Frank Friend is an independent singer-songwriter from Winter Park, Florida, who released an interesting EP last year in the form of "Fleeting Feelings", a soft and experimental record that reminded me most of all of Portugal. The Man's ultra-experimental indie/pop rock. "Like Sharks On Blood" is the follow-up to that record, and the same guiding principles apply as before: he still sounds just like John Baldwin Gourley of Portugal. The Man crossed with Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), and indeed the material on the record feels like a bastard son between the two bands.
On one hand, Frank Friend aims for soft floating melodies and quite indie rock ambiance, which is supported through smooth vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, and a heavy amount of electronic effects, which, you're right, sounds like signature Portugal. The Man, but he is also unafraid of taking things into a more straight-forward and poppy direction. Here's where The Strokes influence plays in, although only from their more minimalistic and experimental material on "Angles". "It's Always All Around" is one good example of the latter. Throughout the record he carefully balances the two and applies himself through a 60s style filter (think The Beatles here), and the result works surprisingly well: the songs on "Like Sharks On Blood" have plenty of depth and longevity in them, but stick out from each other and are a smooth listen all-around. It's a surprise that he's as unknown as his Facebook fan base seem to suggest (currently under 100), because his take on experimental indie rock is far more intriguing and better than most others I've come across. 7/10 Rockfreaks
"Frank Friend is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer from Winter Park, Florida with a penchant for 60s music. He's also the closest match I've ever found to my favorite experimental indie rock band and one of the most creative units in modern music history, Portugal. The Man. For a moment there I wasn't sure whether "Mother & I" had actually been written by Portugal. The Man or if Frank Friend was the secret alter ego of the group's smooth vocalist John Baldwin Gourley, because the two sound near-identical in their soft, The Beatles/Pink Floyd inspired expression.
That's fantastic news for Frank Friend, because if there's one band that has received almost universal acclaim for their quirky and experimental indie output that often falls into the singer-songwriter category, it's those guys. And throughout "Fleeting Feelings", Frank does indeed sound a great deal like them, whether intentionally or not. The era being referenced is of course the 60s, but there are moments where Frank ventures into the 90s and even more modern eras, such as on the heartfelt and honest "Sleep Well", the second highlight on the eight track release. Here, his influences are less clear, and he sounds a tad bit more original, which is good, because this is where he stands out from the crowd of indie-flavored singer-songwriters.
Now, there are very few bands who are successfully able to venture into decades gone by without sounding date and irrelevant. Portugal. The Man are one of them. Frank Friend does almost equally well here, though without the pop element that the former sometimes integrate into their sound. Instead, "Fleeting Feelings" relies more on the singer-songwriter format, which gives for a more honest, down-to-earth sound that's a little more straight-forward and easily accessible..." 7.5/10 Rockfreaks
"A random pick, and an interesting find…Throughout the tracks on this album, Frank Friend displays a fairly familiar sense of alternative acoustic pop, the same kind you've heard plenty of times over from acts like Jonah Matranga's onelinedrawing. These particular tracks though, have a bit of a well educated sense of classic artists such as Pink Floyd to them, as displayed by the organ melodies in "Mother And I" and the general atmosphere of "Sleep Well". Many of the cuts sound like polished deep tracks from old rock albums, and I really like the meandering nature of tracks like "Sunburn", which flows in and out of different sounds and recording techniques that keep the song interesting throughout.
…This right here is worth a shot if you like mellow acoustic material that simultaneously isn't too dumbed down or artsy. This is great to put on some headphones to and unwind, even if briefly as this album is pretty short. Very neat album cover as well." 3.8/5 -Stereokiller
“Friend won't be stopped. I've seen him win over noisy crowds of several hundred at places like the Distillery in Bradenton”–Wade Tatangelo (Bradenton Herald Staff Writer)
"It’s rare to find a live band that melds hip-hop, emo, funk and punk as effortlessly as the Bradenton/Orlando quartet Daylight District. Leading the charge is charismatic lead singer/rapper/keyboardist Frank Friend, who alternates between candid confessionals and party starters, both of which work equally well. This year marked the release of Daylight District’s outstanding full-length, Beautiful, Historic." -Eric Snider (Senior Editor)
from CREATIVE LOAFING's "BEST OF THE BAY"
"Orlando/Bradenton quartet Daylight District's full-length Beautiful, Historic melds funk, punk, emo and hip-hop in a highly distinctive manner. Keyboardist/vocalist and chief songwriter Frank Friend alternates between melodic rapping and singing. The lyrics largely focus on personal struggles -- but there are also a couple odes to partying. Tim Heller's bass lines, Aaron O Tobin's drumming and Paul Solorzano's guitar work flesh out Friend's eclectic musings and keyboard foundations. One of the disc's finest numbers, "Are We There Yet?," finds Friend playing acoustic guitar and rapping over a melody that climaxes into a gripping mash-up of indie-rock and funk."
–Wade Tatangelo (Creative Loafing, Tampa)
"…eclectic bass styles, skronk jazz guitar, and change-em-up beats come together easily throughout, whether the vocals are rapped or sung, they provide a foundation that's both interesting and consistently, reliably melodic. The best tunes are still the ones with more mellifluous vocal passages, like "Snapshot," "7am," and "Sad Situation," but even those who hate the whole indie-kid rap thing have to respect the originality and musical prowess displayed here, and folks who are into stuff like the Anticon set would do well to scarf it up"
–Scott Harrell (REAX, Tampa)