26 Oct 2015

The Black Tambourines / Freedom (album review)

Have you seen The Black Tambourines live? Because the way you read this review will totally depend on that; for those who haven't, me labelling them as 'the tightest band you'll see' seems like a bit of kop out hyperbole, but if you've seen them you'll know all about their absolutely incredible chemistry as a band in a live environment, seeing them fizz around the stage hammering out some of the most energetic surf-rock you'll ever hear.  

The whole of the Freedom album buzzes with an inescapable immediacy that is almost unparalleled in the whole indie rock genre at this point in time. Stripped back of all pretension, this is just a really raw - albeit cleanly recorded - record of some pummeling energetic tracks, which are blended with a few more chilled out sun drenched numbers like Namaste and Cool Out.

However, like in a live environment, it's the songs that are just complete sonic powerhouses, like I Wanna Stay Away, Lost and Sister, that are the undoubted highlights. A brilliant mix between the Ramones and more recent surf punk bands Wavves and FIDLAR, there is so much energy in these songs, losing nothing in the recording process. I think whilst those two US bands I mentioned are probably the world leaders (alongside Ty Segall, when he feels like it) in angsty surf punk, The Black Tambourines are Britain's premium band of this type. They just don't run outta energy.

Whilst listening to Freedom isn't as scintillating as seeing the band rock out in a live environment, this record is probably the best surf rock record I've heard all year. This makes me wanna try pick up skateboarding, cut holes in my jeans, and go weeks without washing my hair. A brilliant indie guitar album that I cannot find a single fault in.


(written by calum cashin)