The first time I heard about A Genuine Freakshow was at Summer Sundae Weekender, ‘You gotta come and see this band, they are the next Arcade Fire’. What I hear isn’t exactly that, if we are to put things in genres, Arcade Fire are alternative rock and A Genuine Freakshow have a more indie-pop edge. However, like Arcade Fire, the instrumentation of the band and the anthems in some of the songs is enough to fill stadiums. There album ‘Oftentimes’ shows just this. Both big singalong’s such as ‘I Can Feel his Heartbeats’ and the beautiful simplicity of tracks such as ‘Warning Shot’ make for a very nice debut and a very underrated band.
The album opens with ‘We are the Undercurrents’ beginning with Sigur Ros type crackles and a melodic piano. The album continues into ‘I Can Feel his Heartbeats’ which has a very catchy chorus and see the swooping violins nicely compliment the vocals of Tim Sutcliffe. ‘New Houses’ is a indie ballad and the almost whispered falsetto’s of Sutcliffe make the song one of the albums highlights. ‘Holding Hands’ begins as a simple song but soon builds up into a full orchestra melody, before the last track ‘Warning Shot’ gives the listener a very different feel to the rest of the album. The electric guitar has been replaced for an acoustic one and Sutcliffe’s voice is much simpler, and more natural. This song is easily my highlight of the album, but a committed Genuine Freakshow fan may feel it is drifting too far from there heavy orchestrated sound.
This album has so many brilliant bursts of creativity, interesting instrumentation and stunning vocals from a very talented singer. It doesn’t capture you like an Arcade Fire album does, but its very listenable and I think its the sort of thing that can be liked by the masses. At the moment this band are floating around the alternative scene but I think with singles like ‘I Can Feel his Heartbeats’ they would fit much better in the mainstream. Having already played over 80 shows across the UK and a sold out show at Bush Hall, I think its only a matter of time before they will be tackling much much bigger ground.
Best tracks: Warning Shot, Houses, I Can Feel his Heartbeats