Fred’s House – Bonnie & Clyde

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Review by David Waterfield

Cracking Tunes

Release Date: 21 April 2014

My first encounter with Cambridge band Fred’s House was, appropriately, at the Cambridge Rock Festival in 2012. I reckoned that the band’s homespun style of acoustic folk-rock and pop might be something that I’d enjoy – and it was! Fast forward to April 2014 and Fred’s House unveil their independently released debut album, Bonnie & Clyde. There’s something rather endearing about Fred’s House. There’s not a hint of pretension in what they do; they’re simply a band with an organic sound and a collection of (mostly) feel good songs delivered with personality, enthusiasm and warmth. It’s hard not to be charmed by them

Appearing just two songs in, ‘Fine Life’ showcases many of Fred’s House strongest qualities – an affecting lead vocal from Vicky Gavin, sumptuous supportive harmonies, a big, catchy chorus and, in this case, a bittersweet lyric about working in a low paid job and living for what you love at the weekend. The band’s other principal songwriter and lead vocalist Griff Jameson steps up for lead vocals on ‘Skin And Bone’ which is another highlight of the album. The song has a chilled out sixties West-Coast vibe about it, a little reminiscent of The Byrds in places and features some delicious, layered three part harmonies.

‘Grown Up A Little’ is another of the album’s best moments and is as simple and effective as you like: just three voices, two acoustic guitars and one concise, thoughtful, well written song. The same could be said for ‘Too Late To Go Home’ except that the latter is tastefully embellished by bass, electric guitar, kick drum and minimal percussion. The album incorporates a variety of musical styles from Eddi Reader style country (‘Standing Next To Me’) to breezy folk pop (‘Take A Ride’). ‘Closer’ sounds uncannily like Linda Perhacs before spinning off in a different direction whilst the downbeat title track (written by guitarist Lachlan Golder) displays the band’s Indie influences.

Bonnie & Clyde isn’t perfect – ‘Hold On’ is a bit of a weak link for me and Fred’s House have stronger songs than this one in their locker (‘Wrong Time’ to name but one) – but it’s a promising debut. It’s an unassuming, hand-crafted album made with love and packed to the rafters with catchy melodies.  If you’ve never visited Fred’s House before then maybe you should pay them a visit? You might find yourself right at home.

Freds House – Bonnie & Clyde8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Marathon Man
  2. Fine Life
  3. Take A Ride
  4. Skin And Bone
  5. Grown Up A Little
  6. Bonnie And Clyde
  7. Standing Next To Me
  8. Too Late To Go Home
  9. Hold On
  10. Closer
  11. Beautiful You

 

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Agree on most points bar the fact that “Hold On” is amongst the highlights and “Beautiful You” warrants a mention as the album’s closing tour de force. So 8/10 for the review I’d say. As for the album, a definite 10/10.

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