If you’ve been lucky enough to catch Black Honey on their current UK tour you’ll have been pleasantly surprised by just how good their first support sounds. 19 year old Connar Ridd, or FREAK (in all caps, naturally) as he’s quickly becoming better known, dropped his new EP this week titled I Like to Smile When I’m Sad. That feeling you get when you feel like you’ve found a gem of an artist before everyone else catches onto just how great they are? Yep, we’re getting it.
The four track EP hits hard, and we mean about as hard as you can hit whilst still maintaining a catchy, hooky core as Ridd manages throughout the EP. Other than the gaps between tracks there’s no real break in the onslaught of sound, it’s just noise and riff and hard hitting beat after beat from start to finish.
The self-titled single from the EP is the main standout, but every track has its own unique draws. Featuring a rapid riff that sounds like the unholy spawn of Slaves and faster Drenge tracks like Running Wild, the album opens like a shotgun blast of energy made audio.
It’s followed by Cake which somehow feels like it raises the tempo, though when flicking between tracks, it’s difficult to work out just where there was left to go. When you think it can’t get bigger, faster and louder it just… well, does?!
Nowhere is the weakest track of the bunch, but it’s by no means a write-off boasting brutally honest and relatable lyrics like “continue to stop and stare, is my life going anywhere”, which works as a rallying cry to Ridd’s generation, many of whom are asking the exact same question and are likely in need of this exact kind of angry music, now more than ever. A core riff holds the track together nicely and features a guitar solo that actually kept us entertained for its duration, a success in any musician’s book.
The album finishes off with Taste, the most aggressive of the EP’s tracks in its construction. Boasting a perfectly catchy chorus and the most promising lyrics of the EP, its the track that drags you back into listening to the EP through “just one more time”.
You can listen to I Like to Smile When I’m Sad here, check FREAK out on Facebook here and we’ll be bringing you full coverage of the FREAK’s set from Dot to Dot festival on May 26.