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Filthy Friends|Emerald Valley

Emerald Valley

Filthy Friends

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It shouldn't surprise anyone that a band with Corin Tucker on lead vocals would have a strong political bent, and that was certainly the case with 2017's Invitation, the first album from Filthy Friends, her supergroup side project with Peter Buck from R.E.M., Kurt Bloch from the Fastbacks, and Scott McCaughey from the Young Fresh Fellows and the Minus 5. But for their second album, 2019's Emerald Valley, Tucker has upped the ante, with nearly every song delivering some salvo in support of the environment ("Pipeline," "The Elliott"), in defiance of social and economic inequality ("Emerald Valley," "One Flew East"), and against the persecution of the powerless ("Angels"). Tucker certainly knows how to write and sing a solid polemic, and such things are more than timely in 2019, but the songs on Emerald Valley are a bit less graceful and a touch more sloganeering than those on the first album (or most of her songs with Sleater-Kinney), which makes the second album less satisfying than the debut. However, as music Emerald Valley consistently connects. Bloch, Buck, and Tucker make for a truly impressive guitar combination, with little grandstanding but just enough buzz and slash to keep the performances lively, and the melodies suggest the tunefulness Buck brought to R.E.M. without a slavish devotion to their trademark jangle (and the blues and hard rock accents that dot these tunes give the performances the right amount of heft to make them swing). Bassist Scott McCaughey and drummer Linda Pitmon (the latter replaces Bill Rieflin from the first album's lineup) fill their spots perfectly, giving the music a strong foundation that lifts up the music rather than fighting against it. Emerald Valley isn't the slam dunk that Invitation was, but it's more than good enough to suggest this project has legs, and here's hoping the participants find time to cut a third album sooner than later.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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Emerald Valley

Filthy Friends

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1
Emerald Valley
00:03:58

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

2
Pipeline
00:04:14

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

3
November Man
00:03:00

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

4
Only Lovers Are Broken
00:03:24

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

5
Angels
00:03:54

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

6
The Elliott
00:03:23

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

7
One Flew East
00:03:34

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

8
Break Me
00:02:45

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

9
Last Chance County
00:02:51

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

10
Hey Lacey
00:03:46

Filthy Friends, MainArtist - Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Peter Buck, Corin Tucker, Composer

2019 Kill Rock Stars 2019 Wormwood Starsongs (SESAC) adm. by Songs of Universal, Emerald Valley Music (ASCAP)

Album Description

It shouldn't surprise anyone that a band with Corin Tucker on lead vocals would have a strong political bent, and that was certainly the case with 2017's Invitation, the first album from Filthy Friends, her supergroup side project with Peter Buck from R.E.M., Kurt Bloch from the Fastbacks, and Scott McCaughey from the Young Fresh Fellows and the Minus 5. But for their second album, 2019's Emerald Valley, Tucker has upped the ante, with nearly every song delivering some salvo in support of the environment ("Pipeline," "The Elliott"), in defiance of social and economic inequality ("Emerald Valley," "One Flew East"), and against the persecution of the powerless ("Angels"). Tucker certainly knows how to write and sing a solid polemic, and such things are more than timely in 2019, but the songs on Emerald Valley are a bit less graceful and a touch more sloganeering than those on the first album (or most of her songs with Sleater-Kinney), which makes the second album less satisfying than the debut. However, as music Emerald Valley consistently connects. Bloch, Buck, and Tucker make for a truly impressive guitar combination, with little grandstanding but just enough buzz and slash to keep the performances lively, and the melodies suggest the tunefulness Buck brought to R.E.M. without a slavish devotion to their trademark jangle (and the blues and hard rock accents that dot these tunes give the performances the right amount of heft to make them swing). Bassist Scott McCaughey and drummer Linda Pitmon (the latter replaces Bill Rieflin from the first album's lineup) fill their spots perfectly, giving the music a strong foundation that lifts up the music rather than fighting against it. Emerald Valley isn't the slam dunk that Invitation was, but it's more than good enough to suggest this project has legs, and here's hoping the participants find time to cut a third album sooner than later.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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Invitation

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November Man

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