Over the Summer, I would receive packages in the mail just about every week from Jinsen Liu of 28 Degrees Taurus. He would send me a few CDs of really awesome bands like Gospel Gossip. I would take these EPs and albums and import them into iTunes immediately. Sometimes it was on the fly, so I didn't have a chance to listen to them. That was the case with Roh Delikat.
I was fixing lunch one afternoon when Kristina (Johnson) Parish's voice stopped me dead in my tracks. "Who is this?," I thought. I marched over to my laptop, a piece of bread and a butter knife in hand, and instantly I was bummed. I wouldn't get to see this band play this dreamy tune ever because I knew they had stopped playing live a few years earlier. Well, thankfully, that wasn't true.
It turns out that Jinsen doesn't just play guitar in 28dt and send packages in the mail, he also acts as a catalyst for getting really good bands back together. A few months later, thanks to Jinsen, Roh Delikat reunited with a new bass player, Ryan Brown (Ho-Ag), to play the Deep Heaven Now festival. After that, they decided to start writing new songs. "Tanya Zandra's Tissue Box" is the tune I heard that day last summer.
Friendly People’s debut, self-titled 3-song EP gives a concise taste of a promising young Cambridge, MA-based band. Their jangly indie pop is peppered with hints of Americana, roots rock and folk with vocals that owe a debt to Neil Young. The EP’s clear highlight is its opening track—their namesake song—“Friendly People”. It’s a tremendous, positive track buoyed by a horn section in the bridge which lends a mariachi feel. “A Lot of Work To Do” brings out Harvest-era Neil Young, starting as a plaintive acoustic ditty which builds slowly into a passionate electric number. Closing track, “Branches”, follows the same acoustic-to-electric path. As the song builds, it introduces tribal rhythms that are reminiscent of 80s indie-punk legends, the Volcano Suns. Friendly People are scheduled to record their debut full-length in March. If the Friendly People EP is indicative of what we can expect from this young group’s next batch of tunes it will be a record to keep an eye on later in 2012.--George Dow