My Friend Zero
Demo or Die
My Friend Zero = (The Matches + Motion City Soundtrack) x The Flaming Lips
Based on their recent Demo or Die, it is clear that My Friend Zero is difficult to categorize. The demo seems like an in-depth sampler of a productive jam session. There are a lot of experimental sounds and lyrics going on throughout each song—the overarching theme seems to be uptempo beats, poppy keyboard, and a fair amount of unpredictability. Shrouded in mystery, the band does not go too in depth in their bio, describing themselves as “three dudes and a horse”, accompanied by a photo of three dudes, with one wearing a horse mask (you can’t fool me!). However, listening to the demo, there is something actually very serious about the way My Friend Zero plays with syncopation, keyboard solos, and sound innovation in each song.
For me, My Friend Zero’s uniqueness, especially within Salt Lake, is singer Ian Sherar‘s ability to really jump into the rhythms of each song and take off with them—specifically in “Siren Song” where he mimics the syncopation of the rest of the band with his voice and even babbles off in Spanish halfway through with the bubble-gum pop keyboard style of keyboard/bassist Jesse Ward backing him up. For me, “Siren Song” is the catchiest song of Demo or Die, with the keyboard solo really bringing me back to the days of Motion City Soundtrack. “Call of Cetus” has a less poppy, more serious sound than “Siren Song” but is equally as strong in the demo, with the feeling of a continual build throughout the piece.
Though Demo or Die definitely has the lo-fi feel of a demo, it also contains the element of capturing the essence of what My Friend Zero is about, and personally, I had a lot of fun listening to it, due to the spontaneity in each song. There’s something very memorable about My Friend Zero’s melodies and rhythms that kept it stuck in my head after I was done listening. (Marmalade Library, 08.10) –Ali Shimkus