Your Enemies Friends - You Are Being Videotaped (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Your Enemies Friends

You Are Being Videotaped (2004)


Reviewing anything that Buddyhead releases is inherently dangerous. The website people love to hate talks so much shit on other bands that one must think that if they believe enough in a band to actually shell out the money to release a record of theirs, the band has to be all sorts of good. It's a lot of pressure on a group, but Your Enemies Friends shrugs off the Buddyhead stigma and delivers an incredibly solid debut LP.

Your Enemies Friends will probably get compared by many a lazy rock journalist to Pretty Girls Make Graves, due to the complex song structures, liberal use of keyboards, and a strong female vocalist. The group's sound only bares a passing resemblance to Pretty Girls Make Graves, if that. Your Enemies Friends instead concocts a mixture of dissonant post-rock, snotty new-wave, and wall-of-sound guitar rock reminiscent of contemporaries Vaux.

You Are Being Videotaped's best asset is it's overall recording sound. If this band is half as intense and venomous as producer Cameron Webb made them sound, listeners will be in for a treat come live show time. There's a lot of power in tracks like "The One Condition" and almost-too-poppy "Back Of A Taxi." Main vocalist Ronnie Washburn's voice contains a healthy amount of swagger and sass but - amazingly enough - can hold a decent tune at the same time! A definite rarity in today's oversaturated market of overhyped, undertalented style-before-substance groups.

The only gripe I can scrounge up about Your Enemies Friends is that they never seem to know when to quit. Many of the songs on the disc get rather repetitive, playing the chorus over and over until it's hammered into your head. It pushes the borders of obnoxiousness occasionally, but the band always seems to know right when to stop pushing the listener's buttons and move onto the next song - it's almost like they planned it.

For a group this young, You Are Being Videotaped contains a lot of elements that work well together, and also leave the door wide open for more experimentation [see the quiet dirge of album closer "Easy Assault" or the electronic/dub mesh of "Census" for proof]. With this disc, Your Enemies Friends should be able to step out from under the Buddyhead shadow and be recognized for the talented musicians they are.

Back Of A Taxi