Always The Quiet Ones - 'Freak Show' (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Friday, 17 February 2012 05:15

always-the-quiet-ones-freak-show-front-cover-artworkFormed late in 2010, this Liverpudlian five piece alt-rock band take their name from graffiti scrawled on the local docklands. They create dark textures to their music and aim to make a dent in the UK scene this year with the release of their new EP, 'Freak Show'. Their influences range from A Perfect Circle and Deftones to Biffy Clyro and, with recent supports to bands including Deaf Havana and Mojo Fury, the future looks bright.


'Sign Of The Times' gets things going straight off with a regimental drum beat that precedes the Muse-like riffage, the guitars weave patterns back and forth 'til the main riff, sounding decidedly like The Wildhearts to my ears, gets the head nodding; nice indeed. The vocals of Blas Barragan Jr. are higher than I was expecting and it comes as a bit of a shock, a full-on '80s metal voice we get here. The guitar work of Joe Danher and Adam Lucas is showcased to the max here, good stuff indeed. The interesting mid-song breakdown is atmospheric, it takes the listener on a little trip. Somewhat fantastical and slightly addictive, it's an impressive opening blast of a song.


'Valentina' is more melodic and chilled, the guitars again weave intricate patterns between each other over the driving bass line and it creates atmosphere. Musically, there's a lot to take in, the time changes keep things interesting.


'Freak Show' suffers with 'dumb ass chorus' syndrome, a musically technical song, of course played very well. The verses and mid-section offer a lot to the listener but the chorus of "We are the freak show" sounds a bit dumb and generic to me. Yet saying that, with repeated listens is does warm to me more, I especially like the crazy voices going on at the end of the track, so well done guys for keeping my attention.


The songs are well played and, with a good crisp production job and some interesting arrangements and ideas going on, there is plenty on offer. I find Blas Barrigan's vocals are an acquired taste, but seem to grow on me with repeated listens.


ATQO are a band with an interesting and modern alt-rock sound. The dark textures and distinctive vocals set them apart from the many bands offering up similar stuff and it may be enough to get them on the road to greater things. 'Freak Show' is a solid EP and a good start from an interesting and versatile sounding band.