"Philosophies of the Modern Ant" (Pavement; 2015)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


It's impossible not to almost instantly notice the similarity of Freaks Like Me to Nirvana. The music here is grunge-tinged, sometimes downbeat, and the vocalist often sounds a lot like Kurt Cobain.

Of course, in many ways, that's a good thing, especially if you're a Nirvana fan. If you're going to emulate someone (intentionally or not), at least be good at emulating them. And "Philosophies of the Modern Ant" is a good EP. Freaks Like Me aren't a band that want to be Nirvana, but I'm willing to bet they were seriously influenced by Nirvana. That may sound like a minor distinction but it's not. This isn't a cover band; this is a band who do good original work in the style and manner of artists who meant a lot to them. Again, whether intentionally or not.

That brings up the other side of the equation here: If you don't like Nirvana, you're not going to like Freaks Like Me. The two bands are too similar for there to be any other outcome. But there are many differences as well. Freaks Like Me may be influenced by Nirvana but they're not a carbon copy. Some of the riffs on this EP are bright and quick and the use of instruments such as acoustic guitar and cello give the songs a different texture. It may be impossible to listen to this recording and not think of Kurt Cobain and company, but that doesn't mean that Freaks Like Me didn't bring anything to the party themselves.

One quick note: A friend of mine who is a huge Nirvana fan listened to this CD at my request and told me he didn't hear any Nirvana at all. So I leave whether or not it does to you, the listener.

Freaks Like Me: Guitar/Vocals - Jon O Connor; Bass Guitar - Dave Eve; Drums/Percussion - Steve Kilroy.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2015 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jan 2019 01:27:05 -0500.