Say Psych: Album Review: Firefriend – Sulfur

São Paolo’s Firefriend are back with a new LP, Sulfur, set for release on Portland based label Little Cloud Records on 6th April 2018. Previous EP, The Black Hole was a three song 21-minute offering which thrust the band back into popular consciousness. Firefriend don’t rush to the pop hook or stall itself in the crunchy riffs, it glides above everything else in its own orbit, echoing the best parts of psychedelic, shoegaze, and noise by taking it all into strange new fields of bliss.

The seven-track offering opens with ‘Afterhours’ with its distorted guitar giving way into fuzz laden riffs and disjointed drum rhythms with hints at primal rock influences coming up for air every now and again. This gives way to ‘Pacific Trash Vortex’, which takes its predecessors experimental elements and pushes them further, creating intoxicating mixtures of sounds that probably shouldn’t go together, yet somehow, they do and Firefriend make it work to their advantage. Title track ‘Sulfur’ channels space rock vibes with its heady mixture of dystopian electronic noise, ethereal vocals and warped guitars It builds in oscillating layers that grab attention with ever rotation.

‘Hello from the Children of Planet Earth’ introduces itself conveniently enough and then wastes no time in packing a punch, with its shoegaze influences gleaming through from the offset yet moves progressively into more psychedelic vibes as it continues, with lashings of reverb and delay. ‘Cosmic Background Radition’ takes its time developing its own sound, almost teasingly, but when its gets there, its worth it. Some may give up on it before it does, I urge you not too. ‘Solipsism’ is unaltered psychedelia, with a krautrock backdrop, the vocals are mesmerising and the way they play against the music is really quite something to behold. Concluding ‘Vintage Puzzle’ seamlessly blends sound bites, shoegaze hazy vocals, futuristic electronic noise and catchy guitar riffs. The puzzle here is unpacking the sounds and processing them.

Despite this being their ninth release, Firefriend remain relatively unknown, something tells me that Sulfur, with its provocative cover art is set to change that.


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