Firefriend appear to have amassed a small cult following in the UK on the strength of little more than the rapid-fire release of a handful of albums in the space of just a few years. After all, Cardiff’s The Moon is the penultimate date of the Brazilians’ first UK tour. I’m not alone in being drawn like a moth to their flame by the promise of a seasoned trio fluent in the international language of voluminous, stoned fuzz.
Responsibility for those all-important Spacemen 3/Jesus & Mary Chain/Black Angels vibes lies chiefly with guitarist Yury Hermuche, while Julia Grassetti – sparkling silver boots, Dead Skeletons T-shirt – provides lithe basslines and shares vocal duties. But it’s drummer Caca Amaral who grabs the attention, intuitively understanding when to keep it simple and when to get fancy, using a maraca as a drumstick, a tambourine to tap a cymbal or jazzy techniques to underpin a droning chug.
With Firefriend presumably deciding to prioritise fan favourites from across their back catalogue, new album Decreation Facts is represented only by its title track and plodding closer We’re Going In The Wrong Direction. The problem with peddling a narcotised groove is that it runs the risk of becoming soporific rather than stimulating, and over the course of the 10-song set I find my interest drifting and waning, not so much nodding along as nodding off. It’s not that “I don’t feel anything” (as Hermuche and Grassetti sing on the aforementioned Decreation Facts) – but overall the gig proves to be less the anticipated wild/heavy trip and more merely a mild diversion.
Firefriend, The Moon, Cardiff, Thurs 15 June
words and photos BEN WOOLHEAD
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