If only EVERY song (or even most of them) on “I See You. Your Eyes Are Red.”, the sophomore long-player from Brooklyn-based indie collective Friend Roulette, was a good as opener as “Strange Girl.” It’s a terrific launch to the eight-track, 39-minute set, but, unfortunately, nothing else on the record measures up to that first cut.
The seven-member band includes Matthew Meade, Julia Tepper, John Stanesco, Tlacael Esparza, Kyle Olson, Brighid Greene and Nate Allen — and Friend Roulette veer from the norm with unique instrumentation (bass clarinet, violin, electric wind instrument) and the use of two drummers. Things start to go awry in “Dutch Master,” a noisy cacophony of sound that I found particularly grating.
“Stoned Alone” and “Up in the Air” are interesting enough to merit multiple listens, but those songs are offset by misfires like “You Drank All the Egg Nog,” “Garden Tidings” and “Feed.” Friend Roulette are very much an acquired taste so you’d be better offer proceeding with caution. (Jeffrey Sisk)