This pastel-colored debut from Icelandic FM Belfast launches with an electronica/ dance vibe. While most of us assume it is simply too cold to dance in Iceland (fooled again: you were thinking of misnamed Greenland), the foreign (mostly) four-piece swagger as if they owned the genre; “Frequency” struts a la Travolta, and “I Can Feel Love” makes even the cowbell hip. To compare to other recent albums in the genre, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “It’s Blitz” and TV on the Radio’s “Dear Science” both upstage Belfast here especially on the post-production layering. But while “Friends” can use just a bit more layering and general craziness, it still gets one thing right: unique, singable, hip-swaying hooks. And here they excel, as hardly a single song lacks the basic quintessence of joy in the chorus, which is definitely a good sign. A solid core, it just needs a little more experience. (We’re looking forward to the next release and the one after.) Recommended.
Listen to “Lotus”: www.myspace.com/453173424