You Asked For It: June Friday

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June Friday Beauty of the Birdsong (self-released)

GRADE: D+

June Friday's Beauty of the Birdsong is a strange melding of many things '80s, wearing a disguise as a poor attempt to make it seem contemporary. The combination of synthesizers, drum machines, long guitar solos, and quasi-futuristic lyrics are in many ways reminiscent of prog rock, but without the technicality. Many of the songs have abrupt endings and are followed by very quiet beginnings with a slow build.

Personally, I place a lot of weight on a song's lyrics. They are to me in many cases more important than the actual melody, and can easily make or break a song, and even a band. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with more than a few of the word choices. When phrases like, "I got a nosebleed from this giant rocket ship," "death makes us a story," and, "the elemental Holocaust" are uttered without irony or intentional humor or sarcasm, it's hard to take the songs seriously.

Attempts at creating an album which represents multiple genres in this case just came across as sloppy, and haphazard. While the overall style is as I described it before, other moments were punctuated by songs like Track 3 (the CD appears to be unreleased and did not in fact include track listings,) which opened with the sounds of a fake crowd followed by faux punk. Track 7 was a bit cheesy, but did have some slightly modern sounds to it. To be fair, Track 8 had some interesting and soothing vocal melodies happening, but it would have been better without the guitar riffs, which sounded acidy, but forced. The rest of the song was reminiscent of a combination between Spinal Tap and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And not in a revolutionary, alternative sort of way. As if all of this wasn't odd enough, the final track ends, is followed by about 40 seconds of silence, and then a freaky sort of reprise comes in, rather than an actual bonus track.

Sadly, the whole thing is unpolished, scattered, and out of date. They might make a good bar band for certain crowds, but I can't see them headlining anywhere anytime soon. I really do wish the best for all of our local bands. I just think June Friday isn't quite ready to break yet.

Note: I am a guest contributor to "You Asked For It."

If you're a musician from the Phoenix area and would like to submit a CD for review, please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Martin Cizmar
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85032

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