Posts Tagged ‘Review’
New Artist of the Day: Your Favorite Enemies
Canada’s radio friendly, 90′s inspired shoegazers, Your Favorite Enemies,
have released a new EP – and they’re our New Artist of the Day.
Okay, first off, this is a Canadian band. Where is the “u” in favourite?? There is supposed to be a “u” there! Where is it, dammit??
Second off, I think what was actually sent to me was a Stabbing Westward album when I was sent their new EP, ‘Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire’. Yup, it’s twenty years in the past, revisited today. That being said, back in the day I did like Stabbing Westward, and I have to say, deep down, I like this new EP and this band. Nostalgia? Maybe. But right now, we seem to be seeing somewhat of a resurgence of music of that “era”, what with more and more bands doing some shoegazing, and 90’s revival sounds.
Your Favorite Enemies (without a “u”) ooze style! They look cool. They make cool looking videos. They have great hair. They are aesthetically pleasing. They know how to put on a good light show. And mixed in is some decent enough music and there is no doubt that there is also plenty of talent. The song ‘A View from Within’ which is their single of the moment is hyper stylish and devilishly dark and overall appealing and enjoyable.
This is definitely a well-produced, slickly packaged band. They are interesting enough, for sure, and after listening to some of their past music, I have to say that the ones on this new EP are some of my favourites (note the “u”). At times, there is some great, intense guitar work that I truly do love. The singing is decent, if not brilliant. At times, they sound good, dark and nearly industrial. At others, they sound a tad bland and overly radio friendly, but there is enough of the good, dark times, that it offsets the blatant appeals to radio programmers worldwide.
If I were to stack these guys against another Canadian export, say Nickelback, oh man, these guys are light years better. The reason I compare them is because Nickelback is a band that rehashed the 90’s and made it sound so bland and horrible that it’s almost unpalatable. Your Favorite Enemies have managed to still make interesting sounds and songs in their rehashing of a bygone era. And, although twenty years have passed since the first wave of this sound, they do manage to make it their own enough and make it unique enough that it can stand on its feet in 2013. So, I want to say to Nickelback, guys, THIS is how it is done.
Although new to us (which is why this is a New Artist of the Day), the band has been around since 2006 and their main claim to fame has been the fact that their music was used in part of the Final Fantasy video game series. They are from Quebec, and even have some French lyrics popping up now and again in past releases. Lead singer Alex Foster’s French Canadian accent is prevalent in the song ‘Empire of Sorrows’ at points where he recites lyrics as opposed to singing them. The remaining members of the band are Jeff Beaulieu and Sef on guitars, Ben Lemelin on the bass, Miss Isabel on vocals and keyboard and Charles “Moose” Allicy (now THAT’S a Canadian nickname) on drums. It should also be noted that the band runs their own label, Hopeful Tragedy Records.
Overall, this is a decent band worth checking out, especially if you have been listening to anything like Silversun Pickups, HIM, Funeral Party or past bands Canadian bands like Econoline Crush or Moist. They have a Filter-lite sound, if that helps? These are all bands that I have liked, and still like. So, yes, I have to say that I like them. But I wish they would put the “u” in Favorite. It’s the Canadian way, eh!
Words by Chris Hearn
Your Favorite Enemies are releasing a new EP
Your Favorite Enemies build on their oxymoronic name with new EP ‘Youthful Dreams Of An Old Empire’. The Montreal based Canadians aim to showcase their brand of alternative noise rock with a record which demonstrates their DIY ethos. This ethos led them to forming their own label and converting a church into their studio. Lead track ‘A View From Within’ sees Your Favorite Enemies lace front man Alex Foster’s poetic verses with adventurous riffs and a complimentary video which portrays a decadent, euphoric oriental nightlife. ‘Youthful Dreams Of An Old Empire’ is released July 8 through the band’s own label Hopeful Tragedy Records. Watch the video for ‘A View From Within’ below:
‘Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire’ is the debut EP from Montreal based sextet Your Favorite Enemies. The EP processes enough clues to their blend of alternative, shoegazer, and brooding noise rock. The band are vocalist Alex Foster, Jeff Beaulieu (guitar), Sef (guitar), Ben Lemelin (bass), Miss Isabel (vocals and keyboard) and Charles “Moose” Allicy (drums).They are fierce human rights advocates who remain dedicated to their old school DIY ethos on which they established the foundations of the band. This includes starting their own label Hopeful Tragedy Records and turning an artsy Catholic Church into their own recording studio where they record all of their own material, including this soon to be realised single, ‘Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire.’
It‘s not as arbitrary, the band have stoked this debut release, their really is not much to separate out a lead track, instead, track 1, ‘A View From Within’ 4:20 seconds of ‘in the shade’ wanderings, all of which is still user friendly with an under current of heavier tones which drive the sound into deeper waters, can imagine this song as a live favourite, a sure footed opening, well received, that showcases an attractive hybrid sound well realised. The ante, if there is one, is racked up for ‘Empire of Sorrows’, Alex Foster sings a “In the darkness of my own” a refrain that resonates, reminding all that love is a many splendored thing, another adeptly crafted song. ‘Satsuki Yami’ brings the single to a close, a brooding mainly guitar piece, like a tag in urban art, it works as a parting signature.
Your Favorite Enemies combine mood enhancing guitar layers, over effective potent lead riffs, that add to the “introspective” vocals, the over all effect is very agreeable in the main, the debut single signals a band that promises much, although I wish no more pain on Your Favorite Enemies, it might make for compelling songs, but at a heavy price, as psychotherapy costs so much these days! A strong debut. 7.9/10
‘A View From Within’ (Audio Only)
Your Favorite Enemies announce debut EP
‘Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire’ is the stunning debut EP from Montreal based sextet Your Favorite Enemies. The EP showcases their blend of alternative, shoegazer, new prog and brooding noise rock, in places reminiscent of The Raveonettes and Crocodiles and lyrically influenced by bands like The Clash, The Ramones and The Cure amongst others.
The band are vocalist Alex Foster, Jeff Beaulieu (guitar), Sef (guitar), Ben Lemelin (bass), Miss Isabel (vocals and keyboard) and Charles “Moose” Allicy (drums). They are fierce human rights advocates who remain dedicated to their old school DIY ethos on which they established the foundations of the band. This includes starting their own label Hopeful Tragedy Records and turning an artsy Catholic Church into their own recording studio where they record all of their own material, including ‘Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire.’
Combining powerful riffs and strong harmonies with frontman Alex Foster’s introspective lyrics, Your Favorite Enemies’ unique fusion of sonic textures show a distinctive social conscience and symbolist type of approach.
While on tour in Europe to support the upcoming release of their EP “Youthful Dreams Of An Old Empire”, Your Favorite Enemies had a few of their shows covered by the local medias over there. Here are a few of these reviews, that will also allow you a peak into the band’s latest songs, in a universe of their own!
Having come to Japan countless times, these musicians are true Japanophiles. When people are interested in Japan, it’s usually because of the characteristics of the nation, its art, its animation, its fashion or video games. The reasons are various. However, the frontman of the Canadian sextet Your Favorite Enemies, Alex Foster (Vocals), has become interested in Japan because of the devastating fact that the country’s suicide rate from ages 16-35, is the highest amongst all developed countries. It is said that after hearing this, Alex had the urge to take action.
This problem is one faced by several countries across the world, but being a social activist, spokesperson for Amnesty International (an international human rights organization), Alex just couldn’t overlook this fact.
In 2008, Your Favorite Enemies visited Japan as the support band for the popular pop-punk band Simple Plan, who are from the same hometown as them. After this, YFE kept contact with people in Japan. When the earthquake and tsunami occurred on March 11th, 2011, they came to Japan to support the victims and performed a few concerts.
To release their album in Japan has been for them a long cherished desire. And finally, it’s going to happen this March. Even though they already have passionate fans here in Japan, let’s look over their profile as a band.
Formed in Montreal in 2006, YFE is a sextet that includes Miss Isabel (key) as the only girl of the formation. The following year, in 2007, according to their DIY (Do It Yourself) spirit, they established their own record label, “Hopeful Tragedy Records”, and released their very first EP. Through a lot of touring and live performances, the band debuted the online video channel “YFE-TV” and developed a network of local promotion supported by street teams established by fans, this spreading their fan base not only across Canada, but all over the world.
And in 2008, the band released their first album, “Love Is A Promise Whispering Goodbye”. In that same year, they offered 2 songs called “Cosmos” and “Chaos” to the original soundtrack of Dissidia Final Fantasy, composed by Takeharu Ishimoto. Doing so, they became the first foreign band to ever take part in the soundtrack of this game.
The new album, called “Between Illness And Migration”, is the band’s 3rd full-length album, following “Vague Souvenir” that was released last August. Rock band led by a social activist frontman, I was expecting something very hard rock, but the album is more about dark and cool alternative guitar rock, which is something that surprised me. Track 1, “Empire Of Sorrows” with a lyrical line by Alex that sounds more spoken than sung mixed with Miss Isabel’s monotone singing voice reminded me of Sonic Youth’s ”Goo”.
However, the background of this band, in which you can have a glimpse of on this album, cannot be described in one word. The songs come in a wide variety, as with “A View From Within”, in which part of the narration is by a Japanese woman, with its digital beat, “Underneath A Stretching Skyline” and “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours” are more like psychedelic rock or hard rock, “Where Did We Lose Each Other” that is more emotional rock, “1-2-3 (One Step Away)” that is driven by roaring guitars, “Little Sister” that is a ballad with piano and acoustic guitar tones. In several countries, it is said that they are influenced by bands such as Pixies, Nirvana, Placebo, U2 and Radiohead. The masterpiece of this album is a 11 minute song called “From The City To The Ocean”. The music is based on a simple riff line and goes on and on without losing its sense of rhythmic, while the gradual upsurge at the end is most thrilling. The song is a cool and enthusiastic way to show the band’s true ability.
After a long wait, they will have their debut in Japan. Their somewhat mysterious view of the world is sure to gather more fans. There will be 2 bonus tracks on the Japanese version of the album.