Introducing... Friend Or Foe

This Shanghai-based trio have raised hell down south since exploding onto the scene late last year

They are a secretive, occasionally masked rock trio whose true backgrounds are unknown, although they claim to be three illegitimate demons, raised in heaven. Guitarist and vocalist Rabshakeh and oft-topless drummer Mahanehdan are joined be a bassist with the decidedly unscary name of Bill.

They sound like the kind of hell-raising rockers that you'd expect with such a back-story. Their funky, guitar-driven rhythms and catchy hooks occasionally bring to mind Cake, while their bursts of balls-out, jump-along rock wouldn't sound out of place on a Presidents of the United States of America record.

We say Never mind the Biblical names or the bizarre stories, the only thing you need to know is that Friend or Foe's shows are adrenaline-fueled, fun affairs characterised by high-energy performances, tight musicianship and lyrics about the joys of household chemicals and gambling addictions.

They say 'Our songs are quite adversarial - they're stories about fucked-up people and situations' (Mahanehdan). 'It's dirty-dancing punk. It's a bit spacey, but it's tight and danceable. We're currently working on an 11-track album that should be out before the summer - we don't want it to be an epic project, we just want to make something that doesn't sound like a traditional rock album' (Rabshakeh).

Friend or Foe play D-22 (with Streets Kill Strange Animals) on Saturday 23 April 2011.

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