a “testament of melodic-not-pretty post-hardcore”
I love this band because they remind me of the way I thought of New York before I lived here. It’s hard-hitting and infectious, but the frantic desperation is always palpable. It’s dark in that way. Now that I’ve lived here for ten years, the city seems more like a Maroon 5 single that plays in the background while my girlfriend and boss yell at me. It’s sad, I guess.
“…fiercely rocking and loaded with catchy hooks.”
NY Daily News (4.5 out of 5)
an “..excellent self-titled release.”
This gritty and powerful second release from Brooklyn’s Freshkills is a declaration of the band’s jaunt into the spotlight after earning their dues with 2006’s debut Creeps and Lovers, and rightfully winning approval from the “scene” (i.e. Vice). They hearken back to a time of simpler riffs, vocal repetition coupled with slight remnants of hardcore punk and a constant drumkick that drills into your brain. “I Quit Smoking” is a timeless and sly anthem that could have been a track from a vintage John Hughes film. “Revelations” and “Caroline” emit a nervous repetition, inflicting a portrait of New York in the “old days,” when music wasn’t afraid to be daring, dirty and slightly destructive. (self-release) –Andrea D’Alessandro
…”a pretty awesome soundtrack to these end times” … “There are only two places a post-hardcore, post-punk, post-civilization band like this could exist: New York City or Manchester”
“After a couple of years of being inundated with flabby indie-pop and lazy laptop beats, New York’s best borough finally brings the noise”
“Freshkills bring back grand punk rock on their self-titled, self-released LP…. it’s a revival of a style of punk rock that’s, well… refreshing.”
“..raucous amalgam of mid to late-period hardcore and recent post-punk revival”
Full review >>
|“CREEPS AND LOVERS”
Vice Magazine (8.5 out of 10)
Hours of practice, a dedication to songwriting, and a sizeable budget. These are all things that are less important to a good record than having a cool older borther – someone to break your Collective Soul tapes over your stupid head, as the older brothers of the Freshkills clearly did, and say “Hey you stupid idiot, here is Drive Like Jehu, Jesus Lizard, and Nation of Ulysses. Now quit being such a herb”.
New York Press
Pull the window shades down tight and lose yourself in the Freshkills’ gothic post-punk drone. The five gentlemen who make up Freshkills claim to know nothing about music—we beg to differ. They seem to know what a hook is and how to bang away at the drums. Zachary Lipez’s vocals are great too; dramatic and strong. You’ll be singing along in no time.
Blunt Magazine – Australia
8 out of 10
A Drive Like Jehu for a generation that never experienced one, New York’s Freshkills dot their sound with traces of pop punk, noise, post-hardcore, goth and gutter rock. From New York, they have been compared to The Liars, but to me they sound like they’d listen to more Interpol and Birthday Party. With a decent ear for melody, good grooves, and an ingrained knowledge of rock, they offer the perfect amount of variety without losing focus. Some might accuse them of all-too-conveniently popping up with just the right sound at just the right time, but if more little eyeliner kids opened their minds to bands like Freshkills instead of whatever some magazine or webzine or online banner advertisement is promoting, the world just might be a better place.
By nailing Dischord-area late 80s post-punk to the wall, NYC’s Freshkills is a sweet change of pace both for Austin’s Arclight Records and the NYC-area in general. Composed of a group of long-playing underground NYC rockers, Zach Lipez (vocals), Bill Miller (bass), Tim Murray (guitar), Jim Paradise (drums), Johnny Rauberts (vocals/guitar), Freshkills unleashes a firestorm of awesomeness on the nine-song Creeps and Lovers. When the record opens on the title-track and Lipez’s intense gruff vocals meet up with the speed downward picking of Murray and Rauberts, the thumping bass of Miller and the straight-ahead drums of Paradise, you doubt that the band can keep up the level and energy on followers; just like all these new bands with one or two great songs, only to fall into generic crap. Yet, Freshkills are different from the swath and do deliver on following tracks including highlights from “Future in Publishing” with its great breakdown, “Taste of Metal,” “Is There Enough Cocaine in the World to Make You Care About Me?,” and “If Things Don’t Change.” If you thoroughly enjoy post-punk, and the Dischord/Lovitt sounds, then Freshkills is a band to get excited about..
Creeps and Lovers…I didn’t expect this, really I didn’t. the Freshkills have released their debut long player and it slams the competition into the ground! Where have they been all this time? Oh, my mistake, they’ve been touring, recording, playing locally. My mistake. I do remember listening to their self-titled EP which didn’t show the prom-ise n of the band as Creeps and Lovers does. It’s filled with angst, it’s brimming with tur-moil and anger while keeping hold of a hip swaggering shake. How do I know all this?I went to their website and caught a live performance. This Brooklyn Quintet is the shit.
Exclaim! Canada’s Music Authority
Freshkills have honed their skills to create straight-up, trashed-out, catastrophic songs. This young New York five-piece are strikingly stripped down on these nine tracks. The title track starts it all off with its high-tension stylings that sound soaked in amphetamine fuelled inspiration. Each moment of this album pulsates and shifts under its own weight, as if the music is trying to break out of its tight skin. This band have tapped into an energy that many can only emulate, not originate. Although song titles like “Hot Ex-Wife Action” and “Is There Enough Cocaine in the World to Make You Care About Me?” might give the impression that there isn’t much more going on here than a few jokes. But once the first chord is struck here it becomes obvious that they aren’t a band you want to ignore. Recorded and mixed by Joel Hamilton (Tom Waits, Frank Black), Creeps and Lovers veers and combusts into taut, sharp-edged territories that spit out the best bits of sound.
8 out of 11
The strange, dark, and insistent sound of the Freshkills recalls bands like Drive Like Jehu, Nation of Ulysses, Dirtclod Fight, and other innovators of grim sound and damaged rhythms. The math rock elements are there but it’s still listenable through a clever mix of alternating chaos and structure. They throw off your equilibrium with tightly executed jerking rhythms until you’e weaving across the deck like a drunken sailor and then drop into driving pounding breaks that pull you back from the railing just before you fall overboard. There’s a bit of noise farming here and there but never for its own sake and they weave a balance between grim discord, desperate vocals, and a sort of fucked up pop sensibility that inexplicably works. I’ve always been a fan of bright yet jagged bass tones bands like No Means No or Drive Like Jehu champion and that was definitely part of the personal attraction. Always interesting and determinedly unpretty and aggressive bursts keep your attention and on your toes anticipating the next curve or abrupt turn, like driving late at night in a fast car with no headlights on. There’s a sort of gripping dark element here that seems to be symptomatic of making music in the claustrophobic urban decay of New York which is summed up appropriately enough in the sound and lyrics of their song “We Live in The City” and is evident in the songs of other New York bands like early Boss Hog or The Hells. Freshkills may turn off those with more sensitive leanings I found myself drawn into the dark soup of their sound and liked its somewhat bitter flavor. Definitely one of the more intriguing bands I’ve heard in recent memory with similarities to past favorites.
New York Waste
“Feeling nasty” check out “Creeps and Lovers” from Freshkills – Full power danger rockers with leanings towards the bizarre. Ferocious guitars, ripping vocals and a whole lot of boom, boom, boom. Black light tunes for slinky creatures and late night drinking, slip into something more comfortable and crank it up a notch.
New York Night Train
Freshkills bring us five thick slabs of post-hardcore post-punk that sit somewhere between Jehu and Damaged with new wavy pop choruses and dance grooves injected into their centers. Dark jaded yet romantic decay kind of stuff that tends to escape from NYC every now and then. The sound of a new expensive pair of high heel stepping on rats and syringes as they stumble out the door and into the dawn. When the first rays of daylight hit a small clear baggie on the street and, from a few feet away, you mistake it for a diamond. Dirty and shiny. Rock poet Zachary Lipez’s voice is more full-bodied and in-tune than I’ve ever heard it – entering British pop territory. The JJ Paradise Players Club rhythm section of Bill Miller and Jim Paradise prove that they’re still one of the tightest and most muscular in New York, Johnny Rauberts and Tim Murray’s dual guitars do all kinds of slippery octave work, feedback, precise glass shard slicing, and, in odd places, full-on macho man powerchording. This is one of those records that contains equal parts metallic brutality and catchy candy melodicism. As Zach says, “Metal feels good in your mouth.” What if the Strokes didn’t spend their twenties being rock stars but working at Mars Bar instead? Did you get it? Have you got it?
With their debut album Creeps and Lovers, Freshkills are kicking the summer off right with their infectious punk tinged sound. Tracks like Hot Ex Wife Action, Taste of Metal and Is There Enough Cocaine in the World to Make You Love Me, are fueled by lyrics that are smart, funny and sometimes tender. Fresh Kills is a band that plays with reckless abandon, fuck the trends and what you think they should be. So be on the lookout because Fresh Kills are gonna rock your socks this summer.
|BAND/LIVE/”HERE FOR THE BACKLASH”
“Like a combination of the spazzy kid who threw desks and chairs at teachers and the bully who pushed that same kid into lockers, Freshkills use a combination of tech-y, frantic breakdowns and relentless pummeling to get their way. Unpredictable and confrontational, the band doesn’t “ask” or “compel” listeners, they demand. The same giant hands that stretched out of the amps of the MC5, Nation of Ulysses and At the Drive In have been shaking audience members to within an inch of their lives at Freshkills shows for the last year in their home of New York City. This West Coast tour with like-minded troublemakers Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower ought to leave entire crowds gasping and panic stricken, and so glad for the experience.” (Ethan Swan)
“An outstanding EP from this new band out of New York. While Drive like Jehu are an obvious influence, everything from Fugazi, Wire, The Murder City Devils and Dave Allen’s bass playing can be found on this five-song EP. It’s refreshing to hear a band with an idiosyncratic sound; just when you think you got the FreshKills number, they change it up on you. The group delivers rich song structure: when lead singer Zachary Lipez isn’t belting them out, the band doesn’t abide by a typical pre-chorus or by the numbers bridge. Whether it be their rhythm section playing in a dialect only they know or angular guitars killing you like a drunk with a circular saw, there isn’t a slow spot on this record. Which leads me to this question: why can’t all records be this fulfilling.” (RL)
“Striking out suddenly like some demented mangling of a B-52’s song, the Fall, your favorite emocore math-whatever anthem, and like some Jon Spencer nightmare, Fresh Kills take that New York sound and darken it, stretch it,deepen it, and make it actually rock out even more. It’s full and fresh, it grows, it feeds. It eats you alive, but you still have to listen to the next song. It’s a five song EP that almost feels like a full length album. Occasionally pulling out some garage rocked Sonic Youth Death Valley-type noise and mayhem, but always bringing it back to intensely driving songs that carry you out with well disguised hooks.” (JR)
New Noise UK
Providing welcome gravelly bedrock to a veritable manure tip of singles are FreshKills, rocking on a rare good-band-from-New-York tip.
For a start there’s more material on their seemingly self-titled five-track EP than most garage rock chancers release on an album. Plus, like fellow art-rocking Yeah Yeah Yeahs alumni TV On The Radio, they’re upstaging their more famous friends without pausing for breath.
And you can’t argue with a tune called ‘Hot Ex-Wife Action’ either.
Thunderous sexy bass over math-y rythms and a saucy twin-guitar attack has the Freshkills’ dead piling up somewhere between Drive Like Jehu and a garagey post-punk Radio 4-like graveyard. Check out their recent demo EP, Here For The Backlash – good stuff!
“Brooklyn’s Freshkills (no, they’re not from Staten Island, thank God…) might get filed under ‘yet another Brooklyn indie band’, but their live shows prove to be something more.”
Crashin’ In (http://www.crashinin.com/)
“Fresh Kills hit the stage with full force and 110% adrenaline the other night at club Rare. The show was filled with so much energy that you couldn’t help but take notice and get wrapped up in all of the excitement. Now they managed to capture all of their energy onto their debut EP. They would be a good match to play with The Panthers, The Von Bondies, The Flesh, and The Fever.”
Long Island Music Scene
Way back on April 17th of this year, I was visiting SUNY Purchase (my Alma Mata) when I happened to see this incredible live band for the first time. Freshkills were so brilliant, in fact, that I was compelled to buy their CD immediately after their set! I’ve been listening to it ever since, so when it came time for me to decide what to review next the choice was clear – all I had to do was press play.
Kinetic guitars layered with intense rhythms and spellbinding bass are perfectly matched by powerful lyrics and potent vocals. Freshkills’ progressive sound lives somewhere between art punk and garage rock funk, yet their boisterous discontented tone sets them apart from most of the cookie cut bands on the scene today.
The Brooklyn based band has previously opened for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bright Eyes, and Blonde Redhead to name a few. Judging by their galvanic presence on stage, this is definitely one band to watch out for.
The Tris McCall Report (http://www.trismccall.net/)
“I’ve been wearing out my copy of the Freshkills EP Here For The Backlash (recorded at Studio G, for all you Tony Maimone completists). Freshkills situate its six songs at the precise juncture between filthy garage-rock blues and mid-eighties psychocandy like early Echo & The Bunnymen, and spin out connections from there. Lipez’s performances, always somewhat unhinged, reach a crescendo of paranoia, aggression, and twisted vulnerability here, and often communicate desperation and hilarity simultaneously. His is a true New York City voice, and it’s a great one to have back.”