Like magnegas taking the dirtiest byproducts and turning them into a hot, gaseous flame, L.A.’s Not a Friend mix gritty electro dance music with a raw punk sound to create provocative, liquid hot licks; a permeable concoction most recently distilled in their strident new single “WARCR1ME.”
“WARCR1ME” starts off with ominous, heavy synth followed by Gregorian chant-like vocals that dissipate for a brief second before erupting into a viscous pulsation of raw energy. With a beat that is unrelenting from start to finish and lyrics delivered via edgy and deep vocals, “WARCR1ME” hits you like a ton of bricks, putting pressure in all the right places and leaving you breathless. The agitated new single is just another piece of a jagged puzzle created by the raucous new duo.
With four singles released this year, all a high intensity barrage of hard dance music and razor sharp punk, Not a Friend takes no prisoners, amping up their fans with musical vexations and a roguish charm. Since forming in 2019, they began by mixing 80s’ punk samples with hard electro dance music overlaid with half sung, half spoken lyrics before construction original tunes of their own.
With a recent performance at L.A.’s El Cid, along with Jagged Baptist Club and Young Winona, the band has a palpable energy akin to high voltage shock waves sent straight to the chest or a shot of adrenaline Pulp Fiction style. They plan to melt more heads with a show Sept. 9 at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach and have another new release, “Kill Us All,” slated for Aug. 13.
Words: Patti Sanchez