A Genuine Freakshow – Oftentimes


A Genuine Freakshow

Oftentimes

(Peartree Records)

4/5

_______________

A Genuine Freakshow is nothing more than a big metaphorical family, who love playing music and know how to play around with it. Timothy Sutcliffe (Vocals, Guitar), Jack Bryant (Drums), Simon Evans (Guitar), Marianne Casey Canning (Violin), John Dunstan (Trumpet), John Szmidt (Bass) and Melanie Dickson (Cello) hail from Reading, formed in 2008. The seven-piece shaped its own sound on the most cheerful pop, some experimental math rock and an impressive palette of sounds, created by strings, a trumpet and the classic guitar-bass-drums trio. 

What’s most striking is the number of appearances: more than a hundred live festivals, openers and headline tours from 2009 onwards, along with more than 10 singles, EPs, samplers and live albums. In November 2010 they released the debut ‘Oftentimes’ via the band’s own Peartree Records. Even if it’s a year old, this album is still highly recommended for for those who didn’t already know the band.

‘Oftentimes’ blend in different genres, influences and attitudes without losing a tight thread, which unravels through the whole album. Even if the strings of the more pop-oriented ‘We are the Undercurrents’ completely differ from the minimal notes in the Coldplay-like ‘New Houses’, there is still some freshness that unites these tracks. The brit noisy rock of ‘I Can Feel His Heartbeats’ is naturally followed by the math experimental ‘Hopscotch Machine Gun Madness’, with a quite confident drums-trumpet duo. Even if there are some gloomy moments, which may be a bit unforeseen difficult to digest (‘Holding Hearts’), the simple approach of the intimate ‘She’s Got A Shooter (Part 1)’ and the lyrical elevation of ‘You Cut Me Out’ easily make up for it. They end with a great farewell in “Warning Shot”, a Buckley-esque minimalist track, which relies on a few instruments to express deepness.

A Genuine Freakshow are fresh, spontaneous, young and talented, therefore I cannot do anything but wish for them to keep polishing their sound, in order to provide another proof of their passion. Thank you guys for sharing it with us.

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