Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cheap Freaks "Play Four Songs" on Big Neck Records

Even in the Internet age it seems rare to hear about garage-punk bands on the other side of the ocean. There are pockets of singles I hear about occasionally on France’s Les Disques Steak or Atelier Ciseaux, but I can't remember the last time I heard raw stripped down punk pop coming out of Dublin from The Cheap Freaks. Bass guitar/vocalist Robbie Brady from The Things got together with guitarist/vocalist Alan Dodd a few years back and this single was recorded back in 2009 and is just hitting shelves now a couple years later. This direction is an early loud and scuzzy start that could instantly belong in any number of contemporary scenes.

"Caesar The Deceiver" recalls The Makeup, blowing out a straight, bubblegum rock with shades of blues emotion. Solid and driving 4/4 rhythm with blown out distorted vocals, really shot into the stratosphere. Give into this head bashing, smart solo that’s not even garage so much as an RnB rock and soul sound. Lifting right from the heavy rock blues, they briefly start this track and then stop about four times …the god damn tape is rolling, but you have to build up to this. It might take a few tries to nail it and then there’s no stopping this. "1984" moves on to spazz punk with a hillbilly Cramps vibe, something about a sex toy? Screaming in the basement with feedback phaser? Damn they’re getting dense creep sounds out of a standard setup, not too many effects, just turn it up to 11. An older ghost of evil from the future blowing out tunes and dragging this fuzzy garage in from the backwoods - this ain’t no warehouse in Williamsburg, it's the abandoned factory near the seascann.

B-Side’s "Nowhere To Go" scratches guitars next to rapid-fire vocals buried under their own distortion. Punchy power pop chords they have to really get the singing going together, that chorus is key. Power melodic distortion, less garage-y but could be right at home on a Sing Sing or Mighty Mouth release. Stripped and minimal, like the best punk, the guitar is positively peaking into the highest treble heights; this is on par with the recent Australian punk, scuzzy Nashville or Oakland sounds. Welcome to a new corner of the world, garage fuzz. "Something Wrong" You’re telling me there’s an entire LP of this? The static is necessary and perfect, almost getting Hunx or Shannon with the strumming prom night tones. The fuzz runs deep from the 13th floor Elevators straight into pop garages and they yell the hell out of this thing. “Something’s wrong with me!!!” They just might be a little too convincing.
There’s a Clash attention to melody detail and rockabilly that leaves me checking the speakers, the static texture running all over this is just perfect, I don't want there to be a loose connection. This station is perfectly not tuned in right.

Get it from Big Neck Records who also put out that LP or Psycho Sounds if you end up in Ireland.

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