Wednesday, 15 August 2012

FROM THE ARCHIVE: TV FREAKS

Modern Punk with an Old School Sound
Article by Madison Foster

This Friday, London will see the return of Niagra punk rocker TV Freaks. This show is being called "the blockbuster of the summer." I personally don't know if I'd go that far but I won't deny that this is a group of boys that can bring out a crowd and get them moving, with more than one sold out show under their belt. And with bands like Hunters and Anglers (Welland) and The Dirty Nil (Hamilton) on the bill this will surely be an amazing and interesting night and line-up.
Back in Decemeber of 2011 TV Freaks had released their first full length album with Schizophrenic Records. Since then they have released a 7" EP with the label but that's not what we're talking about here...

At the time of the LP release I got together with Justis Krar of the "Freaks" (who we hope to see on stage with the band despite a hiatus while touring with Single Mothers) about the release which you can read here.

The Niagara-based punk band TV Freaks got in touch with nature when recording their debut full-length album in a barn surrounded by hundreds of birds. These birds can be heard throughout the album and especially at the beginning of the first track, "I Can't Win," and the cleverly named "Bird Song." It comes as a bit of a surprise that most of these birds did not fly away after the recording began due to the loud riffs and harsh vocals that complete a perfect example of a punk record.

Upon listening to the LP, it's easy to hear a more raw sound comparable to that heard in recordings from the '70s and early '80s. In order to give the record the 1970s punk feel, it demonstrates from start to finish the band recorded fully in analog. "At no point did the music go through a computer to be made," said bassist Justis Krar. "We recorded it to tape, which is primarily the way most of our favourite punk records were made. We also released it only on vinyl, which also eliminates the need for a computer."

The band completed the recording process in three days in a friend's grandmother's barn with all back-up vocals recorded in the silo. Once the recording process was over, the mixing was done by Kenny Meehan and Ian Romano in the studio they run in Welland, Ontario called Tapes and Plates. "We see them as the fifth and sixth members of TV Freaks. They had a huge part in making our recording happen."

Despite its track list of 14 songs, the album, released by Schizophrenic Records out of Hamilton, sits at a play time of only 25 minutes, which leaves the listener wanting more and thinking, "Was that it?" Tracks including "Coworker Blues" (the longest track on the album at 2:40) deals with issues most people can relate to, things that annoy us. "Dave O'Connor (the vocalist of TV Freaks) pulls a lot of inspiration from what annoys him in everyday life, I think, "stated Krar. "He also has a giant tattoo of an eagle on his stomach, so I usually never know what he's thinking." The rest of the influence for the album came from the band's love of fast-paced punk rock that comes out in the songwriting and their personal writing for their own instruments.

Writing lyrics was not O'Connor's only job for the LP. He also acted as the artist for the band, creating TV Freaks shirts and the album art for the release now available at schizophrenicrex. com and Hot Dog located at 256 Richmond St.


Check out teeveefreakzz.bandcamp.com for more info on the band.