Cola Freaks – Cola Freaks
Though this Denmark-based band does not frequent the states often, there are several reasons why they should have caught your attention long before their debut long-player dropped. They took their name from a song by fellow Dutchmen Lost Kids (included on the Killed by Death #7 compilation), briefly shared members with Jay Reatard and often have their sound compared to other KBD bands and Reatard. More importantly, they steal the show live due to a manic, seizure-stricken lead singer and have released an impressive string of 7″ singles, including a solid 2010 effort on Rob’s House Records.
How does their first LP measure up to these expectations? It measures up quite well. While elements reminiscent of some Killed By Death comps and Blood Visions-era Reatard are present, the album features that clean,1990s-inspired guitar sound, played at dark, 1980s European punk/2000s garage-punk speed. Add clear, discernable vocals, and that’s what keeps this record from getting lost in the shuffle with other modern KBD worshippers, like the much rawer Useless Eaters.
Standout tracks include the quick and to-the-point “Sten” and darker, New Wave-inspired cuts like “Under Vand.” Other songs are comparable without sounding the same, so there is no weak link. If bands like Lost Kids hit a modern studio to work on a full-length, the end result might sound a little like this. Since that hasn’t happened, Cola Freaks’ debut full-length may be as close to unique as you are going to hear from a modern punk band.