Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Halifax Pop Explosion:: FRED

All right friends, the schedule is out, and we're less than a month away, so the countdown to HPX 2008 is officially on. That being the case, it seems only right that we start previewing some of the artists that will be making the trip to our coastal paradise for the big event (have we mentioned this event? With a beloved Canadian group making their Halifax return? Hosted by your favorite blog? Yeah, you should put a star beside that one). Let's begin with a group that's making one of the longer journeys: Fred - is a 5(or 4, seems they've lost their lone female member)-piece from Cork, Ireland.

How about some Fred-related quotes:

"Fred are a five piece from Cork City, Ireland who take the anguish, angst and pain out of Rock'n'Roll, opting instead to just be really good."
-From the band's bio info

"(Cork City) is a lovely place, they have three types of stout there. It's an island, so the main road actually runs in a circle, and there's a wonderful pub right in the middle, or at least there was 50 years ago. It is also famous for it's Opera."
-My father-in-law B-Rob on Fred's hometown

"They are Irish and have booming horns, so you are happy"
-The Ack on why Fred are in my wheelhouse

And Fred do have the horns - if you have their new album Go God Go on blast when the second song Running comes on, you may very well be launched out of your chair. In a good way. But Fred are much more than simply a feel-good party band, as their latest release shows they are able to traverse the stylistic map with ease and aplomb. Album opener Skyscrapers is disco-bliss, with big drums, synths, and the just the right amount of cowbell. Running possesses the aforementioned booming horns, but it also has big, throaty vocals that invite one to sing along, and is just all types of catchy.

Straightforward rockers are also in Fred's quiver, as the wistful male and female vocals over strummed guitar and horns of Keep Me Clear can attest before the drums take the baton and turn it into a clap-along spiritual. We Should Keep On compells as it alternates between quiet, piano-led melancholy and huge guitar and drum crescendos. Never has hollywood been skewered as delightfully as it is on Damn You Hollywood, with breakneck drums, group sing-alongs, and pauses for funky guitar solos and piano breakdowns. If loving songs that hate on hollywood is wrong, I do not wish to be right.

I'm not sure how many people in Halifax are familiar with Fred (in fact, many folks may see them on the schedule and think it is some kind of life-coaching session from Fred Connors of iconic north end FRED salon & cafe), but I can guess what the outcome of this show is going to be. After listening to Go God Go, and reading a bit about their live show, I think folks will go into the show not sure what to expect, and will leave after being blown away by the fellas from Cork. And isn't that what you always hoping for at a live show? Fred is playing Coconut Grove on Tuesday, October 21st with Said The Whale, The Lodge, and Halifax's electro-acoustic stalwarts Share. Should be a fun evening.

Posted at 10:21 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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