Sunday, September 29, 2013

Friends In Distraction / September 27, 2013 / Donkey Coffee

By: Nadia Kurtz, News Editor

The likable Athens punk-rock band Friends In Distraction is at it again. But this year the band is upping the ante, with a full drum set and electric sound effects. Quite an improvement from the sole acoustics of the two years prior.

The trio, composed of Dan Baker and Garrett Hood on mic and guitar and Dylan Sams on drums, rocked out last night with a loud, upbeat set at Donkey Coffee. The crowd was definitely not as dense as the band probably would have liked for its 2013-2014 school year debut. It was a strange occurrence for the typically packed Donkey Backroom to have empty chairs and empty tables (that was not supposed to be a Les Mis reference, but think what you will).

Despite the shortage of "friends," the band kept its most devoted fans captivated by its punchy sound.

As a somewhat devoted fan of Friends since its development two years ago, the band has evolved quite a bit and has expanded its setlist. Many of the songs sounded familiar, but it's clear that the band has been working on songwriting as well as thickening its instrumental sound.

Hood, who has typically been a little more behind the scenes during shows, came out and actually sang/co-sang almost all of the songs. It is obvious he is becoming more comfortable in the spotlight, and his softer croons contrast well with Brown's more nasally hollers.

Sams, who used to operate a simple djembe during the band's earlier acoustic days, owned the drum set like it was no one's business. The powerful sounds really helped liven the band and worked in conjunction with Baker and Hood's compelling voices.

Overall, the show was enjoyable, but it could have been more exciting with the addition of people and some dancing. But I feel like maybe Donkey isn't really the right place for that. It might be time for Friends In Distraction to leave its acoustic melancholy at the coffee houses and bring its new, robust sound to the bars.

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