Martin Skidmore: The intentions on this are quite dancey, something like ’80s Brit indie-funk and the drumming helps, but the clumsily played remainder drags it down, the singing is weak and characterless, and there isn’t much of a tune.
Ian Mathers: This sounds a lot more electronic than the still awesome (to me, at least) “Jump in the Pool,” which is a good sound for these guys. I mean, sure, it’s lacking the spangly, abrasive guitar riff from that song, but I’m okay with trading that in for this surprisingly angsty yet supply euphoric dance track (parts of the chorus even remind me a bit of Tiga). You know, if this is what the Cut Copy single had sounded like, I wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Alfred Soto: What a drag: these ringers made the Cut Copy record that I expected Cut Copy to record. It’s closer to Big Thing-era Duran Duran though, which is probably why no one will care.
Jer Fairall: Effectively marks the point at which post-millennial dance punk reaches its crap-era Duran Duran phase.
Chuck Eddy: Entirely out of the loop about what, if anything, is supposed to make this band special, but I will admit the pomp and groove here are not a total turn -off. Strangely, I don’t even mind the guy’s voice that much. Actually getting a bit of Depeche Mode “I Feel You” vibe from the thing — that’s a plus.
Kat Stevens: There was a terrible point in 2007 when we were all worried that minimal techno was going all samba-y. NO NO NO. 4 TO THE FLOOR YR DOING IT WRONG. What was the point of Ricardo Villalobos moving to Berlin and not making tea if he was just going to end up doing the lambada anyway? Before you start Yes I Know the lambada is not from Chile and that cross-cultural differences are what makes music awesome and interesting. The problem was with me. If I had wanted summery samba techno I would have listened to er, “Giving It Up” by The Goodmen, but I did not want samba techno. In 2007 it rained a lot and I wanted stark blippy raindrop minimalism. I doubt that indie is about to suffer the same samba-y fate as techno but this single does have a parrot on the artwork and it’s a bit sunnier now so WHO KNOWS?
Jonathan Bogart: Drop it into a solid mutant disco/freestyle/ZTT DJ set, and nobody would bat an eye. Depending on the night, the chemicals in my body, and the girl at my side, it might even sound like the best thing I’d ever heard.
Katherine St Asaph: Philistines like me don’t ask for much from darkish dance. Vague-or-more anticipation in the verse? Check — the drum patterns and piano stabs do a lot. Quiet reflective parts? Check, although putting them right where the chorus would be slotted is a bit cheating. Euphoria? Sadly, not quite; Friendly Fires are so focused on not being stiff that their attention’s locked on the scaffolding and never lets go.
Alex Ostroff: Friendly Fires were one of the few ‘dance punk’ bands that actually understand the importance of dancing. Both their music and Ed Macfarlane have a practically irresistible kinetic energy. ‘Live Those Days Tonight’ is less brash than their strongest singles, but the percussion shuffles and Ed’s voice pleads, and they’ve picked up some tricks from Aeroplane in the pre-chorus. I can’t wait for the remix.