Album Review: Horror My Friend - 'Stay In, Do Nothing'

18 January 2016 | 11:11 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

No label has an eye like Poison City.

More Horror My Friend More Horror My Friend

‘Lo-fi’ is an ambiguous term in music, referred to as a descriptor, an achieved sound or an insult to production. That’s all well and good, except Adelaide outfit Horror My Friend use it as a weapon. Armed with their indie-rock meets post-hardcore sound, the band use backhandedly masterful techniques to craft a fusion of the best elements of noise and DIY into an enjoyably raw listening experience.

Stay In, Do Nothing’ is a sparky debut from Horror My Friend, with a surprising playback to boot. From its bold introductory track ‘Death Hill’, which is not metal despite its name’s connotations, to its outro ‘PB Remains’, this collection is frenetic, bouncing between soft indie and aggressive, messy outbursts. The poignant ‘Pup’ captures that energy through its rough uncleans naturally making themselves known (a la La Dispute) in the flow of a noisy yet heartfelt flow. Out-of-place drums and unexpected voice-raising similarly works on ‘Stay In’, making these songs as unexpected as they are experimental.

Less chaotic, but still chaotic, is the garage-y ‘Mazes’, which spotlights a fantastic Aussie accent that individualises the offering. The unrestricted vocals in this record are, in fact, one of its highlights, as melodies turn to soul-baring outpourings. Other idiosyncratic traits of the album include the sadness that seeps through on ‘Echoes’, not by the band making it a conventional slow-burner but through their ability to communicate a sense of bitter-sweetness through their disorderly formula. It’s worth mentioning that the production of their vision is the reason that it doesn’t come through as something unlistenable. Kudos should be awarded on that point, particularly as the mixing of ‘Life Blood’ especially shows evidence of pulling off an amazing cut-together.

PB Remains’ wishes the listener goodbye on a shoegaze-y note, indicating the significant potential of Horror My Friend to expand their sound into different genres. Anyone who enjoyed Title Fight’s ‘Hyperview’ should pop this on a playlist. It brings the album’s experimental noise-rock down to a softer gear, perfectly enabling it to sink its impression in as it winds it down.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The fact that Horror My Friend describe their genre on Facebook as ‘Quinoa Rock’ makes it relatively surprising that they’ve managed to put together a record with such a poignant playthrough. From its loud moments to its briefly soft downswings, next time you’re doing what its title tells you, it’s probably a good idea to give ‘Stay In, Do Nothing’ a playthrough you pay attention to.

1. Death Hill

2. Stay In

3. Easy Going

4. Same Minds

5. Car Windshields

6. Mazes

7. Pup

8. Life Blood

9. Echoes

10. PB Remains