Review: Freedom Club

Freedom Club Rather Be Blind

Rather Be Blind EP cover artI got turned on to Freedom Club by the guy from bulkhead records (who not coincidentally actually plays in the band). Normally you’re going to see (or you’ve seen) a lot of thrash/deathmetal etc. reviewed here. Listening to Freedom Club reminded me that I should probably be more aggressive about chasing down this kind of music as well. I came up on bands like Channel 3, the Dils, the Weirdos, etc. I have a real soft spot in my heart for that era of punk that arose before Discharge recreated the genre. Which is not to say that the thrashers wiped everything else off the map. But they did create their own take on the genre, one that was much different that the bands that had arisen in the wake of the “original” punk scenes in New York and London. I feel the need to put original in scare quotes because every musical genre and artistic scene builds in some way one what came before. Even people conscientiously trying to reject the past end up merely mashing up and recasting the world as they find it.

In any case, Freedom Club are, for me, a real throw back to a different theory of punk. I love the 1000 mile per hour take on punk, and I’ve certainly played a lot of that kind of music in my time. But there is definitely still a place for bands like this, in which simple licks and well-considered arrangements take the place of volume and velocity. Freedom Club put out an EP last year some time called Rather Be Blind. Eight really rocking cuts of downstroke punk with lots of feedback at the edges. Everything short and to the point. In places they sound like a slightly less bouncy version of Chron Gen, in others like a grittier version of the Dils. This theory is continued on the three song EP that they put out later in the year. The sound on the second is a little crisper on the second release. This I will say: the second cut, “Burn”, is one of the most awesome, rollicking punk tunes I have heard in years. Both of their releases were, I think, mastered by Brad Boatright of the absolutely monstrous From Ashes Rise, and the sound is as thick and punchy as that would indicate. They are supposed to have an album in the works (that what I read anyway). Watch this space.

Magadh

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