Off the Deep End
The Friday Night Boys
I’m not quite sure what to make of Virginian quartet Friday Night Boys’ debut album.
I love pop-punk, I always have, but there are times when I feel too old for it and I think this album has finally pushed me over the edge. I am now far too old for this. FNB are not the only band that has helped me reach this decision but they may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s a shame because in many ways this is a brilliant summer album, and I can see it being played at pool parties and barbeques. But that is because it will work in the albums favour to be in the background because, if you sit down and listen to it, you may have to listen to the lyrics, and they are just atrocious.
Just by looking at the track listing you know what you are getting, and FNB do nothing to make you think that they have much hidden depth. Marvel as they sing the chorus of Stuttering by, wait for it, stuttering the word ‘stuttering’. What a lyrical device, why hasn’t anyone done that before…oh wait. Rejoice as FNB discover the wonders of alliteration in Suicide Sunday and Molly Makeout (a prime candidate for worst song of the year). I mean I know what it is like to sit down and try and write lyrics, it’s damn tough. Hardest of all is trying to maintain a voice that is your own and being original in your lyrical style. It seems that FNB have just ignored this and raided their 14 year old brother’s journal and copied things out verbatim.
Aside from the lyrics, what is the rest of the album like? Well it’s not bad; there are enough nice touches musically to think that FNB have a future doing this. And it is hard not to bop your head and tap your feet during some of the chorus’. I can honestly see this album selling ridiculously well and FNB getting some pretty devoted fans, which I can see from their MySpace page they already have. But that doesn’t make it a good album, because it really isn’t.
Suicide Sunday sounds like a Cyndi Lauper b-side and Stupid Love Letter could well be a Katy Perry song, if she toned down her rock side. There are, the now obligatory, keys and synths and annoying auto-tuned bits. It just exists as an album, neither being good enough to be well liked, or offensive enough to be particularly bad. I can guarantee that one of these songs will be stuck in your head, so in terms of writing a catchy song, FNB have that nailed. But still, and while I keep harping on about this, I just can’t get over the piss-poor lyrics. Molly Makeout has a chorus so very bad, that I just stopped listening to it. I can’t see how any “rock” band thought that those lyrics were good enough. The First Time (Natalie’s Song) is an ode to a girl’s virginity which handles the issue about as sensitively as a bulldozer handles a small wall.
So really if FNB set out to become popular and shift a shit load of copies then I think they have been successful, well done you! But if they set out to write a record that they can be proud of when they look back in a few years, I feel they may be disappointed. This is a product of the current crop of pop-punk bands and conventions. It appeals to 14 year old boys and girls who think that starting a MySpace page for your band embodies the DIY ethic. And I think that is the worst thing about this. I know it’s going to sell, and I’m sorry, but it really doesn’t deserve to.