That’s what I said to myself in the first few seconds of hearing The Imaginary Friends new single “The Golden Age of the Narcissist”
And let me tell you, folks, the obscenities didn’t end there. TIF’s blend of fuzzy noise rock and gothic post-punk is hauntingly superb. This track goes from eery and mysterious to a boisterous, screaming blister, all played at an ear-splitting volume. There are multiple sections, building off and adding to each other brilliantly, and despite all the noise, The Imaginary Friends have maintained a sense of dynamics. This is a band to watch.
First, the foundation of every band, a good drummer. The drums are pounded with such ferocity, and the tone is just superb, I’d love to hear how they got a drum sound like that. The production overall is insane, sounding more like something you would hear in an action film trailer than anything else. Layers of synthesisers give the song an experimental vibe, which I adore. The bass provides a thundering low end while the guitars sound like an erupting fuzz volcano. There are so many layers that I can’t keep up. Every time I listen, I can focus on a different aspect of the track. Vocally it is very interesting, going all over the spectrum of tone. Sometimes it is sung at a rumbling, powerful, gothic tonality, while at others it almost sounds like something a late 2000’s alt-rock vocalist would belt out, though still maintaining a sense of power that is unlike anything I have ever heard. It’s wonderfully characteristic and I am so excited to hear more from this band. I do however have a couple of complaints, the main offender of which being the fact that this song CANNOT be played at full or even three-quarter volume without potentially really damaging your ears. I’ve got mine at just over half volume and I can’t hear anything other than the track. I’m all for noise, but not at the risk of hurting someone. Extended listening to this at full volume can and will cause irreparable damage to one’s hearing and I beg the band to turn this mix down to a reasonable decibel. The second issue I have is that it is a bit obvious lyrically. I would have much more enjoyed a humorous take on a diss at narcissism. Intensity and darkness can work very well, but you need to balance these things. Darkness is only truly dark when compared to light. But the lyrics we do have are written well with some interesting phrases.
Overall, The Golden Age of the Narcissist is expertly written, produced, arranged, and performed. Top-quality stuff, folks. There are some issues, but in the face of what The Imaginary Friends get right, I can hardly notice them. There is no such thing as a perfect song, but this is a track that I will look at and compare other songs to within its genre. If the mixing issue is resolved, this could very easily find itself as track of the year for me and many others. And I’m writing this in mid-January. Check out the single when it releases on the 16th February 2022.
Peace, Love & Cowbells,