At the time of this article being posted, I’ve been writing for 50thirdand3rd for well over a year. Each week, I cover well established acts such as Beck and Van Halen, to the more obscure like Suicide or Penguin. No matter who I cover, the most exciting releases are usually from the garage bands. Throughout these reviews, I’ve talked about a special something that makes these bands so interesting to me but it’s still difficult to put into words. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I know I love it! Getting a few of your friends to come over, plug in and jam on four chord rock n roll songs without worrying about selling a “product” or pushing a trend, is what garage rock is all about.
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy well-made records from major labels, or establish acts who can sell out a club with their name only. I enjoy all sorts of bands and artists and their popularity, means next to nothing to me. If it’s good, it’s good! If it’s bad, it’s bad. It’s really that simple. With that said, I will always have a soft spot for self produced, self released albums from bands who perform and tour while maintaining day jobs, school or whatever us non-celebrity people contend with on a day to day basis. The music they produce is authentic, honest and most importantly, real.
One of these bands I’ve recently gotten into is, Springfield MO’s Strangefellas. Part punk and part traditional rock n roll, Strangefellas sling reverb soaked tunes by combining the sleaziness of The Cramps,and the attitude of The Misfits, with the practicality of Nirvana. On their 2nd LP My Freak, these guys crank up the distortion and reverb to deliver an album of fully loaded garage anthems that would impress the likes of punk rock royalty such as Iggy Pop.
From the dischord slinkiness of “Look On Your Face” to the beautifully ugly dirge of “Sporkhenge”, My Freak gives you exactly what you would expect from a DIY garage rock record, but even with all the fan service, the record still has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. Most notably, the almost-ballad closer “I Nothing You” which channels some serious Social Distortion vibes while managing to sound completely fresh and original.
If you are like me and love your rock n roll distorted and reverbed, do yourself a favor and pick this album up and play it crimimaly loud. After all, the best garage rock is the kind that scares the neighbors into calling the cops right?
For more info on the band as well as news and touring, find them on Facebook
To purchase My Freak (on various formats) please hit them up on Bandcamp