It is striking how British Boston-based Aberdeen City sounds. Singer/bassist Bradley Parker’s emotive vocals, the icy guitar riffs and the geek rock persona all conjur up thoughts of English, not American, acts. Freezing Atlantic, Aberdeen City’s debut album, is a call to arms for better indie rock in the States. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great indie acts here: Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab (still count as indie), and Iron and Wine are just a few. But much of American indie music tends to a lighter, more folksy slant. Yes, there are plenty of punk and emo bands tearing up the Stars and Stripes, but I’m talking about that middle ground between acoustic and angst.
Enter Aberdeen City. A four piece that, despite their serious attitude toward making music, don’t seem to take themselves very seriously. The bio on their webpage tells us that lead singer Brad Parker, “built a sensory deprivation chamber in his parents’ attic. After spending a week inside, Bradley emerged filled with incredible insights.”
Ok. A humorous group of guys from New England looking to share their tunes with the masses? I’m interested.
Described by Alternative Press as “what it would sound like if the Strokes and Interpol had a love child”. I don’t think I could explain it any better than that. The songs on The Freezing Atlantic range from energetic post-punk anthems to slower, more introspective songs. The album speaks to a range of creative ability that few bands are hanging their hats on these days. There are a couple of tremendous stand out songs on the album, specifically album anchor “God Is Going To Get Sick Of Me”, the cryptic lyrics of “In Combat” and “Another Seven Years”, and the controlled aggression of “Sixty Lives”.
Ok, I just named half of the album. Without even discussing my fondness for the desperation of “Mercy” or the lamentations sung in unison with great ryhtm section work on “Pretty Pet”. It’s one of the few songs on the album where the lyrics are relatively straight forward in terms of getting to the heart of the issue at hand.
Excuse my jingoistic desires for rock equality. But a good band from America is coming to a sweaty club near you a lot sooner than if they play every Academy gig in England first. In fact, Aberdeen City recently came to Philly and they are currently on the West Coast supporting this album. Missing their show at The Khyber in late October is “the one that got away” this fall. But I’ve got an impressive debut to tide me over until they find their way back to the East Coast.
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