Filthy Friends

Kill Rock Stars, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Now this is quite an interesting supergroup. Comprised of Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows/R.E.M.), Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks), and Bill Rieflin (Ministry/R.E.M.), this is one of the weirdest lineups possible. Unfortunately, though, the weirdness of the lineup does not translate to a good album. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The guitar work is really exceptional, but the vocals and lyrics make it feel too much like an indie band even though there’s so much more they can do with what they have in front of them. There’s nothing here that really sticks out and that’s what ultimately dooms this record. “Despierta” is not the kind of loud rocker I was expecting, but the music has a heavier R.E.M. bent to it, which I do care for. “Second Life” is the catchiest track here, one that actually works and makes the best of every available sound. ‘Tis a shame they didn’t use this approach on every other track here.

“Come Back Shelley” isn’t that great and is one of the overall weakest tracks here. The lyrics don’t work and Corin Tucker’s snarl really doesn’t help bridge a gap that the song can’t overcome. To me, “No Forgotten Son” sounds too much like Sleater-Kinney and that wasn’t what I came here looking for. In many ways, this album feels like it could pass for Corin Tucker’s solo album with a lot of her really great musician friends backing her up. Krist Novoselic even appears playing bass on “Brother” and it still doesn’t help the proceedings at all. There could’ve been so much more and this record wouldn’t have been so mediocre.

The closing title track is a nice little folk track and is an interesting way to wrap things up. But to me, this is one of the most disappointing discs of the year. It really would’ve been ten times better if the full power of the musicianship was utilized.

Rating: C-

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