With Friends Like These

Nick Larzalere / December 3, 2009

To See Rating: 6/10
Just Curious Rating 5.5/10

Band Members
Matt Shaw – Vocals, Guitar
Tyler Cofey – Vocals, Guitar
Brian Pake – Vocals, Bass
Justin Cronk – Drums

On Thanksgiving day, there was at least one thing to be thankful for, and that was the previous night’s performance of With Friends Like These at The Crocodile. The band was celebrating the release of their new album Dead & Gone, and while the record sounds good, the band just wasn’t cutting it live. So I guess the show was something to be ambivalent about, rather than thankful.

With Friends Like These has a very tight sound, especially with Justin Cronk (of Vendetta Red) on drums. They cite on their MySpace that their sound is influenced by the band Jawbreaker, which is a very accurate description. With Friends Like These has continued the post-hardcore sound of the mid- to late-90’s. The only problem is that lead singer Matt Shaw’s voice sometimes sounded a bit whiny for the type of music the band plays.  Shaw’s solo work is less Jawbox and more Bright Eyes, where that whine fits right in. All that aside, the ferocity of the band’s performance makes you forget your problems and puts you back into your “This is not a Fugazi” T-shirt.

The audience took a bit longer than usual to get into the spirit of the show, but eventually the venue filled and people were rocking along with the band. While the crowd was definitely having fun, no one seemed blown away by the music. One couple even had a long conversation about salvia in between sets, stopping when the one song started and continuing when the song ended. At any rate, the crowd yelled for an encore at the end of the set, and yet again for another encore (which they never got).

With Friends Like These is great for fans of post-hardcore that feel the genre needs more local attention. They have a solid sound, and when all four band members go at it, you can tell they have the skills that made bands like Jawbreaker so good.

Here is a clip from their November 25th show at The Crocodile.

With Friends Like These MySpace

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