At first glance, Grizzly Bear's new EP, Friend, appears to be a reworking of material from the band's well-received Yellow House. Not so, writes Pitchfork Media critic Ryan Schrieber. Although the new disc contains old songs and covers, these are thoroughly transformed, making Friend "a very well-disguised, 31-minute mini-LP of newly recorded (and largely newly written) material," Schrieber writes.
Schrieber calls the EP "an extraordinary leap forward in conviction and virtuosity," which makes the best Yellow House songs "sound formless by comparison." The only weak spots are three songs from the previous album covered by other artists, which "disrupt Friend's otherwise seamless, cohesive flow."