If you don't know Firefriend from somewhere along the last decade, you must cut a pretty safe course through music, avoiding the hypnotic power of the modern psychedelic movement. As one of the most prolific bands on the current landscape--"Yellow Spider" makes two albums and an EP on Little Cloud Records in just over a year--Firefriend would understandably be ready to take a break. But as "Yellow Spider" proves, the trio has no intention of slowing down and no need to even think of taking their foot off the gas.
"Surface to Air" opens "Yellow Spider"--their second full-length from Little Cloud Records--in the heavy, slow-burn approach to psych we've come to expect from Firefriend, echoing the sound as their album "Sulfur" from earlier this year. But by the time the title track comes around, midway through the record, the slow-burn has been replaced with a more aggressive up-tempo backing to the fuzzed-out guitars that continues through the epic closer, "Shutdown Your Electronic Hallucinations."
Listening to Firefriend is like unwinding a long dream you thought you'd forgotten. It sounds familiar but you don't recognize it. Tracks like "Ultra-Violet Thing" and "Juxtaposed Parallax" may have a little bit of early Sonic Youth in them--or maybe not. "Yellow Spider" comes at you like a strange trip laced with fat-riffed classic rock--but the rhythms tell a different story. There's a slow sense of forward motion that winds through the songs, like a traveler on horseback entering town; like a cloud of dust swirling along the road; like a snake uncoiling and moving out of the shadows.