Friendo is one of a number of artists beginning to emerge from the burgeoning Calgary scene. The band was formed by some of the Canadian city’s finest musicians, most notably Mike Wallace of Women. At first blush it might be easy to dismiss Friendo as yet another recession-conscious lo-fi band. However, a thorough listen to Cold Toads demonstrates that lo-fi doesn’t have to restrict a band’s sound – there’s plenty of room for creativity even with the most basic recording equipment. Of course, there’s a healthy dose of more traditional rock along with the experimental stuff. “Counter/Time” kicks off the album, sounding similar to much of the lo-fi coming out these days with barely audible vocals, weird mixing choices, and abrasive, dissonant guitar stabs combining to create a listening experience not easily enjoyed by the average listener. But then the song quickly morphs into a 90s indie rock throwback, sounding almost like a bizarro version of Pavement’s “Box Elder.” Quite simply, this portion of the song encourages maximum head-bobbing on the part of the listener. The track ends on this high note, anticipating the high standard of quality found on the rest of the album. Read full review at inyourspeakers.com

Friendo – Callers

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