At first, I’m thinking “Africaemo have finally decided to hug it out with the Friendly Fires sound.” At times, they sounded quite similarly to that dance-oriented English outfit on last year’s solid Squatter mini-album, but “City Boy, City Girl” seemingly finds the group emerging from a phone booth clad in Fires’ t-shirts and branded shorts. This, initially, sounds like the sort of precise dance-rock you’d expect from that British band, precisely placed guitar set over a thumping beat just begging for (at least indie) club attention. They even work in some vaguely tropical drums which…did you know the new Friendly Fires’ album Pala features a vague tropical theme??? Then a lift-off-like chorus that sorta resembles the one in “Paris.”
Oh, but Africaemo are a little more slipperier than that. Something sounding like a didgeridoo rubbed in Angel Dust creeps into the song and sorta freaks out for a bit, and then everything shifts as the group shouts out the title. And away we go! The song turns into a slightly trippy rock adventure, twisting in ways no Friendly Fires’ song has before. It all eventually leads back to that sugary chorus, but the diversion makes “City Boy, City Girl” something more than just a nice duplicate.