Music Review: “Calling You Out” by Netherfriends

In Culture, Music Reviews, UAF on September 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Everybody thinks Netherfriends sounds like Animal Collective. Well, they do, but not as much as you think. I should know: I have their latest album and I saw them live. Last night.

By “them” I mean Shawn Rosenblatt (who, for all intents and purposes, is the band) and touring drummer Scott Westrick. That’s it. Two guys. Making music.

As I wrote in my UAF Sun Star article, which acted as a pre-concert teaser/interview, Netherfriends bears much more of a resemblance to the Australian pop group The Whitlams then they do to Animal Collective. By The Whitlams, I mean if they were to play a live show. In Colorado’s outdoor Red Rock Amphitheater. With a group of Zulu tribesmen.

Shawn Rosenblatt of Netherfriends performs at the Pub during his September 18th show.

In other words, Netherfriends is oddly primal and incredibly cool. Maybe not Thelonious Monk-cool, but Rosenblatt tries pretty damn hard. Which is incredible because Monk and Netherfriends are in two separate genres. The fact I am even comparing these two guys should tell you something.

What Calling You Out is, is driving music. That is no bad thing, however as, being in Alaska, a lot of what I do is drive.

The major drawback to the album is it’s length: it also only has six songs and clocks in at just over 21 minutes. Yeah, it’s that short.

Two of the albums best songs, in my opinion (this is my blog, you know), are “Nunya (beeswax)” and “Friends with Lofts”. When you hear “Nunya” you will immediately hear why I compared Netherfriends to an African tribal group, and “Friends with Lofts” is just plain…pretty. Pretty in a nostalgic way. The sort of nostalgia one has after only a few weeks or months have passed since the event causing the nostalgia.

Calling You Out also makes me think of Vancouver. Which is a good thing. If you get Vancouver, you’ll get this album.

As the band says in the song “Really?”: “How lonely does a man have to be…to say those things out loud?”

Not lonely at all. I just love music.

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