Poison City (2014)
This wasn't a band or an album that was on my radar, but when I was going through the Poison City website reading up on the Screamfeeder reissues they are putting out (You'll get a review of one of those pretty soon), Freak Wave caught my eye. Their description name dropped Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and Dinosaur Jr., so that caught my attention right away. Along with Leatherface, comparing a band to Archers of Loaf is a pretty surefire way to make me check something out.
Though I can see the comparisons to both Archers and Superchunk, in general I think using them as descriptors is a little misleading. There's nothing quite as blatantly catchy or bouncy as anything from the Chapel Hill area. Freak Wave are definitely a little bit darker and somewhat more subdued. When listening to Don't Let Me Down, I'm much more taken back to 1990's releases on Headhunter/Cargo. You can hear some of that muted and clean guitar sound that Pinback and Three Mile Pilot were spearheading.
It's a refreshing sound that I just don't feel like I hear much anymore and it really makes Freak Wave stand out. This is one of the better records I've hear all year and I've been listening to it pretty much nonstop since it arrived from Australia. I haven't seen anywhere in the US that is carrying it, so picking up Don't Let Me Down is a bit of a financial commitment. It's absolutely worth it and while you're picking this up you can grab some Screamfeeder and Knapsack reissues to spread the postage costs around a little.
Freak Wave - Don't Let Me Down LP: