Share BURY THEM ALL - Cheap Freaks (Big Neck Records)
Putting aside cliches about one door closing and another one opening, Cheap Freaks arose via a side project from the demise of The Things, an Irish garage band who should have been huge. They fell apart as their debut album started shipping. Talk about timing!
Basing a new band around alternating vocalists Robbie Brady and Al Dodd with guitar and organ, Cheap Freaks set about making a noise in 2009 and this is their first long-player, recorded in short bursts and mostly in Berlin.
Strap yourself in and we'll get to the point - fast. Classic '60s reference points abound. No need to name-check them because that's not what it's about. Suffice to say the band cite more contemporary influences like the Oblivians, the Beatles and the Black Lips but everyone's tapping the same sources. The fact is that Cheap Freaks have fantastic songs and that's why "Bury Them All" works.
Fourteen songs on this and I'm hard-pressed to nominate one favourite. The rolling organ lines and driving feel of "Naked In The Rain" opens the album and immediately tells you that your attention is needed. If your ability to focus isn't what it used to be, "1984" then throws a simple hook your way and implores you to catch it. Vaguely spaghetti western guitar and a swirling chorus knock you on your arse on "Hit" and you're only three songs in.
There's no lack of variety, either, with tear-jerkers like "Cruel World" and "Free of You" (a big finish) mixing it with "Gloria" styled garage rockers l("Ceasar The Deceiver") and a country stomp called "Sleep With You." The shriek and lead break that follows on "Free of You" are worth the price of admission alone.
Production is a bit claustrophobic but that's not going to bother many. Complaining about that is like not liking the Gories because they're rough around the edges. It's that juxtaposition of hooks and loose but spirited abandon that make these Freaks anything but Cheap. - The Barman
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TEENAGE BRAINS - Cheap Freaks (Psycho Sound Records)
The Cheap Freaks hail from Dublin, Ireland, and all you really need to know is that they play garage rock and love The Monks. Oh, and they're very good.
The story doesn't end there but that's a good part of the picture. This is scuzzy, organ-stained, fuzz-tainted stuff, pushed through a '60s punk strainer and squeezed out of two tinny speakers, turned up real loud. Distortion contortions. The shit that millions of people used to crave back in the throes of the '80s acid punk revival (before rock and roll became a minority party.) The rest of the due diligence is that bassist-vocalist Bob Brady used to play with the highly-rated Things and this four-track EP is hopefully a taste of a full-blooded album.
Last song first and Cheap Freaks have written an anthem in "I'm Coming Home", a song with a catchier-than-a-cold chorus, a big ole rumblin' bottom end and a fistful of Farfisa. It rocks in the best Lyres style. Not far behind is "Can't Fool Me", with its swirly keys and clattering undertow. Title track "Teenage Brains" is a doppleganger for Sydney's own Lipstick Killers in their '60s phase. "Sleep With You" heads out to the backwoods to pick up a vaguely country twang but there's no mistaking that punk lineage.
Run, don't walk, to click and grab yourself some goodness here. - The Barman
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