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Your Best Friend
Your Best Friend
(self-released)
www.yourbestfriend.com


There is a point in every band's life when they either take a leap of faith in their own work or not, and for Your Best Friend that leap of faith is in the form of their self-titled album. The album's power rock engines are diesled by guitarists Steve Sochanek and John Bonham, who is also the lead vocalist and plays the keyboards on the recording, while bassist Dale Brown and drummer Nick Edler activate the volley of pounding hammers that move in time with the ebb and flow of the chord hydraulics. YBF have the mammoth-sized propulsions of TREOS and the tenderizing flusters of Aiden. Their music leans towards the melodic end of hardcore like Breaking Benjamin, but it still has the gruff and stubble that comes with hardcore's growls and raw cuts. Your Best Friend have not completely broken away from their musical influences on this album, but they are thinking outside of the mold of power rock/hardcore and expanding its playing field.

Bonham's vocals give these tracks a hard crust and a gruff texture. It's like he is carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders and trying to rip out of the ties of bondage, particularly in tracks like "White & Red" and "Near Perfect Wrists." The dueling action in "Near Perfect Wrists" is awesome, and the haunting echoes of bells and chimes moving through the undercurrents of "White & Red" have a Goth-rock feel to them. The hard-hitting beats and thrusts in the guitar chords of "Close Your Eyes And Drive Away" produce a molten magma that could burn through steel, and the chunky guitar vibrations that power "You'll Never Feel Anything Again" leave goose-bumps on the listener's skin. The music penetrates into the listener's pores, especially the pairing of guitar surges and synth-rock fuses along "The Path Of An Illogical Liar", which resonate like an anthem that today's generation can relate to and grab onto like it's a chapter that came right from their own lives. The most tender spot on the album is the rock ballad "Aboriri" which starts out soft with gently fluttering chord patterns and then rises up into mammoth flusters and howling sounds that smash into each other. It's one of those moments when all Hell breaks loose and there is no way to hold back the raging floods.

Most of the album is one power rock mudslide after another with short reprieves coursing between them. Your Best Friend made a good choice to take their leap of faith now. Their sound is ripe and emotes action. It's an album that seems autobiographical not just to the band, but to everyone living in the present.

-Susan Frances

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