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The Fake Friends Drop A Power Pop Anthem in “Mile End”

Montreal’s Turbo Haüs house band fake it till they break it.

by Sean Orr

The Fake Friends have blessed us with one of the catchiest melodic punk tracks of the year. Self-described as music for jocks with art degrees, “Mile End” feeds us razor sharp harmonies backed by heavy, grunge-inflected power chords. Filmed in front of a live audience at Turbo Haüs in Montreal, where they claim to be the house band, the video is simple but effective with tight zooms, pink neon lights, and five dudes absolutely rocking out.

Clocking in at 1:47, “Mile End” is a compact, sparkling, gem that could find itself between Doughboys and Matthew Sweet on Big Shiny Tunes, or even on a Hopeless Records sampler next to Bigwig and Digger. Although their bio name drops Fontaines DC, IDLES, and Iceage, I’d liken it more to the power pop revival ushered in by bands like Culture Abuse, Drug Church, Meat Wave, and AngelDu$t.  

Featuring former and current members of Montreal juggernauts Trigger Effect, Mundy’s Bay, Kennedy, and Watch for Wolves, bands which range from skramz, to dream pop, to straight up hardcore, The Fake Friends seemingly take a bit from all of their previous projects. The result is a polished but noise-laden anthem steeped in ennui and frustration, a perfect homage to the neighbourhood “where everyone who says ‘I lived in Montreal for a bit’ lives before going back to Toronto. 

The band are currently recording their first EP and if the few singles they’ve released so far on Spotify are anything to go by, expect wry song titles like “Pure Chad Energy” and “I Don’t Even Like The Clash,” as well as crunchy riffs, effervescent cacophony, and unabashed hooks. When asked what’s next for the band, all they said was “Osheaga baby!” — tongue firmly in cheek. Until then, catch them at Turbo Haüs where they “don’t have to load gear or pay for their own drinks.”