Freak –  Andrew Neil (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Existing in that common ground of a musical Venn diagram where folk, grunge and indie unexpectedly party together, Freak is a wonderful collection of music which the man himself labels as “Outsider music.” And whilst that might sound as if Andrew Neil is pushing things to the extremes, rest assured he isn’t. Well, not the extreme extremes anyway. Right from the off, as the titular opening salvo emanates from the stereo, it is clear that he has an ear for melody and groove and if you have that to anchor things down then you can’t go far wrong.

Overdose is a wonderfully dynamic wander between sparing riffs and pulsing bass lines, staccato drums and chiming guitars, being from the Old World side of the Atlantic I hear the echoes of Brit-pop swirling around at its core but that is probably more coincidental than planned. Put Me Back Together is a cool, meandering song which sounds like… well, now I have my ear attuned to Neil’s mercurial sonic charms, it sounds like him and little else.

There is an art to drawing on so many different references and inspirations, styles and influences but ending up with a consistent sound that is all your own but that is what Andrew Neil consistentlydoes on this album. He may be a freak but he’s our freak and long may it continue.

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