Hardcore Friends, the debut album from Philadelphia’s Lithuania, is appropriately titled. Band members Eric Slick and Dominic Angelella trace their friendship back for more than a decade, to their days in the jazz program at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Their love of punk and experimental music made them oddballs amongst their classically-minded peers, and they bonded by introducing each other to basement punk bands and art parties in the city. They’ve been collaborating musically since then, but their schedules – Slick is the drummer for Dr. Dog, while Angelella is the songwriter behind DRGN King – have made it difficult for them to record much until now. Thus, their debut LP includes material that spans the entire ten years of their friendship, arranged chronologically. “In the past year we’ve gone through some heavy stuff,” Slick says. “We finished up this album with a wiser perspective on the first half of it. We even sequenced it so it would tell that story.”
Hardcore Friends opens with the pop-fueled and fleeting “God in Two Persons” and “2009,” two masterfully melodious garage-punk scorchers, and follows up with “Pieces,” which has unshakeable guitars and genuine lyrics that invoke the likes of 90’s slacker-rock prototypes Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. Though much of the LP is blissfully fuzzed-out, Lithuania pull back to show a more sober side; “Coronation Day” is a dawdling and quiet song with acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and soft vocals, and the title track is a mid-tempo anthem with guest vocals from friends Frances Quinlan (Hop Along) and Rachel Browne (Field Mouse). That song is a culmination of the story that rest of the tracks have been telling, one of a resilient friendship that sonically prevails in the face of failure and heartache.
“Hardcore Friends is something of a riot. It’s a stylistic mishmash, built around a bedrock of punk and grunge, but it’s also undeniably contagious and hugely entertaining.”
– Already Heard
“An album that fuses punk-rock attitude and assertiveness with a resounding melodic pop sensibility. The energy and emotion are palpable.”
RIYL: Joyce Manor, Desaparecidos, Hop Along, Swearin’, Guided By Voices, Tony Molina, Wavves, White Reaper, Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings
Recommended Tracks: #1 “God In Two Persons,” #2 “2009,” #3 “Pieces,” #5 “Coronation Day,” #10 “Hardcore Friends”
Going for Adds 10/26 & 10/27