steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Freak Out Hard On You" CD

Happy Happy Birthday To Me

Genres: indie pop, pop, sixties revival

PO Box 1035
Panama City, FL

Mar 3 - 9 2003

Silly, fun, and deliciously lo-fi, Fablefactory's Freak Out Hard On You marks the Athens, GA band's first real album since 1999's heavily-acclaimed American Custard.  There was a lot of pressure on the band to do something good with this album, and the fact that it took them three long years to accomplish it has really got fans waiting in anticipation.

But now they've bounced back onto the scene like a three-year-old jumping onto a mechanical bull, and they've got thirteen irresistibly catchy nuggets of fuzzy pop to show off.  The songs have a strong sixties vibe to them, although their irresistible melodies make them accessible to both beat fanatics and indie poppers.

"(Don't Let Me Be) Lonely" is a particularly good tune, combining a strong 60's beat sound with vocals that recall Canadian songsmith Joel Plaskett's work.  "Chicken Man" also really reminds me of some nice psychedelic work of that era; the plodding beat and the minor key melodies work perfectly, and the lyrics are grin-inducingly silly.

I found the songs weren't catchy right off the bat, though after a few listens I couldn't help humming along.  A fine example is "Record Store."  At first, the fuzz-drenched guitars, weirdo synths, and pseudo-macho vocals don't quite stick, but after a few more listens, it just sounds so perfect.  "Chopter," with it's cheerier, more playful sound, also grew better with multiple listens.

Freak Out Hard On You is a wonderfully fun listen.  Its playful, catchy style will please indie poppers and Nuggets fans alike. 


Fun Fact: The band are from Athens, GA, which is a major breeding ground for similar indie pop bands, including members of the now defunct Elephant 6 collective.  Of Montreal, Elf Power, The Great Lakes, Olivia Tremor Control, and the Mendoza Line all started off in Athens, as did REM, Pylon, and The B-52s.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]