When Marcus Mumford and his multi-talented Sons hit the trifecta of artistic integrity, critical acclaim and mainstream success, a good many similarly inclined groups climbed on the stomp-and-chant Folk/Rock carousel and made a grab for the same brass ring. Some groups had developed along a parallel track, with similar influences and translations, others were clearly attempting to cash in by simply aping the formula, and a few brought an interesting new twist to the sonic concept. Family and Friends belong squarely in the latter category.
The Athens, Ga. collective has cooked up a potent brew on its two EPs to date, last year’s five-track Love You Mean It and the more recent six-track mini-epic, XOXO. Building on a foundation of anthemic Folk shantyism and gang shout-along vocals, Family and Friends spices its recipe with dashes of Pop melodicism and flourishes of Prog complexity, resulting in a sound that is appealingly familiar and yet identifiably unique. Read more about the band in this week's Sound Advice.