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‘Be My Friend’

Words by Kieran Cook
                   THE GOA EXPRESS’ second single ’’Be My Friend’’ hits you in the back of the head with all the force of a tin of Carling thrown from the back of a venue (but with three times the charm). From the start of the first ear-worm riff to the distorted closer, it’s refreshingly clear that this is a band who has been given space to form their sound organically, instead of being homogenized under London’s sweeping wave of new indie acts.

Produced by Ross Orten (Arctic Monkeys, Jarvis Cocker, The Fall) ‘‘Be My Friend’’ rides unapologetically loose (and captivating) guitar riffs doubled up by unsullied bass lines & vigorous drums. It’s an instrumental that’s as punchy as it is catchy. For me, the highlight of the track is the railing vocals that push the track. It’s a vocal tone that calls back to Jason Pierce’s on Sound of Confusion, yet one that still reflects accessible pop sensibilities. It’s these sensibilities, blended with more raw instrumental influences (ala MBV, Spacemen 3)  that makes the song so unique.

Lyrically, the song is a testament to the band’s development & ethos. Not interested in the hyper-connected, social climber ravaged landscape being pushed by the industry at large, the song is a testament to isolation; to how not worrying about what everyone else is doing can enable you to produce something honest; ‘’take a minute, take some time to look away’’. Yet even in this rejection of the facsimiles of modern music, the band comes across genuine & unpretentious. Pushing for a more authentic sense of community, one which prioritises having a pint with mates rather than networking over Linkedin.

If ‘’Be My Friend’’ is anything to go by, it’s clear that Rough Trade’s latest signing has prospects to shake up the state of the scene, and are bound to leave a mark on the industry not dissimilar to the one that can of lager left on the back of your cerebellum*.

*a big word I just googled for the back of someone’s head