Real Friends
Put Yourself Back Together


2.0
poor

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
June 5th, 2013 | 25 replies | 7,106 views


Release Date: 06/04/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bony knees are growing old

If I may, I’d like to pose a question that’s been on the minds of one side of Real Friends’ divided fanbase regarding Put Yourself Back Together: what the hell happened? The EP essentially takes the group’s stellar release Everyone That Dragged You Here and dumbs down the vibrant pop-punk sound present there, while keeping with exactly what worked in the lyrics department. Focusing in on the lyrics for a moment, they’re unfortunately just about as formulaic as they come. Maybe I’m being a bit cynical, but if vocalist Dan Lambton is so broken after a toxic relationship with an unnamed person, there are more constructive ways to get rid of the angst than yelling about said person on every fucking track on the EP. The lyrical content, unsurprisingly, begins to grate about halfway through the first listen. What’s more, the phrase “bony knees,” already starting to wear thin from repeated use, is utilized on no fewer than three different choruses in three different songs over the course of the release.

Combined with the cookie-cutter music, the lyrics fall even flatter. It would be one thing if the band could pull an Everyone That Dragged You Here again - that is, interesting structures, upbeat and catchy music, and a variegated sound that never really gets old. However, the vocals don’t fit over the rest of the music as well as they have in the past, and end up detracting from instead of complementing the guitars and drums. Also, while every song on Everyone That Dragged You Here was memorable, all seven songs on Put Yourself Back Together blend into each other, save for the excellent “Dirty Water,” the one song which takes a lesson from what worked in “Home For Fall” without sounding too much like a carbon copy. Sure, everything here is upbeat and can be construed as “fun,” but that alone can’t do much for the health of the release.

So, re-posing my earlier question: what the hell happened? Real Friends proved they could make an exhilarating 15 minutes worth of music with Everyone That Dragged You Here. However, everything on Put Yourself Back Together is derivative, cookie-cutter, and two-dimensional. There are so many possible answers to what went wrong. The band could be still hung up on a relationship that ended badly, so much that they can’t write anything about something else. They could have gotten lucky with their previous work, akin to countless artists in the industry, and were unable to replicate their success. They could have just made a colossal misstep, one they will hopefully rectify with their next release. Or, the most terrifying possibility, the band may have gotten lazy. They might have seen something that worked to the umpteenth degree and decided to continue on with that, knowing full well that many of their fans would soak it all in as if it were sliced bread. And, judging by the group’s divided fanbase, the last option might not be too far from the truth.



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user ratings (94)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2013



3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.1

I'M BAAAAAAACK

never left actually so I can't really be "back," but this is my first review in about 2 or 3 weeks so yeah. Really seriously disappointed by this, I saw the band live last summer and they played all of ETDYH and it was incredible. I think titlefightmeirl's soundoff says it best, as much as I hate to admit it: "it seems they put this out just for sales."

Kman418
June 5th 2013



10085 Comments


poo poo

Digging: OutKast - Aquemini

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2013



19609 Comments


haha damn. While I agree that everything that dragged you here is definitely better than this, I don't think this is THAT much of a step down, still a good effort from my standpoint. I see where you're coming from about the lyrics though - they do overuse that bony knee thing but as far as every song being about a girl that's not exactly unheard of in the genre lol. So yeah nice job on the review even though I disagree ;)

Digging: The Who - Tommy

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2013



3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.1

I think if I wasn't expecting another ETDYH it would be at least a 2.5, but given my standards are higher and I was severely severely disappointed I couldn't give it any higher

Cygnatti
June 5th 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

good rating. haven't jammed yet though.

merpmerp
June 5th 2013



792 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I mean compared to ETDYH yeah this a step down... but it's still not bad by any means.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2013



19609 Comments


"think if I wasn't expecting another ETDYH it would be at least a 2.5, but given my standards are higher and I was severely severely disappointed I couldn't give it any higher"

ya that makes sense. i kind of went into it without any expectations but ya it's not as good as ETDYH i'll agree with you there


BroFro
June 5th 2013



405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

don't know what to think of this yet. the only thing i know for sure after about 3 unattentive listens is they're still catchy as hell

Digging: Choke - There's A Story To This Moral

Pequenopolis
June 7th 2013



37 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it took me a few listens to get into this, i actually agreed with you at first - it seemed quite disappointing. i think these guys are still finding themselves - there is a lot of pressure, particularly from their fanbase, to write a full length. this is a young band still, and kudos to them for not rushing into a full length like a lot of their contemporaries.

by no means is this as bad an ep as your review suggests though. it's arguably not up to par with etdyh, but for debut releases (disregarding honesty) it wasn't exactly reinventing the wheel either - it just worked well.

too many people look at music through this "doing something new" guise. real friends are still establishing themselves and doing what they know works while they find their footing, and there's nothing wrong with that. bands like la dispute and title fight do something fantastic but as a first time listener, the music is not very accessible. i think you're taking this band too seriously for young pups on the scene, there's little wrong with this ep and the real expectations shouldn't come until a full length

that said really good review though, it flows well and is an enjoyable read

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2013



3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.1

I guess I kinda agree with you that they're a young band still trying to "find themselves" but something like "the real expectations shouldn't come until a full length" is ridiculous. The group is becoming one of the biggest in the pop-punk scene (they're going as a pretty big band on Warped, for crying out loud), and as their YouTube comments would suggest a lot of people treat their stuff very highly. If they came out with something that was as good as ETDYH without doing all that much new, that would honestly be fine. However, I don't find this good at all. Expectations or not, there are far better pop-punk EPs out there

Pequenopolis
June 8th 2013



37 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's fair enough, music's always going to be a matter of opinion. this ep does have a notably lower aggregate than their others though and i think that's fair play. the other band i've picked up who have shot into the limelight is neck deep, and to be honest i wonder if that's healthy for a band (it runs the risk of them getting lazy like you've said, a point i agree with)

i really hope these boys pick up their feet though, they had such an explosive start, it would be a shame

Naridax
June 11th 2013



88 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Jeez... "What the hell happened?"

Neck Deep is laughable.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2013



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Fans awaiting an LP from pop-punk band Real Friends will have to wait longer, since the Illinois quintet's 5th release 'Put Yourself Back Together' is yet another EP. Stretching out to 7 tracks, this isn't a great deal different to 2012's 'Everyone That Dragged You Here', with passionately sung energetic pop-punk the order of the day. Bitter heartbreak is the thematical thread of the relatable lyrics, even if the recurring motifs of "sleepy eyes & bony knees" get a little too much this time. Ultimately, this is another solid release, albeit a slightly frustrating one. Recommended Tracks: Late Nights In My Car, Old and Alone, Dirty Water & Skin Deep.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2013



3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.1

It's my honest (and disillusioned) opinion

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2013



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

"disillusioned" = getting old = having sleepy eyes & bony knees.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2013



3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.1

dammit davey

JordanHageman12
July 23rd 2013



14 Comments


Their sleepy eyes and bony knees make me wanna sleep instead of listen to this. So sick of it

Cygnatti
July 23rd 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"disillusioned" = getting old = having sleepy eyes & bony knees.
lmfao.


Spec
January 12th 2014



27102 Comments


Whys he always talking about his knees? Maybe if he got off them he could concentrate on better lyrics!!

Digging: Rinoa - An Age Among Them

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2014



3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.1

If anyone didn't hear these guys signed to Fearless a month or two ago



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