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Filthy Friends | Emerald Valley

The alt-rock supergroup continue to meet in the middle on their sophomore album.

Supergroups come and go. And for the most part, that’s just fine. But every now and then you want one to come back. Like Filthy Friends, the all-star collaboration between Sleater-Kinney singer Corin Tucker, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Fastbacks guitarist Kurt Bloch, Minus 5 multi-instrumentalist (and R.E.M. sideman) Scott McCaughey and Miracle 3 drummer Linda Pitmon. It’s a dynamically diverse lineup to be sure. But on Emerald Valley, the full-length followup to their 2017 album Invitation, they continue to meet in the middle and find common musical ground with a minimum of fuss, fat and fanfare. The formula remains fairly simple: Tucker reins in her banshee wail slightly, Buck adds a bit more bite and velocity to his sound, and everyone else stays in his/her lane. The compromise works better than you might expect, producing straightforward indie-rock tracks that never feel overthought or overblown. They dovetail perfectly with Tucker’s topical tales of immigrant families, income inequality, environmental conservation and a certain November Man who goes unnamed and unloved. With just 10 songs that last 34 minutes, the disc feels a little slight at times. But by leaving you wanting more, Filthy Friends are already laying the groundwork for their next comeback.

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