Halo Friendlies - Get Real (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Halo Friendlies

Get Real (2002)

Tooth & Nail

The Halo Friendlies play a mid to fast tempo mix of Sleater Kinney, Foo Fighters and Ramones style rock. They've recorded some competent power-pop that, while not winning any awards for originality, is still catchy and fun.

The Friendlies are at their best when they inject a bit of angst into their songs. Lyrically the band focuses on relationships but avoids typical pop clichés. Lyrics like "Renegade speeds liberate me / the asphalt melts my blood / is seething" are not typical love fluff. Songs like "Over It" and "Run Away" show just the right mix of attitude and pop song writing. "Disappear" has a great driving Foo Fighters feel to it. The album closing "Unsaid Goodbyes" is a sparsely arranged singer-songwriter affair that has a really pleasing Elvis Costello vibe.

"Get Real" is well produced by Kim Shattuck of The Muffs. For all the pop sensibilities Halo Friendlies have, the mix is still guitar heavy and avoids too much noticeable vocal tweaking. The buzzsaw guitars and strong drumming keep the tracks from getting too poppy. Also, the girls produce some good three part vocal harmonies that are heard throughout.

Unfortunately there are too few moments when the band takes on a confrontational stance. Everything seems to gel better on these songs and the even the slightest bits vocal aggression greatly increase the character of a track. The love songs are unfortunately fairly typical alternative-rock / pop punk. While there's definitely an audience for that, it's a bit too light for my tastes. Undoubtedly the Halo Friendlies have the song writing chops for success but they could too easily be seen as just another pop-rock act.