New Releases on the Inside Track
Francis Jones listens to Chadsko and Superfreakz
Chadsko – Promotional EP
LISTEN to Chadsko tracks below:
Running a gamut of styles and shadings, Derry six-piece, Chadsko display an abundance of ideas on this six-track EP.
They flaunt their song-writing sophistication on opening track ‘Government Slave’, the various constituents combining to add a brassy oomph to their workingman’s blues.
There are myriad musical styles at work here, rock nudging into jazz before segueing into soul and all within the confines of a single track. The keys on ‘Catchin’ Myself On’ are a particular delight, complementing the twin set vocal and providing a laidback swing frisson.
‘Festival Fever’ is an effervescent number, a natural serotonin booster, which as you may have guessed narrates the fun and frolics experienced at a festival. Lyrically, Chadsko deliver straightforward, strongly autobiographical songs about everyday lives and loves, free of contrivance or pretension.
The vocals, shared between the band members, are consistently excellent, lending the lyrics a warm, sugar-coated reassurance. Chadsko’s greatest strength is their individuality, certainly there are very few bands within Northern Ireland whose sound in anyway approximates their free-flowing, multi-genre fare.
Looking further afield, their occasional vaudeville-tinged forays; especially prevalent on ‘You’re Better Than Her’, recall theatrical troubadours such as Rufus Wainwright and early Tom Waits. Chadsko lack the singular, soul-searching lyricism that is the hallmark of such artists, but nonetheless this is effortlessly charming, affirmative music.
LISTEN to Superfreakz tracks below:
‘Superfreakz’, it is the perfect handle for the creators of this thrilling dance / rock hybrid.
Three solid songs, bookended by two excellent tracks, the assembled quintet provides an intriguing glimpse into Superfreakz’ Pandora’s Box of potential.
Using implements traditionally associated with rock; guitar, bass and drums, and supplemented by the addition of keyboards, they have fashioned wondrous, mutant music.
Genetically engineered, it is possessed of dance urgency and sheen, without sacrificing the visceral power of guitar music. Bizarre electronic splutter ushers in the driving guitar and drums of ‘Gettin’ Me Off’, a bombastic tale of relationship breakdown, carrying spiky, j’accuse lyrics.
Affairs of the heart seem to be the primary preoccupation, ‘Love Is Nothing’ a sweetly meandering song which summons the ghosts of Gallic maestros Phoenix, is the most explicit tale of infatuation. Thankfully lyrical clichés such as ‘love is blind’ and ‘the hardest thing is letting go’ are balanced by the acidic payoff, ‘love is nothing, money is everything to you’.
By such novel twists Superfreakz manage to keep our attention, to take us down those roads less travelled. The synthesis of crisp drums, extraterrestrial keyboard swoon and some absurdly inventive guitar provides this EP’s most satisfying moment, ‘In Your Absence’.
This EP provides an invigorating thrill ride up sonic super highways, let’s hope Superfreakz onward musical journey displays as much skill and élan as they’ve exhibited ‘En Route’.