Dolour's New Old Friends is a shockingly excellent blast of fresh, fun, and exciting guitar pop. The album is a glittering blend of hard rock, bubblegum, chamber pop, and retro power pop that sounds sort of like old-school Sloan. A lot like that actually, but with a more varied approach to songwriting. If that sounds good to you, then New Old Friends is going to be in heavy rotation around your house. The album kicks off with "I Smell a Lawsuit," a glam stomper that rides waves of vocal harmonies, dual guitar leads, Shane Tutmarc's soaring vocals, and a huge hook. The record seldom lets down from there. Candy-sweet melodies, energetic performances, subtly and witty lyrics, and the soul of the best pop, with power from beginning to end, every song sounds like it should be a hit. "Next to U," "Candy," and "Running Forever" are songs good enough to transcend the pop underground, good enough to be actual pop songs that regular people listen to and enjoy. The sound of the album is a vast improvement over 2002's Suburbiac, much more organic and arranged with loads of little musical hooks that keep things interesting, like the horns on "Cheer Up Baby," Hammond organ and handclaps on "Butter Knife Suicide," the goofy heavy metal soloing on "CPR," and the churchy organ on "October 25th." Dolour have crafted an album that has great songs, sounds great, and makes you feel great as you listen. What more could you want?
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra