Friendly Fires are spreading all over the place at the moment. "Paris" was a great pop-single and now they are trying it big with "Skeleton Boy".
It is uncanny how much their sound resembles Cut Copy. "Skeleton Boy" could actually be a tune from "In Ghost Colours" and nobody would have noticed.
But where CC are playing with sound memories and a pawn-shop aesthetic of a global 80s subconsciousness, Friendly Fires are going boldly for the rip-off!
I am not the first one to notice the striking (it´s actually note for note) similarities of the "Skeleton" refrain to "You´re not alone", the great 1997 drum ´n bass pop hit by Olive. I almost believe that this is a viral (cross-)promotion.
Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy
Olive - You´re not alone
Other songs on the album are at moments lifting more than ideas and concepts of The Talking Heads (The refrain of "In the hospital" is a total rip-off of "Crosseyed and Painless"). There is also a very close relationship to other contemporaries like MGMT, M83, early Gus Gus and I am also reminded of Zoot Woman, who had the same idea many years ago.
Is "Friendly Fires" a synonym for "we-use-everything-we-like-or-what-comes-in-our-way"? Is lifting whole melodies and singing them with different words the new black? After sampling and mash-ups we are now back to plain old plagiarism? Be careful young muscians, there are still too many people alive who have been listening to music ten years ago!
All in all, their debut albums is an entertaining affair that burrows a bit too much from others without giving (public) credit. Who knows what XL Recordings have paid behind the scenes. This label must know one thing or two about licensing.
Massive props for the lush, powerful production that tries to be more disco than rock. Big letdown: The overly compressed sound! This really should stop sooner than later. It´s annoying that the most advanced technology produces a sound that sounds worse than a sub par Phil Spector production.