The title of Friday Mile's latest EP, Love & Gasoline comes from a line from "Battlescars," a song from this six-song record. "With the right mix of love and gasoline, we could torch, we could torch this whole city." It sets the tone for the album. Each of the songs deals with intense passion or flameouts of being in love.
The first song, "Distance = Danger," is one of the best pop songs I've heard this year. It starts off sounding like a Rolling Stones hit, but once the vocals kick in, it becomes apparent that singer/guitarist Jace Krause has the softest voice for a male singer in the Northwest since the Posies almost 20 years ago. Singing about the inevitable fall of long-distance affair while maintaining an upbeat tempo, Friday Mile brings to mind some of the finest power-pop bands around — think Fountains of Wayne, Big Star, and the aforementioned Posies. When Krause sings "You need a little more conversation, Little Miss Laceration; you're cutting up my words" the bitterness only comes across in the lyrics, not the harmony.
The others songs work as well. The third track, "Islands Abound" centers on a bitter break-up and while the melody hides the sarcasm and ire, but the lyrics don't. It's a slow, melodic song with minimal instrumentation so that the only thing that stands out is the heartfelt lyrics. "Your green sweater roamed, but my camera caught you in my home; now I can see right through your smile," is one particular lyric that stands out.
Krause has written some great lyrics from the points of view of different perspectives and actors in relationships. The metaphors he draws are poignant and memorable. With his soft voice (that especially mixes well when he sings with Hannah Williams, who also plays keys on "Curtain Call") and smart, catchy lyrics, Friday Mile has the potential to be one of the breakout bands in Seattle. Like any EP, Love & Gasoline gives the listener the opportunity to discover what a band is capable of while creating a demand for an LP.