I’m fully aware that “facemelter” is a term normally used to describe hard rock and heavy metal. Having acknowledged that distinction, I’m going to go ahead and assert that it’s appropriate to describe the EDM of U.K. duo Let’s Be Friends.
Why do I say this? Because I wasn’t prepared for what occurs at approximately 1:30 into “Manslaughter” the first track on Let’s Be Friends debut collection, EP 1.
The deceptively straightforward lead-in had me believing I was about to hear some good electro or house in the vein of Afrika Bambaataa or early Daft Punk. This track was sneaky, so very sneaky.
But then the build began and suddenly I was gut punched by a drop on par with the anthemic ass kicker that is Feed Me’s “One Click Headshot,” or the sheer lunacy of Dillon Francis’ “I.D.G.A.F.O.S,” or even the brutal bass blasting of Mojo’s “Carnival,” or anything by Knife Party.
The rest of the track is an onslaught, a Thai kickboxing pummeling courtesy of Tony Jaa served up in the form of EDM.
And the other five tracks that make up the EP are just as relentless. EP1 does not offer listeners any chance to catch their breath.
In addition to moombah, the EP also has a strong hip-hop influence, as evidenced in the choice of audio samples and in the progression of some of the beats. I feel it tends more toward the classic freestyling sound of rap and hip-hop in their early forms.
As soon as “Manslaughter” wraps up knocking you around you’re set upon by “Best In The West,” with its chanting builds and trilled, glitched vocal sample breaks.
Then “Allow It,” runs up, trips you and stands over you laughing with a schoolyard taunt of, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah! We’re gonna rock you!” And I’m pretty certain I heard what sounded like a full-on scream of excitement at .57.
“Pull Up Your Finger,” is an attitude problem with a beat that calls upon listeners to, “pull your finger if you feel the same way!”
“Intimidation(Dis Killa)” is just that: a warning of what’s going to happen should you step out of line. Then “The Creator” brings it home with one last barrage of wobbles that goes out with a crash and fading synths.
The comparisons to other artists I made above are, I think, accurate, but not in the sense that Let’s Be Friends has ripped off any of them. Just as writers need also to be readers, producers need also to be listeners. Subgenres are defined by a decision to use technology in a certain way to achieve a certain sound. If Let’s Be Friends sounds like other EDM artists, it’s because they’ve made a conscious decision to do so. They’ve listened and adopted the sound they prefer.