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Music Review: Freres Ruffs

a0536749449_2Shrewsbury, Massachusetts- Even with a big debut album release two months ago, the Lapierre brothers have still decided to release some new music to us folks here in honor of record store day. Keeping in tune with the other big artists, the Freres have decided to release an album consisting of rough cuts (or “ruffs” as the brothers like to call them) of new songs and original mixes of some of the older ones. As an avid Freres Lapierre listener, I delved into this little collection of songs.

Just like with the last album, the band starts out strong with the excellent opening track, “Matching Tattoos.” It’s followed by the equally great “Smiley Face,” which put you in a more reminiscent mood, before the third track, “Cheap Seats,” keeps you in that mood, but picks up the tempo. We delve into some demo tracks of “Cosmic Wimpout” and “My Wes Girl” before they were two of the bigger songs on the debut.

After such a massive achievement that the debut album was, it’s nice to see this batch of new music keep in the spirit of Freres Lapierre’s sound, but also goes in a different direction. The debut is a great fun in the sun summer album, but this one is folkier than the debut. It’s also a great summer album, but in a kind of “you catch up with that one girl from high school you haven’t talked to in years,” way.

In the review for the last album, a lot of the standout songs were ones that were fronted by the eldest Frere, Adam. However this time, Zachary, the penultimate Frere, wins on this one. His tracks “Cheap Seats,” and “Portland, ME,” are the most fun to listen to, bringing the Avett Brother’s energy to it. However, Adam closes out the album strong with “Opening Day,” which brings the album to a smooth finish that leaves you wanting more.

There’s something compelling about the fact that these songs really irk the passion of this group. This is a collection of songs recorded in apartments, garages, and dorm rooms all over the East Coast. The Freres record and release out their music into the world because they love doing it and they want you to love doing it too. They pour themselves into their work and it’s nice to see them offer a glimpse into these works in progress while they are still raw.

I didn’t think that I was going to get another set of new Freres Lapierre songs this year with the big release of the debut, but I’m glad I did. I was curious to see where the band would be headed next after an album that reflected over two years of work. Listening to this album so many times, it gets better and better. It’s exciting that they haven’t wiped themselves out creatively and makes you want the next album even more than before. These songs are available only for a limited time, so get them before it’s too late.

Notable Tracks: Matching Tattoos, Portland ME, Cheap Seats, Opening Day

Freres Ruffs is available to download for free at http://frereslapierre.bandcamp.com/

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