The multinational rock band from Spain, Happy Freuds, pride themselves on not getting too involved with recording and producing songs. Their debut, full-length release, Echo of Sounds offers just that – an array of sounds that I believe, won’t disappoint. Their “one take” approach in the studio and with live gigs are intentional, not meant to re-invent the rock n’ roll wheel. Recorded with the help of an old friend who took an interest in the young band at an outdoor gig they played, Happy Freuds’ aim is to create authentic style rock with both intense and low-key acoustic moments. Their hope is to come away sounding more like Crazy Horse (Neil Young’s lifelong backup band) and less like Bon Jovi.
“Push” begins things with an infectious groove and some tasty guitar power chords, not to mention one hell of a great bass line. The band’s style is explosive and grabbed my attention for sure. Some parts reminded me a little of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction, but not exactly spot on – there’s something different here. “Allmans Big Feet” was recorded live in studio. It’s a southern style rocker with some funkier and mellow tones, complete with power chords and a screaming good guitar solo. The song’s lyrics suggest not getting involved in a committed relationship and “letting things slide.”
I like the guitar riffs in “The Mountain” and the psych-rock vibe, making this one sound like it has heavy ‘70s influence. The scream-singing towards the end and abrupt ending give this one an extra edge. “Background Noise” is a nice detour into Happy Freuds’ acoustic folk-rock style. This song was originally written by Luka Bloom, who gave a thumbs up to the band’s unique interpretation of his song found on the band’s website. Overall, this one really stood out for me – the way it was sung and arranged musically had something special to it. Be sure to give this one a listen. “In Black” features a heavy, low beat and another fantastic catchy, guitar riff with some very creative, feedback ideas in between. Even though this is the band’s shortest song, give this one a listen too, because damn – it’s really frickin’ good! “To Blue” begins with full acoustic action and a happier, mellow melody, sounding like a mix of folk rock from the ‘70s with ‘90s acoustic grunge, but without the angst. The vocals are well done on this song, too.
“Chauncey” has got a great, gritty groove to it – the drums, the guitar riffs and hell yes – the ripping guitar solo – don’t pass this one up! I’d be willing to bet this number is a definite crowd pleaser at gigs. “Song X” features an interesting beat in the beginning and yet again, fantastic guitar riffs, solos and singing. I think this may be one of the group’s heavier songs. “Low are the Punches” begins with clean sounding acoustics and low-key drums and stays that way throughout the song. “Overcome” offers the listener another take into the more soulful side the band with just enough rock to give this tune a dynamic, edgy feel.
The ending track “Rocking & Stumbling” sounds like the band took all the good parts of T.Rex, Molly Hatchet, The Who, very early Rush and other powerhouse rock bands (I can’t name enough here), threw them all together and came up with this fantastic instrumental that left me speechless. I mean, good heavens – it blew me away! What else can I say about this young band? One word – listen. In my view, there was not a single song on Echo of Sounds that felt like it was just a filler song, just meant to take up space. Every song was strong, well-rehearsed, and produced. I think for a band who’ve only been around for a few years, they’ve got a lot of potential and a diversity of sounds and styles that will take them far.
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