Don’t be fooled by labels with FREAK GENES. Sure this could be described as electro post-punk, but there is way more going on here. On top of that, to a song, there is an undercurrent of hooky pop songcraft that can only be described as gifted.
This is the 3rd LP from Freak Genes, Charlie Murphy (Red Cords) and Andrew Anderson (Hipshakes / Proto Idiot) and it was mixed and mastered by Mikey Young (Eddy Current). With III it seems like a slightly different band than the one that released the lo-fi garage punk of the excellent ‘Playtime‘ way back in 2017. The new record only expands the use of synthesizers and drum machines that peppered last year’s amazing ‘Qwak Qwak‘. There’s nothing as raucously punk as ‘On The TV‘ or ‘7 or 9‘ here but the energy these two guys transmit never waivers. Did I mention the hooks?
There’s the frantic angular Devo drone of ‘Waxing Moon‘ and ‘Breach‘; the driving synth-power pop of ‘Get Ready To Go‘ and the punchy ‘Cold Ideas’, a song that reminds me of something Nash The Slash would have released. Without the synths and drum machine, “Canned Laughter‘ could slide onto Robyn Hitchcock’s ‘Black Snake Diamond Röle’ and ‘Nothing In Between Us‘ is perfect Buzzcocks punky pop. ‘Stitches‘ even has a psychedelic Beatles/Velvet Underground vibe. How’s that for diversity?
Freak Genes is part of a cool wave of bands (Snapped Ankles, Duds) that are building on the late 70s quirky post-punk innovators like Devo, Suburban Lawns, XTC, and if this was 1979 songs like ‘Strange Light‘ and ‘Now It’s Done‘ would be climbing the charts.
But it’s 2019 so we’ll just have to get the word out that FREAK GENES IS THE REAL DEAL! You can’t argue with three outstanding albums in a year and a half.
Order from Drunken Sailor Records.