letter from the Reckless Son’ projects back into the ionosphere once more. Given the themes present the aptly named closing track ‘We’re Going In the Wrong Direction, features ethereal distorted guitar and electronics and completes the feeling of needing to escape that’s been present throughout.
Firefriend could be excused for producing something below par given the intensity of their output, but Decreation Facts is anything but. Its an exhilarating journey through sound from start to finish.