[sic] Magazine

Firefriend – Yellow Spider

Pity São Paulo band Firefriend, who’ve been at it for over a decade and whose waves of superlative psych-gaze are only now reaching Europe’s judgemental shores. Yellow Spider is the prolific three-piece’s second LP in just over a year, however, and as usual it’s full to overflowing with fuzz, textural to the point of being tactile. Lashings of tremulous reverb once more throw up mirages so real you just want to dive right into these oases, but these are both fertile and dark conjurings. Consequently, Firefriend continue to take as much from Sonic Youth as they do traditional psych-rock, experimental ambience rubbing shoulders with the woozy guitars of shoegaze at times too. The result, as regular listeners will already know, translates their trademark stoned slow-burn into something quite special, the varied directions it leads them to incorporating spacey psych motifs and harder-edged head-nodding as well.

Alternating also between Yury Hermuche’s straining lost-down-a-well snarl and Julia Grassetti’s soothing coo, Yellow Spider is truly difficult to predict from one moment to the next. Take the smouldering “Juxtaposed Parallax”, for example, the gently persuasive mumblings in which recall The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Velvet Underground’s most heavy-lidded moments. Who’d have guessed that just a few seconds later, on the fuzzed-out title-track, that we’d be talking about the atmospheric New York-school of cool guitars, Grassetti’s dangerous vocal particularly alluring in such surroundings. Not to be outdone, Hermuche embraces a partially doomed tone to narrate the epic closer “Shutdown Your Electronic Hallucinations” in drawling prose, the track’s mid-fi fug spooling out majestically as it sees fit, tightening when cornered, and – just for a minute – Yellow Spider’s outsider cool coalesces to the point where you begin to feel like an insider.

Best track: “Yellow Spider”

~Yellow Spider is out now via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Little Cloud Records.~