Sometimes the perils of being in a popular alt-rock band comes with its share of misfortune. For Illinois rock group REAL FRIENDS, falling victim to a homicidal maniac is one such fate. Their new video for “Me First” from their third studio album Composure (out now via Fearless Records / Caroline Australia) depicts just that.  “Have you ever wanted to see our heads cut off,”asks bassist Kyle Fasel. “Well, look no further.”

Me First,” the gutsy and intense opening track from their critically-acclaimed album, instills a sense of confidence that flows throughout the whole record. Music Connection says the single “oozes furious poetry” while Punktastic calls it an “anaconda-sized earworm.” The striking accompanying video matches the song’s audacity with its cheeky horror and comic book-styled violence. “We went with a more light hearted and cinematic approach than in our past videos,”Fasel explains.  “Me First” finds the band trapped in a mansion being stalked by a knife/broken bottle/cat o’nine tails-wielding murderess who ultimately dispatches them one at a time and serves them up on a silver platter.

Their most ambition work to date, Composure has racked up some of the best reviews the band has ever received. Forbes says that the album “proves that the bravest thing an artist can be in 2018 is unflinchingly honest, with themselves and with their audience,” while Alternative Press calls it their “best work yet.” SF Sonic captures the spirit of the record by pointing out that with their “clean production, catchy songs, and poetic lyrics, Real Friends have turned out one of the best releases of the year, a vital collection for anyone who likes their rock upfront and confrontational.”

The 10 tracks on this album have challenged the band as musicians and friends. From nailing down the best pop hooks with producer Mike Green (The Aces, All Time Low, The Mowgli’s, Paramore) that showcase the band’s progression from a pop-punk band to full-fledged pop-rock juggernaut, to touching on topics in their songwriting such as mental health, being accepted, and above all, learning to love yourself.

Real Friends is Kyle Fasel (bass), Dave Knox(guitar), Dan Lambton (frontman), Brian Blake (drums), and Eric Haines (guitar).