Canada’s radio friendly, 90’s inspired shoegazers, Your Favorite Enemies, have released a new EP – and they’re our New Artist of the Day.
Okay, first off, this is a Canadian band. Where is the “u” in favourite?? There is supposed to be a “u” there! Where is it, dammit??
Second off, I think what was actually sent to me was a Stabbing Westward album when I was sent their new EP, ‘Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire’. Yup, it’s twenty years in the past, revisited today. That being said, back in the day I did like Stabbing Westward, and I have to say, deep down, I like this new EP and this band. Nostalgia? Maybe. But right now, we seem to be seeing somewhat of a resurgence of music of that “era”, what with more and more bands doing some shoegazing, and 90’s revival sounds.
Your Favorite Enemies (without a “u”) ooze style! They look cool. They make cool looking videos. They have great hair. They are aesthetically pleasing. They know how to put on a good light show. And mixed in is some decent enough music and there is no doubt that there is also plenty of talent. The song ‘A View from Within’ which is their single of the moment is hyper stylish and devilishly dark and overall appealing and enjoyable.
This is definitely a well-produced, slickly packaged band. They are interesting enough, for sure, and after listening to some of their past music, I have to say that the ones on this new EP are some of my favourites (note the “u”). At times, there is some great, intense guitar work that I truly do love. The singing is decent, if not brilliant. At times, they sound good, dark and nearly industrial. At others, they sound a tad bland and overly radio friendly, but there is enough of the good, dark times, that it offsets the blatant appeals to radio programmers worldwide.
If I were to stack these guys against another Canadian export, say Nickelback, oh man, these guys are light years better. The reason I compare them is because Nickelback is a band that rehashed the 90’s and made it sound so bland and horrible that it’s almost unpalatable. Your Favorite Enemies have managed to still make interesting sounds and songs in their rehashing of a bygone era. And, although twenty years have passed since the first wave of this sound, they do manage to make it their own enough and make it unique enough that it can stand on its feet in 2013. So, I want to say to Nickelback, guys, THIS is how it is done.
Although new to us (which is why this is a New Artist of the Day), the band has been around since 2006 and their main claim to fame has been the fact that their music was used in part of the Final Fantasy video game series. They are from Quebec, and even have some French lyrics popping up now and again in past releases. Lead singer Alex Foster’s French Canadian accent is prevalent in the song ‘Empire of Sorrows’ at points where he recites lyrics as opposed to singing them. The remaining members of the band are Jeff Beaulieu and Sef on guitars, Ben Lemelin on the bass, Miss Isabel on vocals and keyboard and Charles “Moose” Allicy (now THAT’S a Canadian nickname) on drums. It should also be noted that the band runs their own label, Hopeful Tragedy Records.
Overall, this is a decent band worth checking out, especially if you have been listening to anything like Silversun Pickups, HIM, Funeral Party or past bands Canadian bands like Econoline Crush or Moist. They have a Filter-lite sound, if that helps? These are all bands that I have liked, and still like. So, yes, I have to say that I like them. But I wish they would put the “u” in Favorite. It’s the Canadian way, eh!
Words by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.