“A band of new uselessness” Freakouts from Guildford declare in their bio; describing their music “kinda grungy kinda punky stuff”, and although the latter might be true, these boys are definitely far from useless. The four-piece have recently released a brand new EP, entitled TV, and in short, it’s absolutely banging.
Aggressive and energetic and full of punk attitude but with an infectious catchiness that could definitely widen their appeal, their music is like organised chaos. In the hands of a lesser bunch of musicians, it could sound messy, but this is tight and in control. These guys know what they’re doing.
“Freakouts sound like the kind of band who’d throw their guitars around and kick their amps over….”
You can hear the influences of classic punk and grunge bands right from the start. The first few seconds of ‘Already Dead’ could be a Bouncing Souls song, but then it quickly transcends into something a lot more grungy and by the chorus it’s got more of a Nirvana vibe. It’s clear these guys have a wide range of influences though, and that they feel no need to restrict themselves to any kind of rules or regulations when it comes to music and genres. Anything goes.
‘Scatman’ is one of the highlights on the EP. Here, there’s less shouting and snarling, and a little more singing from vocalist Charlie Hinton. Over the top of an eerie guitar riff, his echo drenched vocals easily cut through the mix and lead us slickly into the dramatic and heavier chorus. It’s one of the slower songs of the collection, allowing the listener to take a breather in between the chaos of the other offerings.
Freakouts sound like the kind of band who’d throw their guitars around and kick their amps over, then wrap their arm around you and invite you for a beer afterwards, all smiles. They’ve grabbed punk by the horns and they’re having fun with it, and their enjoyment for the music comes across in bucketloads with the cheek of someone like FIDLAR or even SLAVES, especially on a track like ‘Geezer’, which is full of South of England playfulness. At one point they’re just screaming “na na na na” over and over again, but it’s followed by a cheerful and catchy guitar riff that happily and easily sits at odds with the grunginess. The song ends with a shouted “fucking yes” and blisters into final track ‘Protection’, which is twenty five seconds of pure punk noise and beautiful madness.
“This is art” one of the band members shouts at the beginning of ‘Geezer’. We’re inclined to agree. Vibrant and fresh, an onslaught to the ears, Freakouts are the kind of punk band we need on the scene at the moment and we’re rooting for them all the way.
WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON