The Besties - Home Free (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Besties

Home Free (2008)


There's never enough time to appreciate all the good bands while they're around. I didn't get into the Mescaleros until Joe Strummer was already dead. I didn't get into Discount until Alison Mosshart became too cool for pop-punk. Now, I find myself wishing I'd heard about indie rock band the Besties in time. See, they dropped a nifty full-length last year called Home Free. It's reminiscent of poppy acts like Juliana Hatfield, Del Cielo, Lemonheads and maybe even Belly. Do kids still listen to those bands? Yes? No? OK, fine. Lemuria. They sound like Lemuria, only lighter. This record makes my ears high-five my brain. Clearly, I should be happy. Instead, I know only remorse. You see, the Besties are breaking up.

They're breaking up hella soon too. Their last show is Dec. 6 with the Specific Heats and Bunnygrunt at some place in Brooklyn called Bruar Falls. It's not fair, I tells you. There was time now! Time to skip through meadows with pretty pop tunes like "M.F.D. (For Mat Pat)" and "79 Lorimer" in my heart. Ah, but alas and/or alack! All I have to remember the Besties by is Home Free (and some other releases). Somehow, I will have to move on. I'm assuming they'd want me to choose life.

Home Free is a mighty fine collection of 11 catchy tunes. Admittedly, its second half is stronger, not that there's anything wrong with the opening tracks. Tunes like "The Gothenburg Handshake" and "What Would Tim Armstrong Do?" are enchanting with their blend of keys, guitars and bouncy melodies. But from "M.F.D." through closer "79 Lorimer," it's all hits ahead. The hooks get more infectious, the melodies more lush, and even the instruments seem brighter. The lyrics all deal with relationships, money problems, and the band life, which are all appealing topics.

In short, Home Free is a keeper, even if the band that wrote it is going away.