the lyrics are a reflection on the current generation’s obsessions
A really enjoyable LP from Iceland’s FM Belfast: choc-full of camp pop fun and gauche, unisex sounds for the generation that sits behind the screen. When I first heard of the FM Belfast record How To Make Friends, I thought, ah… this is going to be yet another one of those limpid electro-indie band LP’s that callously references the 80’s and boasts about one and a half good tunes (normally the opener and the second track)… You know, like Girl Talk but far, far worse.
But you know what? I was wrong, by quite a stretch. The opener Frequency IS fantastic though, with a driving ethos, not a million miles away from Phil Oakey’s exhortations on The Things That Dreams Are Made Of. The Human League comparison is a valid one, as the plinky synths do hark back to the ‘League’s sound. However the lyrics are a reflection on the current generation’s obsessions: unashamed referencing of the past (Vhs on Vhs) and just plain daft throwaway stuff, (underwear on erm… Underwear). Luckily just as a song on the record gets too mawkish, FM Belfast employ their character and judgement to stop anything being unbearably limp (Optical is a good example here).
Rather, How To Make Friends is a simple LP concerned with having a good time. Tracks like I Can Feel Love, the very sensual Lotus and Par Avion have a feel of the Eltons or the Scissor Sisters about them. And covering Pump Up The Jams is as good an indication as any of the record’s overall intentions.
It’s a lot of fun, and you should give it a listen if you’re feeling like cutting some rug.