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Frei - EP Review: Emergence

24 Oct 2023 // A review by Karl Brinsdon

It's not often that I hear something that I struggle to define with some sort of genre but Emergence by Frei really has me stumped. I must say, that's not a bad thing at all, in fact I totally welcome it. There are elements throughout the EP that remind me of stoner rock like Electric Wizard or Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. The instrumentation and arrangement in some of the tracks, particularly Vikings has a certain cinematic vibe. This is achieved through the use of string parts that are prominent in the mix.

I can't think of any other music I would describe as cinematic stoner rock but that's only the beginning of this genre bending release. At the same time, the low vocal in many of the tracks reminds me of gothic music like Sisters of Mercy. The low vocal compliments the droning basslines that are mixed very forward in the mix in several tracks.

The clean guitar in Ground appears to have an 80s post-punk influence (think the Police or the Smiths) in both its musical content and its tonality. The clean guitar line is a repeating sequence of notes but the lowest note in the sequence moves around creating an ostinato within a single part which is rare to see. I can't ignore the classic rock vibe of Deep in which the 12-string guitar really reminds me of some Led Zeppelin songs.

Overall, the EP is a truly impressive blend of a wide variety of genres that I can't say I've heard from another artist. While I have compared it to a multitude of other artists, I feel the need to say while elements of each are present here, Frei have created something from those elements that is very much their own.

 

About Frei

Frei is a husband and wife duo, formed in 2022 and based in Wellington, New Zealand. After a long hiatus from the music scene to raise a family, their passion for music was rekindled.

With both bringing decades of musical experience and performance, Frei embraces the new wave of digital home records to realise the dream of taking their musical ideas and messages of love and hope to a wider audience.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Frei

Releases

Emergence
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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