Of the long list of things I thought I would do today, one of them was absolutely not listening to a band that combines hip hop, ska/reggae, easycore, and folk punk. Just Friends sounds almost like a Post Malone No Doubt tribute band, but there are too many things going on for my mortal mind to put it in a box. After the first listen of their new EP Stupid, I found myself scratching my head, pinching myself to make sure that what I heard wasn’t a fever dream. Both songs on this admittedly short EP sound like a recorded party—like the seven-member troupe brought a couple six-packs and more than a couple of joints to the booth and set up shop. Everything about these two songs screams, “You need to hear this live!” and frankly, I do. With so much energy, genuine fun, crowd-friendly moments from the “S-T-U-P-I-D” chants to the instrumental breaks where all hell breaks loose, there’s no hiding that Just Friends is a live band at heart—the kind of band that gives you a reason to go outside and find a show in your area.
Just Friends’ Stupid EP is the sun in Plato’s “Cave” allegory, and I am the man stuck inside the cave. My inexperienced mind can’t help but be overwhelmed by all the different things going on in the opening song. However, it does feel like the song is about to go somewhere and never gets there. Now, there’s a bajillion things going on in “Stupid”, but while the first floor is a party and there’s an elevator going up, no one’s getting in. Luckily, the second song “Fever” is much more straightforward—a chilled-out reggae vibe akin to No Doubt’s “Underneath it All” for the generation who forgot Gwen Stefani used to be in a ska band. The second verse, and singer Brianda’s melodies, provide plenty of dynamics to keep things interesting, and you don’t need to look any further for your next song to play while you’re high.
See you at the next Just Friends Boston show.
Written by Gabe Straight