Friends & Lovers is a completely ironic title, as the album features gritty electric guitars and pulsating beats that are far from friendly. It begins with untamed strings in "Drag Me Down," which highlight strong guitar riffs alongside rapid drumbeats. Tempos quickly shift multiple directions while singer Zac Diebels delivers soft-spoken melodies to screeching screams that linger. Aggressive layers are meticulously spread across six heavy rock tracks that are equally addicting and entertaining.

Diebels’ lyrics expel frustration and personal discontent with those closest to him. His romantic experiences are revealed in "Halo," which discloses a positive relationship while facing himself in a destructive demeanor.

Thick influences of post-grunge and alternative roots are clearly detected in every song. Friends & Lovers features blazing rock renditions with a musical vibe eagerly waiting to be heard live.

Grade: B

Friends & Lovers is currently available.