“Dead End Friends” by Mad Mad Mad

As we grow older, we realise that unfortunately, not every friendship is built to last. In ‘’Dead End Friends’’, indie trio Mad Mad Mad use their latest single to explore the highs (and not lows) of severing ties with longtime peers. ‘’Dead End Friends’’ is no sombre ballad. Instead, it is a light, bright indie delight. With exaggerated bass, hooky electric guitar, and shiny synth, ‘’Dead End Friends’’ fuses indie and pop to make the perfect ‘’chilling in your backyard’’ track. ‘’Dead End Friends’’ opens with a simple yet strong bass riff that immediately commands the listener’s attention. The synthesised keys, which give the song its indie feel, join soon after, presenting in a succession of diaphanous, calming chords. Not to take attention from the authoritative bass, a delicate high hat drum tinkers.

Within the first verse, Mad Mad Mad sings ‘’My reputation is only as good as the company I’m in’’, relaying for good or bad, we are the sum of whom we spend the most time with. Mad Mad Mad realise that when certain friendships feel like a ‘dead end’, you need to let go. As the chorus repeats the line, ‘’My dead end dead end friends, can’t hold me down’’ four times over, Mad Mad Mad are not only unafraid of this, but are welcome to it. The decorative percussion becomes harder and punchier here, accentuating the strength from the chorus’ defiant lyrics. Newly added ornamental cowbells and sunny guitar strums keep the backing track light and personify the band’s joy after leaving behind pals they’ve outgrown. 

The band implements a synthesised keyboard melody as the song closes, a luxurious sound that increases the song’s lucid vibe. As the song closes, the backing track dissolves and Mad Mad Mad’s isolated lyrics sing: ‘’can’t hold me down/I’m getting out/Dead end friends’’. This conveys ‘’Dead End Friends’’ final message – no friends are better than mediocre ones. Overall, through its indie-pop lense, ‘’Dead End Friends’’ convinces us that change isn’t so bad, after all.

Written by Sadie Willis-Falkiner





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