My Best Fiend

In Ghostlike Fading

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As an indie rock outfit with heavy debts to classic rock, My Best Fiend is like no other band Warp Records has signed. While the pioneering electronic label has dipped its toe in rock waters from time to time with bands like Battles, Pivot, Born Ruffians, and Maximo Park, all of those groups had some quirks or experimental tendencies that made their affiliation with Warp a bit more understandable. My Best Fiend, on the other hand, is so relatively straightforward that it makes them somewhat revolutionary in the label's context. In Ghostlike Fading is a low-key debut, full of mellow, worn-in songs replete with extended jams, guitar maelstroms, and harmonicas -- in other words, it may be a little too traditional for some Warp fans. However, just because My Best Fiend aren't doing anything radically new doesn't mean they don't have their merits. If their songs feel familiar, it's mostly in a good way, with shades of Tom Petty's earnestness popping up on some songs ("Jesus Christ," "One Velvet Day") and Velvet Underground drones on others ("Higher Palms," "Odvip"). On the album's finest moments, such as the title track, there's a narcotic glow that elevates My Best Fiend above their influences, but on the whole, In Ghostlike Fading is more warm and pleasant than riveting.

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