Review Summary: Overall, Friendly People was a great debut for many new Guttermouth fans. Its an improvement over their debut, and is the beginning of their signature sound.
In 1994, Dexter Holland of the newly popular punk band the Offspring founded Nitro Records. The very first band signed was Guttermouth, who had become infamous for their out of control stage antics. Friendly People was released in 1994 as Nitro Records first album, and it was also as Guttermouth's sophomore release. Due to the Offspring's popularity, Nitro Records soon became one of the "big name" independent labels in the 90's that was releasing signature punk albums.
Friendly People is a notable improvement over the Full Length LP. The line-up has remained unchanged, which is evident in the sound. Musically, the band sounds the same. They're still fast, and play power chords with rapidly fast drumming. Mark Adkins vocals are still raspy unlike later releases, but his vocals are closer to that "signature" Guttermouth sound they're known for compared to their very first album. The production value is also much better on Nitro than their previous label.
While the Full Length LP was a solid debut for Guttermouth, I find Friendly People as Guttermouth's "True" debut, mainly because of how the style and lyrics here are much more similar to that signature sound people know Guttermouth for. The lyrics are funny, offensive and memorable. Guttermouth is usually criticized for having memorable lyrics, but lackluster music. The opening track "End on 9" is proof that Guttermouth is not only lyrically intriguing but also musically entertaining as well.
Its hard to review this album without mentioning several songs. "Derek" is a rant against the straight edge subculture, and how the members are childish. Adkins even goes as far as to say that the straight edge scene is dead. "Veggicide" is a rant against vegetarians, and Adkins accuses vegetarians of murdering defenseless vegetables and fruits. "Asshole" is just a rant on everything Guttermouth hates...which is everything. Adkins hates on white power and the KKK in this song, which helps disproves any rumors that the band is racist.
Some songs on here are obviously here just to start some controversy. "P.C." has a spoken word intro that is hilarious to say the least. "Can't We All Just Get Along (At the Dinner Table)" is arguably the most memorable song on the album. The song calls for unity of everyone in the world, but rather than your tried and true punk unity song, this song features racial stereotypes saying food from their country. The song is funny, but it might upset someone who thinks Ethiopians don't eat flies.
The problem with this album is that it is too short. At only 24 minutes, this album is over pretty quickly. It also hurts the album that "Bull***" is only 35 seconds long, and seems like a pointless parody song. "Summer's Over" is an instrumental song that is nothing special, and it makes you wish they would've had Adkins sing or say something funny during it.
Overall, Friendly People was a great debut for many new Guttermouth fans. Its an improvement over their debut, and is the beginning of their signature sound.