I had resigned myself to the fact that I was born in the wrong decade, that I would never have the opportunity to see great psychedelic music played live. Sure, I could catch the elderly hippies on their reunion tours, playing watered down versions of their 30-year old hits, made tame for their equally elderly audience. But to see the real thing, being written and created by contemporary musicians and performed with a fresh passion that captures my image of those classic shows of the late Sixties; I was sure I was out of luck. Enter MMOSS.
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