Let’s Be Friends bared their teeth today, releasing their anticipated Summer EP iOA. This awesome EP has given me quite a challenge for my review. My vocabulary has been worked to the bone today trying to find the proper words to fully describe and encapsulate this three tack piece. After several hours of thought, I must concede defeat. iOA is simply f*cking awesome.
There is something fresh about everything LBF has released, but also some elements of familiarity. Jonney and Oren ride the lines between the familiar and uncanny in a way that very few upcoming acts have managed to do. Surely comparisons will be drawn to Knife Party and the ever popular Skrillex, but to do so is devaluing to the uniqueness and passion I have come to equate with Let’s Be Friends.
It goes without saying that a Hardstyle influenced sound has been dominating the scene for several months. Many artists have made their name playing on a simple sub-kick formula. However Let’s Be Friends decided that a 128 BPM homage to the genre just didn’t quite cut it with my personal favorite (and potentially the title) track of the EP, Invasion Of America. IOA is 145 BPM Hardstyle with Dub-step infused madness, pure and simple. The energetic hook gives way to a half-time drop that applies a solid drop kick directly with the same gentleness of a head on collision of two speeding freight trains. It’s got two messages for its listeners. 1.) If you go, you go all out and 2.) The British are coming.
The Bigger Bang is a gritty Electro tune that follows the theme of the EP that, ‘bigger is better’. Kicking off with what A-Trak would probably call a ‘blood rave’ sound, TBB falls into a gnarly, distorted drop. The wobble basses in this tune are off the charts, reminding me of a meaner version of Gemini‘s Fire Inside. For lack of a better word, it’s awesome.
With all of my good words comes some criticism however. Come N’ Get It the third of the reviewed tracks, is not my particular favorite. While it is a solid track, it does not personally do it for me although many would probably disagree with me. The beat is catchy and I love the off rhythm snares that add some punch and drive to the tune, but overall it doesn’t quite add up when you compare it to the rest of the EP. This however, is both a bit criticism and praise. LBF offered up such an awesome pair of tracks that even a really good one seems somewhat lackluster in comparison. When compared to the whole Come N’ Get It doesn’t stand out particularly to me. Had it been a single or a B-side my review of it would probably have been much more positive, but when you’ve just taken a brutal bass beating that leaves you bloody and stunned, a follow up stab feels like a bee-sting.
On the whole iOA is a phenomenal piece of work and if the title is true, which we really, really, really, hope it is, we may be expecting to see Let’s Be Friends on American soil. Time will tell. In the meantime be sure to pick up your copy on Beatport.