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Boomkat Product Review:
Last year saw the release of a promising short-form outing for Gentle Friendly on No Pain In Pop. The Night Tape EP betrayed the strong influence of Animal Collective, to the point where it almost eclipsed the release's many merits, but Ride Slow is a more diverse collection. The band still sound like the sum-total of a hipster's record collection, but this time around you can expect a little more experimentation: after the glitch-looping intro 'No Infinity On' the marvellous 'Rip Static' fires up with a swell of distorted organ, chugging toms and staccato vocals, and then the more blissful 'Clean Breaker' arrives in a blush of shoegaze dynamics. Three tracks in and you've heard enough not to know quite what direction the record's going to pull in next. As you get closer to the album's centre the songs get stronger still, with the excellent 'Lovers Rock', exhibiting real single potential, and 'Real Fighters' echoing with garage-punk psychedelia, having one of the closest run-ins with an out-and-out pop tune. Of course there's plenty of noise (of the Fuck Buttons variety) in all this: 'Real R.I.P. Static', 'Police And Love' and 'Patty Island 4' are all effects-driven doodles providing periods of intermission between the more energised, song-based material. Recommended.