Dusted Reviews

Friends Forever - Killball

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Friends Forever

Album: Killball

Label: Load

Review date: Jul. 31, 2003

Van Not Included

Friends Forever did not name themselves in irony. Josh (a.k.a. "Cunt") and Nate (a.k.a. Wizard 333) are two longtime companions from Denver, Colorado, bound by a passion for football and the mutual will to make noise all the time and anywhere. They park their van in empty lots, in front of clubs, in neighborhoods, and . . . play. Sometimes the cops come, sometimes not. Doesn't matter.

The usual questions one asks about a band ("is their music good?" . . . "who do they sound like?" . . . "what direction are they going in?") have absolutely no relevance with respect to Friends Forever, a duo so removed from aesthetics and genre that their supposed artistic predecessors (Harry Pussy?) are really nothing but false positives. If they sound like anyone else, you can be sure it isn't intentional.

To like the music of Friends Forever, you have to like the idea of Friends Forever. Josh and Nate do not appear to give a fuck about much, an appealing inclination in many ways, especially since they thrive on acting it out. In a recent documentary film (Dir. by Ben Wolfinsohn, 2001) following the band on tour, there was a lot of fire during in-van sets, excessive alcohol consumption, and much general thoughtless/recklessness. Accompanied by Jenn, the light-girl, FF attempted an extended tour of the west and east coasts carrying just a few hundred dollars. The entire trip was a Bad Idea, so much so that it became a good idea. How many of us would have the guts to do the same thing?

Had Friends Forever a modicum of talent as musicians, they would be a lot less cool. Presently, what they lack in musical ideas, they don't even try to make up for. Their performances rule, rule balls forever in fact, but not because the songs rock. Friends Forever rule because they play out of their fucking van, spewing forth an enormous amount of smoke from the doors and windows, dressed in homemade costumes that light up. They want to be rock stars because, nowadays especially, it's possible through will alone (it always has been possible through theatrics, but never so cheaply). And they enjoy the life; poverty, distress and all. Like Pete Rose sprinting to first base after a walk, Friends Forever prove that unnecessary effort can go a long way.

But their appeal depends so heavily on the experiential that appreciation of their recorded material can barely exist without seeing (or intending to see) them perform, live or on their documentary. The new FF album on Load, called Killball, is a baffling half hour of Andrew WK-style hooks, ham-fisted noise segments, mad screaming, and grotesque futuristic football anthems. You see, the record is dedicated to the Denver Broncos, a TrapperKeeper-like rendering of whom appears on the back cover. The term “Killball” refers to an as-yet uninvented version of football with much more blood at stake ("To be tackled is to be destroyed. Tonight you have been chosen to play KILLBALL. Can you win?") than in the current game. This theme is consistently addressed, though not necessarily developed, on tracks like "Win," "Winners," "Elway," "Linebacker Blitz," and "3Peat (March to the Locker Room)."

Killball is cautiously recommended with the prerequisite that you first have some other sort of introduction to the band. It is not an album that can amaze on the basis of what it sounds like, but it can be a lot of fun with the right understanding of what and who you're hearing.

By Ben Tausig

Read More

View all articles by Ben Tausig

Find out more about Load

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.