REVIEW: Soccer Team – “Friends Who Know”
by Chad Jewett
These days, Dischord Records does such a good job producing high-end reissues that it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the venerable D.C. label is still quietly releasing great contemporary punk and avant-garde music – just at a much more measured clip. So while the story these last couple years has been just how entertaining and rewarding the Fugazi and Rites Of Spring demos were as active listens as opposed to intellectual exercises, Dischord has also provided us with very, very good Deathfix and Evens LPs (for instance). Next month, the label will be releasing Real Lessons In Cynicism, the second full-length (and first in almost ten years) from D.C.-area quartet Soccer Team, and the album’s first single, “Friends Who Know”, is precisely the kind of crisp, textured, finely-shaped indie rock that has marked this third decade of Dischord. It’s post-graduate punk music that is at once casual and compelling. The song itself is compulsively re-listenable in a way that belies its airy, temperate sound: the way Ryan Nelson exhales his vocals like Built To Spill at their most glacial, the track’s even-handed and nuanced take on post-hardcore’s sharp rumble (imagine some amalgam Jawbox and Yo La Tengo). “Friends Who Know” is fall music the way certain clothes are fall outfits – because they’re comfy and exude an ineffable kind of warmth — and it’s the best indie rock single in months.