Having toured as a member of Miya Folick’s band for the past couple years, LA musician Bryant Fox recently released Cheap Therapy, the debut EP from his brand new alt-rock project Friend Army. Featuring Frankie and the Witch Fingers‘ Josh Menashe and Alex Bulli, as well as fellow ex-Triptides drummer Brian Dove, Friend Army wades into first-wave ’90s emo vibes reminiscent of bands like Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate. Cheap Therapy highlights beautifully melodic guitar riffs, tight percussion, and potent, poignant songwriting.
The record’s opening track – named for the band – serves as a rollicking introduction and a thesis statement affirming the power of friendship in times of mental struggle. Fox’s pure, crisp, and sweet singing voice is on full display as he croons “Friend Army catch me falling,” kickstarting a surging wall of uptempo power chords. The song embraces the concept of fresh starts, or the spiritual turning over of a new leaf. From there, the soaring track “Foxes” contains lush lead and rhythm guitar interplay, and a bouncy chorus with the fiery line “throw me out and feed me to the foxes like you wanted to.” Overall, it’s a wonderfully crafted and biting song addressing the nuances of toxic relationships.
The rest of the album is similarly on-point, oscillating between faster, pop-punk-tinged emo (“No Contact”), thrashy balladry (“C’mon”) and cathartic, soul-bearing anthems (“The Garden”). Through it all, Fox binds everything together with warm, steely-eyed passion and perspective that’s equal parts longing and self-reflective. It’s the perfect EP to ring in a fresh start to the new year. You can sample some songs below, and listen to the rest of the record HERE via SoundCloud.