This installment of our BREAKING SOUNDS feature goes to the debut 7" EP by the Bay-Area's The Fresh & Onlys on Chuffed Records, but you may already be too late. San Francisco's Fresh & Onlys are one of those bands that may not catch your ear with full force upon first listen, but if you give it a little time, the bewildering magic that lies in their studio recordings has the power to win you over by sneakily crawling under your skin, in the most pleasant way imaginable. With nothing really "new" in terms of instrumentation or sonic groundbreaking, they somehow have that rare ability to transcend time and space in their songs, ushering waves of pleasure down your spine as their atrocious hooks slide right into place under your jaw, like a snagged mackerel that just got yanked from the lake. Melding some serious 60s psyche/folk good vibrations into short, god-like bursts of modern miracle work, they keep their songs short and interesting, never leaving room for those inevitable, meandering trappings that always come back to bite even the most spirited attempts in the genre. With a multi-gendered cadre of bizarre characters in their ranks, The already inimitable Fresh & Onlys instantly align themselves with the freakier side of the state-of-the-art underground punk spectrum, and deliver a wall of male/female vocals that create chills that last from song to song, to song. With a minimal approach such as this, you'd think their creative well would dry up after a few tracks, but in fact, it doesn't ever let up. And with further probing, you might even stumble upon a copy of their cassette release (soon to be reissued/repackaged on vinyl by Captured Tracks) with even more incredulous songs that lock in even faster, and from there, it'll basically consume your feeble brain.
With this debut 7" EP on Chuffed Records poking out of the thawing soil last month in a modest pressing size of 300, all copies were snatched up quickly, but with news of a repress in the works, it should be one of the year's mandatory possessions for the psyche/punk-inclined, or anyone even casually interested in blowing their mind. Keep an eye on the Chuffed label's site HERE for news on the repress, you're not gonna wanna miss it. Also, their devastatingly essential debut LP coming out this month on Castle Face isn't to be missed either, so if you've already been damaged beyond repair from the effect of Thee Oh Sees and their other-worldly nuances of euphoria in 2008, you'd better brace yourself for the eye-gouging greatness getting ready to be unleashed by the Fresh & Onlys in 2009. Seriously, a modern day marvel of a band, and soon one you won't be happy without, it's time to bury your head in this stuff for real, as this seems certainly like a spring of great songwriting has just begun to to pour from these fine, faded fellows. Look for a new 7" single coming soon on Dirty Knobby Records, as well as their follow-up LP soon out on Woodsist, as well.
If you're around the nor-Cal area this month, check out their Castle Face debut LP release party April 23rd at The Knockout in San Francisco, with Wounded Lion and Anastazis. Or pick up a copy of the debut LP here (first pressings still available!).
And check out a live video clip of The Fresh & Onlys at Amnesia, courtesy of theamericanopry, right here: