The Freqs, Poachers (2023)

Heavy rock stoner band The Freqs bring it on with their latest, Poachers.

At the tender age of three, The Freqs have their act together. In such a short time, it is surprising that the Salem, Massachusetts band is four EPs deep with the new record. Each album so far has been a step up, and the new one is no exception. The band is Seth Crowell (guitar, vocals), Ian Mandly (bass, keys), and Zack Fierman (drums).

“Poacher Gets The Tusk” gets things rolling with a heavy stoner riff and a surprisingly intense catchiness. It has a good cook to it, this song, with a syrupy passage in the center. Mostly fungus-free, this one is a winner. “Powertrippin’” is a bit stabby, with distorted vocals paired by a harsh guitar partner. Frenzied and clacking, the song excites your nerve endings like a fourth cup of coffee at breakfast. There is a very odd choir-like chorus in the softened center that might wrong-foot you, so watch out. “Asphalt Rivers” makes out like it is a gentle lounge piece. It is more than that, with creaturous ripples biding their time just beneath the surface. Soon enough they break through and rock your inadequate boat. It is unsettling.

Side two brings “Sludge Rats,” a song that sounds like it seems it would sound. At first. Like the other songs in this set, first impressions do not convey accurately the entirety of the enterprise. The swelling and growth of the music herein is industrious. “Chase Fire, Caught Smoke” has a delightful mystery to it, a devilish squirm that is enticing and mesmerizing. I love the tone. The last track is “Witch,” a raw, sludgy delicacy. I find the guitar in this song very appealing, highlighted here even more than in other songs. This album deserves a listen. Recommended.

Poachers is out on Friday, February 3rd in glorious digital at the Bandcamp link below.

Band photo by Zack Fierman.




© Wayne Edwards

The Freqs, Poachers (2023)