Childhood Friends: Key Party

by Matthew Jones, SUNY Cortland

Posted in on Tuesday, May 20

The Pacific Northwest seems to breed insane amounts of creativity. Childhood Friends is a duo based out of Portland, Oregon and they are no exception to this rule. Childhood Friends is made up of multi-instrumentalists Ilima Considine and Jake Rose. Their new release, Key Party, is a very well produced, very different sound. It’s refreshing to see a band that takes chances with all the typical cookie-cutter bands out there today.

The opening track is called “Used To Be Good” and it is extremely reminiscent of a band called Radiohead (maybe you’ve heard of them) in its overall feel and texture. The next track is called “Because I Wanted To” and it opens with a lively drumbeat and Considine’s signature vocals. “Never Do That To You” opens with a walking bass line and a synth background that takes you into a dark alley…and you aren’t quite sure if you want to be there yet. That is, until, Considine’s voice comes in and makes you want more.

“Lonesome Trails” contains more of Considine’s unique vocals but I’m not sure if it gets the same message across that the rest of the album so far has gotten. “Underwater Castle” is quite possibly their best song because of its uniqueness. It sets the bar VERY high for the rest of the record because it isn’t like anything you’ve heard so far on the album and with the exception of one or two songs, unfortunately, it doesn’t quite reach that level again. “Happy” showcases Rose’s voice which is quite good; however, there seems to be sound effects of someone being tortured in the background as part of the track that takes a lot of the focus away from the vocals. I would love to stop being redundant but in “Werewolf Song” Considine’s vocals are once again haunting. This is the band at it’s absolute finest, both musically and emotionally.

“Mrs. Jack” takes a turn downhill. While it’s understandable that Childhood Friends is experimental, there seems to be an amateur musician playing an out-of-tune fiddle in the background. “Pollen” is a very good song to try and pick up the pace of the album since the decline in quality songs after “Underwater Castle”. Lastly, “Spy Song” kicks in with a very lively drumbeat and a haunting guitar riff. This is a very good way to end a decent album.

Guitar – 7/10
Bass – 7/10
Drums – 8/10
Vocals – 8.5/10
Lyrics – 7.5/10
Creativity - 9/10
Overall – 7.8/10

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