Blue and green record exploding into shards

Friends of Ken

Friends of Ken appear to have friends in high places, with Steve Lamacq and BBC 6Music both championing this debut single, and it’s not hard to see why.

‘Backwards’ comes on a little bit like My Vitriol (which to me is a good thing) but forgoes widdly indie in favour of a jangly verse which leads into an explosive chorus, which is a little bit Weezer or Jimmy Eat World (again, a good thing). Stops and starts punctuate the song, and the ease with which one section flows into another shows the musical intelligence underpinning the full-throttle rock. There’s even some nice call-and-response vocal interplay between Big Un and Al. A great song – this is made for radio.

‘Spray My Name’ picks up the tempo and is more conventionally punky, reminding me of Three Colours Red at their most potent, but again with the melodic sensibilities of Friends of Ken lifting them above mere copyists. Again, Al’s vocals compliment the lead perfectly (NB. Al is a lady…)

The single is rounded out by ‘U Are Here’ which twists and turns through its 1.32 running time and manages to pack enough in to feel like a fully formed song without feeling at all rushed.

Friends of Ken are a new band to me, but they’re a band I’ll be keeping a close eye on in the future. So should you.

Guest article from Haydon S.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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