I Hate Our Freedom’s Seriously has me longing for punk rock in the late 90s. This album fits in seamlessly in the period of punk where the lines between punk/hardcore/screamo were blurry and their subgroups overlapped easily.
Seriously starts out strong, the first track, “Top 8”, is filled with throat scratching screaming vocals that make the listener sit up straight in anticipation of what is next. The next tracks vary between hardcore and an almost crooning voice that starts to offer melody, yet will never let it become infectious. The distinct sound and different personality of each song stems from the fact that the band is comprised of members of Texas is the Reason, Thursday, Garrison, and Milhouse. Influenced by 80s/90s alternative music as well as punk/hardcore, this album explores many sounds punk bands traditional shy away from. The voice in track 6, “Never Promise Crazy A Baby”, could be comfortable in the synthy-post-punk scene, while “Don’t Bother Getting Married” puts hardcore in the forefront.
The music is solid all the way through the album, yet I am not sure how many times you will play it on repeat. The one flaw I found with the album is that the music and the vocals were fighting for the same place on each track. Neither the vocals nor the music ever won the battle, but coexisted in a deadlock. The strongest track of the album is track 10, “Die In Your Sleep”, an instrumental track filled with hard drums, distorted guitars, feedback, and a haunting echo.
The band has stated that when they began recording Seriously they had no intention of releasing it. I never read press releases until after I give the album a solid listen, and when I read that, the whole sound/vibe of the album made complete sense. From the scratchy feedback, to the metal guitars, to their attitude, it is clear they were playing these songs for themselves, for the fun of playing music.
I Hate Our Freedom has already recorded a follow up to Seriously, no release details have been announced but I am looking forward to see what they create when they intending on releasing the album.