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Invitation [Slipcase]
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Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixers: Bill Rieflin; Don Gunn.
  • Recording information: Type Foundry.
  • Filthy Friends began as a lark, a way for mutual admirers Corin Tucker and Peter Buck -- known respectively as the guitarists for Sleater-Kinney and R.E.M. -- to share a stage together. Rounding out the lineup with Northwest punk stalwart Kurt Bloch and R.E.M. associates Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin, Tucker and Buck turned Filthy Friends into a full-fledged band over the course of 2016. They began that year saluting the recently departed David Bowie in a set down in Mexico for Buck's annual Todos Santos Music Festival and closed the year with "Despierta," a song released as part of Dave Eggers' Donald Trump protest 30 Days, 30 Songs, giving the group the momentum to finish the full-length Invitation in early 2017. Invitation improbably melds all these origin stories: it's a politically charged record delivered with a light touch. It's as fun as it's galvanizing, a record that draws strength from its casual nature. Invitation feels like it was bashed out in a few days, with all the bandmembers doing their best to not rely on old tricks but sometimes succumbing to the temptation anyway. Given the group's lineage, this means Filthy Friends can suggest a flintier mid-period R.E.M., where Buck's ringing guitar is given brio by Tucker's vocals, but she also seems gentler here than she does with Sleater-Kinney. Her warmer timbre complements the melancholic undercurrents running through her lyrics, not to mention the hesitant nostalgia of the music. Invitation doesn't merely recall the marquee members of Filthy Friends: the group also conjures the spirits of such classic alternative peers as Pixies ("Brother") or such forefathers as T. Rex ("Come Back Shelley"). All these nods to the past make Invitation seem cozy even when its words are defiant, and if that seems dissonant it also seems appropriate for 2017: outrage can be exhausting, so it's good to find solace in old friends. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "On 'Come Back Shelley,' Tucker seems to reimagine the Beatles' 'She's Leaving Home' via T. Rex and Patti Smith..."
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