Heart Attack Man – Freak Of Nature


After bursting out of America’s Midwest in 2014, Heart Attack Man have left a tantalising trail of EP’s and albums in their wake. We now arrive at album number three, the confessional, Freak Of Nature. Using music as a kind of therapy, Heart Attack Man explores themes such as rejection, and weld it to a sound that veers between punk and rock (and all with a deliciously pop sensibility). Released as a precursor to a full UK tour, there’s never been a better time to discover the joys of Heart Attack Man.

You’d expect an album titled Freak Of Nature, housed in a sleeve featuring two rabid dogs and released by a band with the artery-blocking name Heart Attack Man to come out with all fists swinging, yet this is no ordinary album. Opening track ‘Practised In The Mirror’ gets off to a rather sedate start with an electric guitar that stands starkly and Eric Egan’s vocals. However, almost imperceptibly, it adds layers of sound and before you know it you are fully encased in the band’s warm embrace. But, like a cat playing with a mouse, Heart Attack Man are merely toying with us, and they land the killer blow with the boisterous title-track. Like a huge wrecking ball swinging from speaker to speaker, ‘Freak Of Nature’ lights a fire under our feet, and if it was ever your intention to start a riot, then this would make the perfect soundtrack. It sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of the album, and my only advice is to buckle up and enjoy the ride.

There’s something reassuring familiar about Heart Attack Man, you can hear their roots digging deep into the ‘90s punk revival, yet there’s also something refreshingly original about their modus operandi. Freak Of Nature’s authenticity is derived from its multifaceted nature; no two tracks on this album inhabit the same sonic space, meaning it’ll reward repeat spins as little nuances reveal themselves. There’s the buoyant ‘Stick Up’ rubbing shoulders with the reflective ‘God Called Off Today’ nestling next to the rocket-up-your-bum ‘C4’. You get the feeling that these tracks will transfer well to the live environment, and the catchy choruses demand that thousands of voices sing along. Plenty of shade exists for contrast, you’ll find it in lyrics such as: “I followed you home, and I watched you through your window”. These rather insalubrious words are married to a lively beat, and it makes for an interesting tension of opposites, and just one of many that’ll keep you returning again and again.

Bringing a sense of closure is ‘See You On The Other Side’, yet it also suggests a bright future, and the world is at Heart Attack Man’s feet.

Track List:

  1. Practised In The Mirror
  2. Freak Of Nature
  3. Like A Kennedy
  4. Late To The Orgy
  5. Stick Up
  6. God Called Off Today
  7. C4
  8. 9 On Your Bedside
  9. Clown School
  10. See You On The Other Side