The Lithuania we are talking about here is not the Baltic state (even though the people that live there probably have hardcore friends just the same), but rather the collaboration between Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick and DRGN KING’s Dominic Angelella where they pull everything from emo and punk to indie rock and grunge through the wringer in order to end up with a batch of energetic and catchy songs.
Recorded in five days by Joe Reinhart and Kyle Pulley at The Headroom Studios in Philadelphia, “Hardcore Friends” is a narrative that details the last ten years of the friendship between Slick and Angelella. They start the album with the punchy and hook-laden “God In Two Persons”, before going poppy in a Sharkanoid kinda way with the synth-enhanced “2009” and then grungy with “Pieces”. The one constant here is that the songs come with plenty of oomph and that they are catchy as hell.
After that though, the album heads for a bit of a lull. The token acoustic song (“Coronation Day”) is okay as far as token acoustic songs go and both “I Wanna Drink Poison” and “Clumsy And Forgotten” don’t hit that sweet spot quite as hard as some of the other songs on here. Luckily the band heads for greener pastures once more with the one-two combo that is “Questions” and the title track, where they get further help from Frances Quinlan (Hop Along) and Rachel Browne (Field Mouse).