After a seven-year pause Los Angeles-based indie-rock/electro-pop Friend Slash Lover introduces a new album, Mugged on Memory Lane, a concept album probing the protagonist’s feelings of dislocation and disenchantment in the City of Angels.
Talking about the album, Friend Slash Lover says, “Hollywood, you had it coming. MUGGED ON MEMORY LANE is the sonic story of an artist and his demons in the city of angels. A modern blend of new wave, dark pop, and rock, Friend Slash Lover’s joyfully nihilistic takedown of his hometown is pure entertainment. Grab your popcorn.”
Initially, the project called Friend Slash Lover was an experiment to see if he could “create a buzz around an artist that didn’t really exist.” However, after a friend proposed he learn to play guitar, like Alice, he “fell down the rabbit hole and never climbed out.” Fascinated by the process of turning words and phrases into a “form of fine art,” he began writing.
Friend Slash Lover explains, “I write quirky, thought-provoking phrases. Sometimes they get etched onto mirrors because they take on a new meaning when you look at your own reflection while reading them. Sometimes, they become t-shirts or stencils, and of course, many of them started to become song titles and lyrics. In my other career, I write taglines for movie posters. It’s basically the same skill: Distilling a big concept down into a few words.”
Encompassing 10-tracks, entry points on the album include “The Memory Hole,” opening on sparkling colors riding a driving rhythm composed of tight, crisp percussion and a reverberating bassline. Rich, pressing vocals infuse the lyrics with tantalizing dream-like timbres.
“Until Time Flies” rolls out on dark, gritty guitars atop a contagious, propelling rhythm, featuring a walloping kick-drum. Whorling textures add smoldering coloration to the tune – a deliciously potent blend of indie-rock and tinted with electro-pop.
“2 Unaware” travels on shimmering hues as Friend Slash Lover’s warm, quixotic voice infuses the lyrics with sensuous tones. Tender strings give the tune wistful savors, adding to the creamy, pulsating pop flow of the harmonics.
Touches of new wave aromas give the dance-lite beat of “In Character” luscious momentum as vibrant vocals imbue the lyrics with tasty sonic filaments, low-slung yet intense. “Stupid Human” merges darkwave nuances with heavy layers of electro-pop energy, forming a powerful, almost risky, tune, surging with concentrated energy.
Elusively retro yet innovative and contemporary, Mugged on Memory Lane offers stylish electro-pop and indie-rock capped by sumptuous vocals.