Real Friends
Maybe This Place Is The Same...


3.5
great

Review

by AtlusP4G USER (4 Reviews)
July 19th, 2014 | 33 replies


Release Date: 07/22/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Real Friends succeed in putting themselves back together...kinda.

“Maybe This Place is The Same and We’re Just Changing” is the start of Real Friends crafting their own sound; if you've heard their previous EP’s you’ll no doubt recall a band who couldn't really decide if they wanted to be The Wonder Years, The Story So Far or The Starting Line. While it was obvious that Real Friends had some potential, too often it seemed as though they were either content to be ‘just another pop-punk band’ or suffering a major identity crisis. Their debut album helps to correct some of these flaws; the first thing you’ll notice is that instead of simply name dropping mid-90’s Midwest bands like American Football and Jimmy Eat World, Real Friends have taken a page from their book and started to slow down, embracing mid-tempo song writing and moving past their not so much generic, but definitely limited, repertoire.

The restraint found on “Maybe This Place…” is a welcome addition, allowing Dan Lambton to really explore his vocal range without having to constantly push himself over the rest of the band. Each of the band members gets more time to shine, proving beneficial. “Spread Me All Over Illinois” is the most interesting song they've ever written; the song transitions between standard fast-paced pop-punk only to slow down into more ambient territory before a brief return to the original pacing finally fading out with a single distorted riff repeating under Lambton’s final lyrics. This understanding of song dynamics isn't entirely new to Real Friends, but now they actually know how to use it; they've managed to avoid the structural issues found on “Put Yourself Back Together”, instead they've tried their hand at a number of different methods and while they don’t always work, most of them do.

It’s not all great news though; while the band has gotten better they’re still The Wonder Years lite. The main difference being that Real Friends lacks the satirical, tongue-in-cheek quality within their lyrics; sometimes their suburban white guy problems can be a little overbearing, especially when it seems they’re somewhat unaware of just how melodramatic they can be. Nonetheless they have improved somewhat, you’ll find no bony knees or sleepy eyes here, more than anything “Maybe This Place…” works as a collection of catchy pop-punk tunes, it’s quite easy to digest though there’s certainly enough under the surface to warrant repeated listens. Lyrical woes aside, Real Friends have succeeded in creating a debut album, it isn't perfect, though it has started the move away from simply aping the more popular bands within the genre and instead sees the band coming into their own.


user ratings (55)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
AtlusP4G
July 19th 2014


16 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just a note to moderators, this album came out on the 18th in Australia.

SnakeDelilah
July 19th 2014


7885 Comments


damn that rating chart, surprised trebor hasn't been here yet

Digging: Sun Kil Moon - Benji

Hep Kat
July 19th 2014


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

offensively awful band

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2014


19918 Comments


Heard a couple songs off this and it was pretty damn boring

Digging: Transit - Joyride

Greenpaw
July 19th 2014


219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Are they still singing sad songs about the same chick as the last two eps?

EDIT: Also where is this streaming?

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

dmp3131
July 19th 2014


610 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just got this in the mail today. A couple listens in it's pretty good. I dig it. These guys are really chill, too. Talked for a little bit at Warped. Put on o e hell of a show too.

Greenpaw
July 19th 2014


219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The fact that there isn't a stream out is ridiculous for a band like this.

skoopy48
July 19th 2014


1536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Everyone seems to hate this band now, I don't find them all that bad.

Gameofmetal
July 19th 2014


2009 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No for pop punk they are a pretty great band. People seem to think because they sing about dramatic personal topics, they are bad but that's what pop punk was built on. The lyrics are definitely better than the old days of pop punk IMO. Besides, singing about your personal experiences is nothing to be ashamed of. It brings out the passion needed for this kind of music. Before I sound like a fanboy, I was a little unimpressed by one of the singles for this. I'll be checking out the rest of the album.

Diamondize
July 19th 2014


1367 Comments


sleepy eyes

bony knees

Greenpaw
July 19th 2014


219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I swear this album better not be ridden with that.

dmp3131
July 19th 2014


610 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They actually don't use either of those phrases. Great album.

AtlusP4G
July 19th 2014


16 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They've gotten less repetitive lyrically, I think the main problem is that the bassist writes most of the lyrics. So the vocalist kinda struggles at times to sing about someone else's thoughts/feelings.

Xar
July 19th 2014


1565 Comments


i really can't find anything about this band and their countless contemporaries entertaining for more than a few seconds.

Digging: Carmen Maki and Salamandre - Carmen Maki and Salamandre

AtlusP4G
July 20th 2014


16 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

When you say their contemporaries are you talking The Wonder Years, Transit, etc.? Or the shit ton of TSSF-clone bands on PureNoise records? If it's the latter you might like this album because they've moved away from that sound a bit.

cmaitland421
July 20th 2014


144 Comments


These guys are about as middle-of-the-road as pop punk gets.

Xar
July 21st 2014


1565 Comments


ap.net hates these guys apparently. so tempted to listen now

counterparts
July 21st 2014


15 Comments


These lyrics are just horrendous.

Digging: Alex Skolnick Trio - Veritas

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2014


3470 Comments


probs not gonna check this unfortunately

Greenpaw
July 22nd 2014


219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This isn't too bad. Really dig Summer.

The biggest problem with this band is they seem to grow everywhere but lyrically, still stuck on the same girl with the same typically cliche lines.



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