Filthy Friends is the product of like-minded individuals with nothing to prove getting together and making a heroic racket together that finds space for their many influences and interests. Lead singer Corin Tucker has left an indelible mark on the punk scene through her memberships in Sleater-Kinney and Heavens to Betsy. Guitarist Kurt Bloch has logged a lot of hours as the leader of The Fastbacks, as well as serving as a producer/mentor for up and coming Seattle rock groups. Drummer Bill Rieflin has a fine day job as one of the musicians in King Crimson, he appears on the record but is no longer a touring member. Drummer Linda Pitmon (The Baseball Project, Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3) has joined the band as a permanent member. Bassist Scott McCaughey keeps plenty busy doing studio work and mining the power pop underground with his long-running band the Young Fresh Fellows. As for the other guitarist Peter Buck has abandoned his position of Lord of the dance to play with Filthy Friends.
So far, the world has gotten to know Filthy Friends through a nicely scattershot batch of songs: “Despierta,” their entry into the anti-Trump project 30 Songs For 30 Days and the 2017 Record Store Day release featuring their original “Any Kind of Crowd” and a sinister take on Roxy Music’s “Editions of You.” Now this fierce collective is fanning the flames even hotter with the release of their debut full-length Invitation.
The 12-song collection works through a flurry of different moods and styles, genre exercises and joyous experiments. The intricate guitar knots and blasts of bubblegum pop of Buck’s beloved Television are all over the herky-jerky “Windmill.” A mashup of ‘60s downer vibes and rootsy rumblings makes up the marvelous “Second Life” whereas “Come Back Shelley” is all swagger and glitz in the style of a lost glam rock 45. There ain’t nothing this band can’t do with the wet clay of rock music and what they sculpt out of it is pure art.