The Fresh & Onlys have been mainstays of the San Francisco garage-rock scene for six years, although to characterize them in the same vein as Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, and Thee Oh Sees would be a disservice to the varied and layered sounds of the band. Instead, they’re more like pop-rock revivalists, bringing back the different sounds of the ’70s and ’80s – including ’80s jangled pop, a bit of psychedelia – or “pastoral psychedelia” as they’ve been described – and a little country and western.
On their latest album, House of Spirits, all of these genres can be heard on the album as well as new sounds, such as goth rock and a touch of punk, leading to an interesting but cohesive album. The opening track, “Home is Where”, is pastoral psychedelia at its finest, beginning with a hymnal prologue before transitioning into a rocker. “Animal of One” is The Cure reincarnated circa the early 1980s with lead singer Tim Cohen sounding similar to Robert Smith. The track itself is excellent and arguably the best on the album.
“I’m Awake” and “Candy” revive ’80s pop with the sound and Cohen’s voice resembling Howard Jones’ melodic glam pop (remember him?). “Hummingbird” and “April Fools” are upbeat fuzzy rockers, probably closest to the garage rock of the area. “Ballarina” is a trippy, melodic tune with haunting vocals and shimmering guitars.
Unlike many previous revivalists, The Fresh & Onlys have focused on reviving the glitzy, melodic pop of the ’70s and ’80s, from the melodies to the harmonies to the simple, catchy beats. House of Spirits isn’t an album that is reinventing what was done, but rather recapturing and they’ve done so successfully.
Website – http://thefreshandonlys.blogspot.ca/
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Twitter – @Freshandonlys
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