Emo pop-punk is a rare and dying breed, but Chicago group Real Friends breathes life into the genre with their July album release. The album, Maybe This Place is the Same and We’re Just Changing, features the emotion-rich lyrics typical of the genre coupled with loud vocals and layered guitar. Maybe This Place is the Same… has already received critical appraisal, and placed no.24 on Billboard 200 Albums. The band celebrated this with their record label, Fearless Records, who reportedly sent the band a giant cookie.
The track “Old Book” is my particular favorite on the album. I found a substantial degree of truth and relatability in the lyrics, “getting older scares the shit out of me.” Singer Dan Lambton delivers the lyrics honestly and loudly, which is something I always feel is refreshing and can pull me out of an EDM funk faster than anything. The loudest members of the band are Lambton and drummer Brian Blake, with bassist Kyle Fasel trailing behind closely. Together, they help create a sound that is loud and less melodic than pop-punk’s next-door neighbor, indie rock.
I dig the lyrics Real Friends have displayed on this new record, the words happening to be particularly relevant to me (“I know I’ve got loose ends/ leaving me to spend/too many nights driving down dead ends”). I will definitely be including some of the tracks, “Loose Ends” and “Old Book” to name a few, in my pop-punk playlist.
If you haven’t heard of Real Friends but are a fan of Modern Baseball, The Front Bottoms, Joyce Manor, and/or Seahaven, you will likely enjoy Maybe This Place is the Same and We’re Just Changing.
By Alessandra Mowry