- A Sean-and-Liz interview and in-studio performance on Last.fm.
- A Sean-and-Liz interview on Out.com.
- Imaginary Friends wins Best Album in the 2011 Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll
- The Village Voice named "Get Ready 2 Rokk" as one of the Top Ten Guitar Hero tracks.
- A Sean-and-Liz interview and nice album review in Auxiliary Magazine.
- a sean-and-liz interview on artist direct
- a mixtape Sean and I curated on Baeble
- a liz interview on YRB
- a sean-and-liz interview on game rant
- a story on kotaku about Christmas' RB3 keytar
- freezepop feature/interview on NPR's
All Things Considered
- we were featured on Spike TV's GameTrailers
TV, Pax 2008 episode
- a feature in wired
- a feature in vice
- liz interview at big stereo
- we won the boston phoenix/wfnx best music poll 2008
- our top 10 albums at artist direct
- band feature/interview at the boston phoenix
- a feature in the boston
- our visit to JBTV
- an interview with second
supper, from our la crosse, WI show
- an interview at gamecritics.com.
be sure to read through to the end, he asked us a very thought-provoking
- freezepop feature/interview on NPR's
All Things Considered
- a liz interview in the Boston
- A cool lil' interview
with us on YouTube...
- we were featured on Spike TV's GameTrailers
TV, Pax 2008 episode
- band interview at [OC]Modshop
- liz interview at doe deere blogazine
- we won the boston phoenix/wfnx best music poll 2008
- the duke and liz interview at wfmu
- really amazing liz interview at trece:viente (it
helps if you speak spanish, but it's so awesome-looking you should go
check it out even if you don't. click on "entrar" and then "11:11" and
then "entrar" again)
- liz interview at the backroom
- liz and seth damascus-kennedy interview at destructoid
- our top 10 albums at artist direct
- sean and liz interview video at x1fm
radio (there is no direct link to this, you'll have to click on "interviews" and
then scroll to the right until you find us.)
- band interview at the boston phoenix
- liz interview at big stereo
- liz interview at pressedmusic
- a feature in the boston
- a story in wired
- an interview in side-line
- a japanese
interview (there's a link to the original english too)
- band interview on synthpopalooza
- liz interview at womanrock.com
- freezepop feature from vice
- freezepop interview on coolgrrrls.com
click to jump to reviews of...
Future Future Future Perfect ... Maxi Ultra•Fresh ...Fancy
Ultra•Fresh ... Hi-Five
My Remix ... Fashion Impression Function ... Freezepop
Forever ... the Orange EP ... live
shows ... videogames ... compilations
Future Future Perfect
If you have a taste
for catchy tunes and artful boops and bleeps, think Depeche Mode remain
gods among men, and are tired of doom 'n' gloom naysayers, you could
do a lot worse than buy this album.
-Dave DiMartino, New This Week Yahoo Music blog
Freezepop was well aware that the '80s
would once again be rad. Though the whole dance-rock revival is limping
out the door, on its new album, "Future Future Future Perfect," the
Allston synth-pop band stays true to yet excels beyond its previous material.
The kitschy sound is still intact: the bubbly keyboards, the dance-ready
beats, and the often-hilarious lyrics on songs such as "Brainpower." The
triumphant "Less Talk More Rokk" is the closest Freezepop gets
to guitar rock - oddly enough, without guitars. The outstandingly harmonized
serpentine synths give way to a minimalist beat with comically accurate
lyrics describing a house party: "The kitchen scene is damp and
sticky/ They're lined up at the keg of PBR."
Singer Liz Enthusiasm's airy, nearly robotic vocals summon the Human
League and Gary Numan, while the subtle and meticulous production shines
with vocoder harmonies and swelling tempos.
While the darker yet upbeat tone works as an impressive foil to the cheerier
tracks, the slower tunes such as "Thought Balloon" seem to
float endlessly without a memorable hook. Still, "Future Future
Future Perfect" is a welcome change of pace and a sure sign of growth
from a band refusing to leave the Me Decade.
Brian E. King, The Boston Globe
Though the synth-based arrangements
give a chill to the overall tone of the album, Freezepop are by no means
an experiment in Kraftwerking man/machine automation. The synths, sequencers,
and slippery electronic beats in “Pop Music Is Not a Crime” may
put up a cold front, but it’s by no means impenetrable, especially
since the band have moved beyond the QY-70 to incorporate more sophisticated
synths and sequencers... It’s music that melts in your mouth but
not in your hands.
-Matt Ashare, The Boston Phoenix
Simple, catchy, dancey, electro-pop
fun! They also have a few slower tracks on the album such as 'Thought
Balloon' and 'Swimming Pool' which I always tend to like from them because
it showcases Liz's voice. When the tracks are slowed down you can really
appreciate her great singing voice.
Another thing I love about Freezepop is their sense of humor. With track titles
like 'Do You Like My Wang?', 'Pop Music is Not a Crime' & 'Ninja of Love'
it can only bring a smile to your face. The last thing they put in their credits
too is 'no real instruments were used in the making of this recording' Classic!
- Ray Milian, Off the Radar blog
Boston’s premiere electro-pop trio shows
it can have space-age fun without succumbing to novelty status. Obviously there’s
more to this ’80s fascination than many thought. Liz Enthusiasm’s
ironically deadpan singing brings elements of absurd humor and, in a few spots,
melancholy to the table.
- Christopher John Treacy, The Boston Herald
Pretty much since they formed in 1999, Boston
trio Freezepop has been the consummate underdog. Their New Wave synth pop was
knowingly anachronistic, their lyrics were disarmingly funny, sharp cuts against
the twee currents running beneath a lot of their material, and their irreverent
attitude carried them just as far as their musicianship.
They never became huge stars (underdogs aren't supposed to), but thankfully
they never gave up either, and the group's third album, Future Future Future
Perfect, shows Freezepop improving on their sound and sensibility without altering
it too much. The improvement, at least from an equipment standpoint, is evident
almost immediately - the opening crescendo of "Less Talk More Rokk" is
fuller and more sonically powerful than anything previously recorded by the
band, and this newly acquired access to muscle is put to good use. Tracks like "He
Says She Says" and "Ninja of Love" get an added push from early-to-mid-90's
electronica touches, the epic echoes on "Frontload" recall late period
Ladytron, and combined with the group's more established chilled, tight sound,
the dramatic undercurrent lent by these additions creates the illusion of more
It's an illusion, of course, because the other half of Freezepop's personality
is defined almost exclusively by sarcasm and cutting wit. This side of Freezepop
also has some new wrinkles on Future Perfect, sometimes in more than one sense
of the word. It's impossible to ignore the specter of age that's begun to creep
into Freezepop's songwriting (this album's opening chorus - "the music
is loud, the kids are so young"), and there are a couple tracks that seem
forced ("Do You Like My Wang?"), but mostly their sense of humor
remains one of the group's chief assets. Lines like "Some kid shouts 'less
talk more rock!'...mostly unironically'" tend to come out of nowhere,
delivered with nearly doped up disinterest by Liz Enthusiasm, and her casual
vocals work some mysterious magic.
On "Pop Music Is Not a Crime," a track that starts out all business
and gets progressively more joyous, Freezepop outlines their raison d'etre.
And like most underdog causes, it's one we all pull for.
- Max Willens, GBH.tv
While some techno acts make their
sound by merging dark or soulful vocalists with electronic soundscapes,
Freezepop takes the cue of Kraftwerk and play up the metronomic aspect
of techno music, with Enthusiasm singing in very clipped, emotionless
sylables much of the time. Ironically, this makes these songs astonishingly
The band's third full-length disc opens with a call to the dancefloor
in the building fun of "Less Talk More Rokk" before slipping
into the no apologies "Pop Music Is Not A Crime" and the unashamedly
silly "Ninja of Love." All of these tracks are reminiscient
of another indie synth-pop band, I Am The World Trade Center.
With the more layered and plaintive vocals of "Frontload" and "Swimming
Pool" and the gender politics of "Do You Like Boys?" the
band sounds a bit more like English techno-popsters Client, while the
lush effects of "Thought Balloon" almost call to mind Enya
with a better beat.
In the end, "Future Future Future Perfect" is a gem of an electro
disc that is the equivalent of rock candy to retro synthesizer music
lovers. Don't miss this great dose of bleeping pop!
- John Everson, Chicago Heights Star
Filled with icy electro, as the name implies,
this addictive CD has room for romance (“Thought Balloon”), dance
(“Ninja of Love”), electro-pop (“Brainpower”), and
humor (“Do You Like My Wang?”). Pick this up.
- Emily Tan, DJ Times
The album is buoyant and tinged with
saccharine artificiality. This may sound like an insult, but if these
verses were sung with anything less than detached nonchalance, the effect
would be slightly nauseating. "You're the coolest boy I know, but
it's so hard to just say so," Enthusiasm reveals coyly. This is
the kind of clichéd sentiment present in so many hackneyed pop
songs, but the way she delivers these lines is so childish and provocative
that the listener can't help but be entranced.
- Evelyn Caruso, Loyola University Phoenix
I'm telling you, it's another Saturday
night dance party favorite.
- Amanda Hansult, The Aquarian Weekly
Future Future Perfect" from
Freezepop is the quintessential electronica album with its futuristic
beats, which are incredibly danceable.
-Sari N. Kent, TheCelebrityCafe.com
Boston-based synth-pop group Freezepop
wrote a song on their first LP inquiring about the whereabouts of "Growing
Pains" star Tracey Gold. You don't get much more awesome than that,
so it must have been a challenge to follow it up with two more equally
rad albums--first "FancyUltraFresh" and now "Future Future
Future Perfect." Lead singer Liz Enthusiasm's vocals are like one
of those massive rainbow lollipops dipped in a vat of sugar, resembling
I Am The World Trade Center with the robotic feeling of Miss Kittin--only
with a lot less pretension.
At first I was skeptical about their quirkiness,
but the music began to grow on me and take hold, take hold, TAKE HOLD!!!
Future Future is full
of cheesy lyrics, full of insanely awesome and dramatic key mashing, and
full of the kind of raw beats that make you bob your head uncontrollably.
Try and resist the bobbing. C’mon, try. You’ll get a cookie
if you succeed.
-Boris Strelchin, Music.Da-Shiz.net
If you ever want to travel back to the
year 1986 — and God knows why you'd want that, but at least Dick
Cheney wasn't running the country — this disc should do the trick.
It's filled with the sort of manically synthesized pop we all remember
from those days of boxed wine and rayon roses...This is ideal party music.
It's catchy, throbbing, and just smart enough to recognize how ditzy it
-Steve Almond, Miami New Times
Overall, there seem to be two overriding
themes here. Perving and outer space. But, despite an initial impression
of ‘cool’, the fact is they are far from it. Serious, earnest
muso types may well dismiss Freezepop’s output as somewhat naff and
throwaway. I, for one, don’t care. This is a great record. Buy it,
and let the pervy spaceman that probably lives in all of us have a dance.
-- James G, soundsxp.com
Freezepop's Maxi Ultra•Fresh is
a 58 minute foray into a modern retro world of analog synths, thumping
drum machines, and vocoded vocals. Blending male and female vocals, the
band's synthetic sound showcases strong songwriting and nearly spotless
Maxi Ultra•Fresh is an excellent release, original
material, live material, and remixes coming together to form a surprisingly cohesive
package that offers up nearly an hour of excellent synthpop and electro. Fans
of synthpop, electro, and retro new wave should certainly give this one a spin.
-- Joshua Heinrich, graveconcernsezine.com
Nearly every group that has attempted to revive the
vintage '80s synth pop sound has done so with at least part of their tongue
firmly planted in cheek. With monikers like the Duke of Pannekoeken and
Liz Enthusiasm and deadpan lyrics about malls, record stores, video games
and party boys, Boston's Freezepop appear to be no exception. But what
could have come across as a smarmy, ironic genre exercise instead works
quite well thanks to the band's energetic presentation and excellent songwriting
sensibilities. Much like Ladytron, Future Bible Heroes and Soviet, Freezepop
don't just regurgitate tired Human League clichés for kicks. Memorable
songs like "Bike Thief" and "Outer Space" actually
add something to the synth pop legacy, bettering the music of many of their
original heroes in the process.
-- Big Takeover
The unfazed fembot monotone of singer Liz Enthusiasm — which
melds sublimely with the group’s repetitive raygun rhythms — really
begs rebooting. You’ll do just that with Fancy Ultra•Fresh,
their collection of shiny, plastic pop bits full of ironic humor.
— LA Weekly
Nerdy Boston synth-pop hipsters, Freezepop recall the
wide-eyed innocence of Mute pioneers Daniel Miller's fake space age electro-pop
band, The Silicon Teens - and also the stilted 'sex and Bacardi' swagger
of Brighton's own Miss Pain. This I like. It's all to do with treating
robots like little children like shimmering glass modules of purple and
green and orange like rudimentary Kraftwerk drummachine patterns like candy.
Favoured track: 'Stakeout' "
-- Everett True, Loose Lips Sink Ships
Following in the footsteps of Human League, Ladytron,
and Kraftwerk, Freezepop is a blend of fanciful, energetic dance pop mixed
with songs that are more on the serious side. About half the songs on this
album are fun filled tunes, while the other half are darker, more intricate
pieces. In fact, I find this disc to be kind of schizophrenic, but, in
many ways, I like it because it is so two sided.
All in all, this disc is solid. The production is stellar and the songs
are strong contributions to the genre. If you love to dance or love
Ladytron, this certainly is a band for you. Give Freezepop a try and you
will be in for a tasty treat.
-- Jason, somewherecold.com
Three years ago Freezepop were one of the few bands
to give new life to the synthpop genre with the release of their debut
album 'Freezepop Forever'. ...Their new CD, Fancy Ultra Fresh',shows that
time has been good to the sound of Freezepop. It is definitely not a complete
departure from the minimal but
charming electropop of 'Freezepop Forever', but the production on songs like
'Bike Thief' or 'Parlez-Vous Freezepop?' is just a bit tighter, which turns
out to be a good decision. After all, nothing in music is more annoying than
professionals who still want to sound like amateurs. Most of the 13 songs are
uptempo, but just when you thought the band’s B52’s meets Ladytron
meets Miss Kittin party gets a little too exhausting, they come up with beautiful,
more laid-back songs like 'Outer Space' or 'Duct Tape My Heart' to save you
'Fancy Ultra Fresh' has got it all: Great singing, beautiful harmonies and
a production that feels just right. Synthpop fans wouldn’t want to spend
this spring without Freezepop.
-- Gilbert Blecken, pennyblackmusic.com
If Gerry House is country's answer to Spinal Tap and
Aqua is the Spinal Tap of Europop, Freezepop may very well be the Spinal
Tap of '80s-style synth pop and new wave. Of course, being described as
a synth pop/new wave equivalent of Spinal Tap isn't necessarily what Freezepop
is aiming for on Fancy Ultra Fresh; in various interviews, the
Bostonians have downplayed the strong '80s influences in their wildly infectious
music. But on Fancy Ultra Fresh, Freezepop has so much fun with
synth pop and new wave stereotypes that you can't help but see this 2004
release as an affectionate celebration of the wackier side of Ronald Reagan/Margaret
Thatcher-era pop culture. Comparisons to '80s favorites like the Human
League, Soft Cell, Berlin, Duran Duran, and Thomas Dolby are unavoidable,
and it would be a mistake to think that Freezepop's three members are merely
good at what they do -- they're great at it. In contrast to all the ultra-introspective,
angst-ridden lyrics that have come from alternative pop/rock in the '90s
and 2000s, lovably goofy items like "Duct Tape My Heart," "Parlez-Vous
Freezepop?," "Boys on Film" (as opposed to Duran Duran's "Girls
on Film"), and "Chess King" are an exercise in pure, unmitigated
fun. Lead singer Liz Enthusiasm isn't try to save the world on this CD;
instead, she sings about all-night parties, club-hopping, fashion trends,
and male bimbos in tight pants -- and she does it with a deadpan vocal
style that is girlish, amusing, silly, sexy (in a detached way), and ironic
all at once. Enthusiasm and her colleagues showed a great deal of promise
on their first full-length album, Freezepop Forever, and their
2002 EP Fashion Impression Function, but on this superb disc,
the New Englanders have truly achieved synth pop/new wave perfection.
-- Alex Henderson, allmusic guide
The success of recent synthpop/electroclash music --
the stuff that works on a few more levels than Now this is Clash! fodder
-- is its ability to connect with both the generation that spawned the
movement and the kids who are discovering it for the first time. Freezepop's
music succeeds on both counts, carefully blending nostalgic sounds and
themes with an updated, glossy digital sheen.
Freezepop focus on the tricks they know well, avoiding the eclectic route
that bogs down many acts (i.e. Bis), and write about everyday things (duct
tape, Gameboys, love, fresh clothes). The result: honest music that's neither
pretentious nor frivolous, and that shines on every count.
-- Dave Madden, splendidezine.com
A few notes into Fancy
Ultra-Fresh, the band's second full length, and I was worried. This album had
the potential to be a big Europop bomb, but I couldn't resist the fun anymore
than I can resist a Flavorice during a typcial Virginia summer. This Freezepop
album is a new summer classic. This
synthpop is catchy, danceable, and entertaining.
-- Justin Cober-Lake, popmatters.com
I'll confess--I can't stand '80s dance music. It's just too damn cheesy. Even
a lot of New Order songs sound too cheesy to me. A lot of '80s music could
be better than it was if they had just turned down the cheese level. That's
why these '80s-influenced electronic pop bands are good. They take the good
stuff from the '80s and leave a lot of the cheesiness behind. That's also why
a lot of covers of '80s songs sound better than the original. Get it? (Strangely
enough, however, I do have a soft spot for some of the contemporary electronic
pop that wears its '80s dance music on its sleeve, especially I Am the World
Trade Center and Ladytron. And now, Freezepop.)
And what about Freezepop? Freezepop takes its '80s revival job the most seriously
out of all the '80s revival electronic pop bands out there. Well, not extremely
seriously. Their music is all about fun. Far from being as hip as Ladytron,
and more sugary and kitschy than I Am the World Trade Center, Freezepop have
made a unique little niche for themselves in the whole scheme of '80s nostalgia.
Their allegiance to the '80s is the least ironic and most faithful of any (or
most of the) electronic pop bands out there, but thanks to that rose-colored
filter of nostalgia that absorbs most of the impurities for which the '80s
are notorious, their music is very digestible.
But still, I love this album.
--Eric Wolf, mundanesounds.com
That's all I can say after listening to it for the first time. I can't speak
at all after listening to it the second time. After listening through the record
a third time, my brain can finally handle the euphoric feelings while being
aware of the real world as well. On their new album "Fancy Ultra•Fresh," Freezepop
delivers one happypoppish song after another in such a tempo you will have
a hard time not falling into bliss. Spirited melodies, analog sounds and wonderfully
naive lyrics make Freezepop the advocates of the light-hearted any time of
The potential singles are many and I would like to say that there isn't a single
song that can be questioned. Not even the only tranquil song, "Outer Space," feels
malplaced as it is a break in the middle of the record and gives you a chance
to retrieve some fluids before the party continues.
As said, "Fancy Ultra•Fresh" offers everything that is needed
to give the grey weekday a neon pink shade. Furthermore, this is this year's
first clear 5-pointer in my record collection.
- Jonaz Bjork, zeromagazine.com, translated by August Flensburg, here's the original Swedish
Freezepop’s latest collection of electronic ear candy, “Fancy Ultra-Fresh,” still
abounds with blippy buoyancy, but is decidedly more introspective than their
previous releases in a dreamy, vulnerable sort of way. Songs of puppy-slush
love and celestial meanderings add a wistful touch. On the whole, their new
collection is more polished and nuanced than “Freezepop Forever,” though
their debut predecessor excelled in sheer originality and farcical power. For
example, their parodied karaoke video of “Tenisu no Boifurendo (Tennis
Boyfriend)” achieves a hilarity that no high-budget high-gloss music
video could hope to attain.
The lack of emotional complexity is by choice, of course, and Freezepop is
likely to prove a soft addiction for urbanites with an unexplained penchant
for twizzlers and nerds.
-- Chikako Sassa, MIT Tech
In the noisy town of Musicland, the red line is ringing,
an emergency call put through to synthpop heroes Freezepop. As Liz Enthusiasm
(Freezepop’s singer-songwriter) picks up the phone, the muffled voice
of Musicland’s Mayor calls out: “Help! Nobody’s having
“ Hmmmm,” thinks Liz, “No fun? This must be the work of corporate
moneymakers, ruining the face of music everywhere.” In a flash, she’s
sliding down some neon colored equivalent of the bat-pole and waking up fellow
band-mates (the Duke of Pannekoeken and the Other Sean T. Drinkwater), quickly
spilling out wacky lyrics as the Duke programs a chorus of techno on a Yamaha
QY-70, the Other Sean playing the synthesized chords.
While this may only be an imaginary recreation of the writing process of Freezepop,
the essential remains true: this superb group is out to save the world from
bad music. With their wacky second release Fancy Ultra-Fresh, Enthusiasm strikes
back with 12 wildly eclectic synthpop songs. The bizarre love of Freezepop’s
world is so hopeful and uplifting that it’s hard to notice flaws, although
techno haters will probably want to skip this group entirely.
The components of any Freezepop song contain an invigorating MIDI base, riddled
with spacey sound effects and layer with synthesized vocal tracks that allow
Liz to sing in pitch-perfect harmony with herself. But it’s the extra
ingredient that really pulls each track together: love. This musical trio seems
to have so much fun putting each track together that their songs quickly become
addictive, if not positively haunting. “Outer Space,” in particular,
stands out to show the progression of Freezepop’s music since their ’99
Like any delicious dessert, Freezepop doesn’t have a deeper meaning,
but it’s a rich and filling musical treat, each bite giving off an entirely
new sensation that takes the somewhat limited synthpop genre to its very limits.
-- Aaron Riccio, Binghamton University Pipe Dream
Freezepop’s Fancy Ultra-Fresh is the kind of
CD that grows on you whether you want it to or not. Mixing Devo, Aqua,
and every other synth-pop band together, Freezepop is kitchy 80’s
nostalgia that will get stuck in your brain and make you do the robot for
the duration of the disc. It’s like if the band from the end of Revenge
of the Nerds cut an album. And it’s so damned embarassing that I
actually dig it.
-- Night Watchman, Tastes Like Chicken
This is a veritable rollercoaster of high-energy synthpop.
Ranging from frantic club hits like “I Am Not Your Gameboy” and “Stakeout” to
slow and beautiful numbers like “Outer Space” and “Emotions
and Photons” (possibly my favourite, mainly because of the brilliant
vocoder in the chorus), the album has something for everyone. Sometimes
it’s a matter of hit and miss, but the supersharp production and
funny lyrics put me in a good party mood. And I guess that is the mission
for these three youngsters from America who call themselves Liz Enthusiasm,
the Duke of Pannekoeken and Sean T. Drinkwater. I suspect those names might
It’s always fun to see some bands breaking through the almost impenetrable
wall of so-so electroclash and retro-synth these days, but Freezepop has that
certain something that makes it worthwhile to check out. If you can get past
the extremely bad – probably intentionally – title "Fancy
Ultra-Fresh" of course.
-- Johan Carlsson, releasemagazine.net
In the future, it's all about catchy robotic synthpop
dance music. Think Devo meets Aqua and Ladytron, Freezepop is full of so
much bloopy beepy synthpop goodness you'll be reaching for the OtterPops
and Pop Rocks in no time. A celebration of nifty radness from somewhere
left of Jupiter(or Boston), this is the kind of band that can reference
everything from ebay and Super Mario to 80's sitcoms and shopping at the
mall(and have it all make sense) Any band that puts their email and site
URL into a song rocks with me. At first listen one might think of this
as a novelty gimmick band, but behind the kitchy lyrics and plastic aestetic
lies something special.
This is Freezepop's second full length album, the other two cds being remix
EP's. The sound has definately matured with noticeable layering, yet still
maintaining it's minimalistic core nexus. For me it's pretty much on par with
their 2002 debut album Freezepop Forever, instantly becoming another favorite
of mine. Freezepop has been spreading their unqiue brand of 8-bit electroclash
far and wide with a variety of US and European tours. They even recently did
a remix for Apoptygma Berzerk, and have had songs on a variety of Playstation2
I'm hoping Freezepop can get more of the exposure they deserve, as I really
see this band appealing to everyone from the electronic music crowd to the
folks at an anime gamer convention. In an age where it's all about being emo
screamo, it's nice to see a band coming from a time where it was all about
-- cory, pockybot.com
Freezepop - Fancy Ultra Fresh Review v 1.0: Having followed
the group for many years, I must say that new Freezepop releases feel less
like the next album from a band than upgrades to a computer operating system,
this year’s Fancy Ultra Fresh proving no exception. F.U.F. (call
it Freezepop 2.0) retains all the best features of F-pop’s previous
LPs, EPs, and singles - gleefully cheap synthesizer sounds overacting, Liz
Enthusiasm’s voice intoning witty lyrics in varying shades of monotone
- and even a few of the same songs, in remixed form (Stakeout, Manipulate). Beyond
that, a few subtle but significant improvements have been made to the Freezepop
source code - the new record runs a lot more smoothly overall, with vastly
improved recording quality and increased musical ambition. Once again,
Freezepop successfully stretch what should be a one-joke concept farther
than it deserves to go, from the quiet ambient chamber-pop of “Emotions
and Photons” to the relentless electro-rock of “Bike Thief”..
Freezepop Fancy Ultra Fresh review v1.1…
Having followed the group for many years, I must say that Freezepop songs are
like sushi. Truly discerning connoisseurs will delight in the subtle
variations in flavor and texture between Taro squid and Saba mackerel. However,
for those who eat it only occasionally, or tried it once and hated it, it all
just tastes like raw fish. Such is the case with the tracks on the new
LP Fancy Ultra Fresh. Fans of the band may notice that Freezepop have
shifted their emphasis a bit from ironic humor (there’s nothing on F.U.F.
as double-over-laughing funny as old favorites “Robotron 2000” or “Shark
Attack”) to skillful musicianship (nothing in F-Pop’s back catalogue
pounds as hard as “Parlez-Vous Freezepop?” or sounds as lush as “Outer
Space”). But, like I said, only the most discriminating connoisseur
will notice. Those who found previous Freezepop releases a bit too precious,
cheesy, or self-consciously clever will probably take one quick listen and,
finding all these qualities present in abundance, hit “stop” and
move on to something else.
Freezepop Fancy Ultra Fresh review v1.5…
Having followed the group for many years, I must say that Freezepop themselves
are like recurring characters on Saturday Night Live. They come out,
do their thing, make you laugh - then return a few weeks later, do a slight
variation of the same thing, and maybe make you laugh again. So far,
after 2 LPs and 2 EPs, F-pop have yet to wear out their welcome (though “That
Boy Is All About Fun” off F.U.F. sounds so much like “Freezepop
Forever” on their first album, you can’t help but wonder). Whether
Freezepop will, like Wayne & Garth, keep it going for half a dozen sketches
and two feature films, or else grow increasingly irritating like Stuart Smalley
still remains to be seen. All I know is that I’ve no plans to uninstall
Freezepop 2.0 from my home stereo system any time soon.
Rating: 9 (out of 10)
-- Emil Hyde, 100% Unnatural
These days, synth pop isn't exactly setting the airwaves
ablaze. In fact, despite Daft Punk, there hasn't been a decent mainstream
example in years. Enter Freezepop, perhaps the best bet for the future of
the genre. They made their mark the Sony music games Frequency and Amplitude with
a pair of saccharine tracks popping with geeky charm and space age sounds
... With fancy ultra-fresh, humor, catchy synth hooks and robot chic melt
into an interesting and infectious sound.
-- Chris Carl, ign.com
Hi-Five My Remix
Blippy beats? Check. Vocoder? Check. Synthesizers? Check. Witty lyrics? Check.Voila
Freezepop, a Boston synth pop trio founded by the Duke of Pannekoeken (a.k.a.
of Belgian Waffles, a.k.a. of Candied Apples), Liz Enthusiasm and Sean T. Drinkwater.
The Duke is an electronic gadget aficionado (and an avid name changer) so one
hot summer four years ago he came up with the idea of creating a band around
a small Yamaha device called qy-70. Liz and Sean joined in and Freezepop was
After already generating an EP and a full-length CD, Freezepop are back with
an album chock full of remixes. And this is just a teaser for the second full-length
due out early next year. As will later become apparent, the VIP in this cast
of characters is the song called “Super-Sprøde,” an ode
to Freezepop's fans. It is already a favorite among live show devotees. It
has also been released as a part of the video game, Amplitude (the
new and improved version of Frequency), for PlayStation2. “Super-Sprøde” means “super
crunchy” in Danish and apparently has nothing to do with the way Freezepop
followers, um, taste. The members of the band just thought that the word sounded
interesting and decided to make a song around it, dedicating it to their “crazy
The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, thanking the fans for believing in the band
(“You took a risk/ and bought our disc”) but at the same time mildly
mocking their geeky ways (“You made your freq/ so uber-chic”).
As with every other Freezepop song, this one features an infectiously catchy
tune crafted by the Duke. After listening to the song seven times (original
+ six remixes -- as mentioned earlier, the VIP of the disc), the melody will
be stuck in your brain no matter what you do and you will find yourself spelling
it out with Liz: S-U-P-E-R, S-U-P-E-R, until you are ready to blow your head
off or commit other forms of self-mutilation just to get the song out of your
mind. Although, sometimes listening to the song again actually helps …
The "Future Bible Heroes Remix" and the "Veronica Black Morpheus
Remix" made “Super-Sprøde” more atmospheric and goth
sounding (and somewhat more eurotrash-club friendly). The "Kodomo Remix" made
it more dynamic by giving it a Fischerspooner-style makeover with sudden stops
and starts and quick changes of beat. Livesexact's "Pure Remix" was
also very interesting because the artist used Liz E.’s spelled-out letters
to forge “pure” rather than “super.”
Soviet's treatment, the aptly named "Super-Death Remix," made the
song completely unrecognizable. After hearing the song six times, it was refreshing
to hear something entirely different. Soviet removed the vocals, added some
fast and heavy beats, a whole new melody, and there it was, the most interesting
remix of them all. According to Chris Otchy, one of the Soviets behind this
remix, they also featured sampled dialogue from a '70s-era Vietnam War documentary
and screams generated by the one and only Jack Nicholson. You will be puzzled,
you will wonder where Liz’s vocals went, and after letting go of what
you expected, you will love it.
The "Donnerschlag Remix," cleverly done by inter:sect, made Freezepop's “Stakeout” even
catchier by adding a whole new melody. Who knew a higher level of catchiness
was even possible with a Freezepop song! “Stakeout” has not been
released yet in its original version (other than the video version available
on the Freezepop web site), but it is also a live show favorite. It will be
featured on the upcoming CD though, so you better make sure to get it.
The rest of the songs remixed on this CD have all been previously released
(either on Freezepop Forever or the Fashion Impression Function EP.) “Tracey
Gold” features vocals by the Duke himself and is an ode to the actress
ofGrowing Pains fame. The "Fairlight Children Remix" accentuates
the already inherant bounce of the tune and adds some synthy layers. “Freezepop
Forever,” a song in which each member of the band is "assigned" a
personality, is remixed by the Duke himself. The "Ionian Remix" rendered “Freezepop
Forever” much faster and more digital with some background noises computers
would make if they were cranky.
Judging by the previously unreleased tracks featured on this disc, the next
full-length looks very promising. Freezepop are staying true to their futuristic
bubbly pop form, playful lyrics, and catchy tunes. In a day and age when everything
is meant to be ironic, pretentious, and somewhat contrived, it is refreshing
to hear music that is honest, fun, and has a sense of humor.
The only weakness of this CD (well, besides a couple of remixes that shall
remain nameless) is that one song is featured in its seven incarnations. Hearing
one song this many times -- no matter how cute and fun -- is bound to make
it seem cumbersome. Maybe, if the track listing had been done differently,
the CD would not resemble a hastily assembled remix collection. The logical
solution would have been to group all the “Super-Sprøde” versions
and place them at the beginning or the end of the CD, and then put the others
on the second half. And maybe call it a “Super-Sprøde " maxi
single plus bonus tracks? Nevertheless, this CD is worth sampling, especially
as a taste of bouncier and blippier things to come.
(S-U-P-E-R, S-U-P-E-R … make it stop already!!!)
-- Jelena Veljkovic, earlash.com
As a rule, remix albums are not assembled with the casual
listener in mind. They're for an artist's more hardcore fans -- the sort
of die-hard enthusiasts who think so highly of an artist that they insist
on owning everything that he/she has out. Hi-Five My Remix is no
exception; this remix album is designed for hardcore fans of Boston's delightfully
'80s-minded Freezepop. In various interviews, the New Englanders have downplayed
their '80s influences -- and on many of these remixes, they try to make their
music relevant to the club/dance scene of the early 2000s. Nonetheless, Freezepop's
'80s fixation still comes through loud and clear, and the campy, good-natured
sense of fun that they bring to "Stakeout," "Freezepop Forever," and "Tracey
Gold" takes you back to a time when Ronald Reagan was president, Fast
Times at Ridgemont High was in the theaters, and MTV was playing Berlin,
the Human League, Soft Cell, and Duran Duran (the sort of artists who have
influenced Freezepop). And why shouldn't Freezepop be having a love affair
with the '80s? A lot of infectious music came out of that decade. Most of
the tunes that are remixed on this 2003 release are only heard once; however,
there are no less than seven versions of the catchy "Super-Sprøde." Do
casual listeners really need to hear seven different versions of "Super-Sprøde"?
Of course not. But again, Hi-Five My Remix wasn't designed for casual
listeners, who would better off starting out with 2001's Forever. Enjoyable
but not essential, this CD is strictly for the seasoned Freezepop collector.
-- Alex Henderson, allmusic guide
The much-anticipated remix CD by the Boston electro trio
has finally arrived. Freezepop have existed alongside other American electro
acts like Soviet and Winterbrief charting their own path since 1999. Freezepop
represent all that is good about the electronic underground: they write great
songs, experiment sonically, and most importanly have a sense of humor. This
remix EP showcases infectious pop and electronic experimentation in various
doses on many remixes from artists like Stephan Groth, Future Bible Heroes,
Soviet, Livesexact Bunnyhug, Bass Kittens, Boothnavy and much more.
The opening track "Super-Sprøde" is an energetic electro romp
with cute lyrics and pumping hooks. The charming voice of Freezepop, Liz Enthusiasm,
delivers a message to fans by throwing references to Target, the internet,
and underage fans. Freezepop excel in writing good songs that stay in your
head for days (i.e. "Freezepop Forever") and remind you that this
band is a pop powerhouse.
The remixes are worthwhile except for a few duds most notably the Future Bible
Heroes remix which sounds flat and dull. The better remix by Fairlight Children
of the Freezepop classic "Tracey Gold" pumps some chunky electro-disco
energy into an infectious tune. The looping bell sequences that starts the
Fairlight Children mix is trippy and exciting too and gets the listener anxious
for the chunky addictive hook ... Chris Child mixes another Freezepop song
(earlier remixing "Stakeout" on the Intellectos Manifesto II) to
add a cyber-punk vibe to Super-Sprøde. The Boothnavy remix aptly called
the Tubeway remix recalls Gary Numan's seminal proto electro punk outfit with
added fun on the older track "Bike Thief." The track later erupts
into a barrage of guitars and sonic terror which gives the remix an added burst
of attitude. The Bass Kittens add a kitsch element to one of the more sentimental
Freezepop tracks. The Veronica Black Morpheus remix which includes member Sean
T. Drinkwater is a sonic sinister workout showcasing fat chugging grooves and
breaks. Sadly, the Soviet remix is unimaginative and wallows in a trebly static
loop that sounds painfully retro.
The ending salvo "Freezepop Forever" is given a lethal injection
of speed which would make any cynical face smile it is so damn charming and
infectious. The beauty of this remix CD is that the songs are pushed sonically
while the pop hooks and melodies flow too. Aspiring electro artists take note
and follow the lead of Freezepop instead of wallowing in turgid synth-pop.
Freezepop are determined and driven to stake their claim to the electro-pop
throne and they are on their way.
-- Fitz James, Intellectos.com
Just as Hollywood is finally seeing financial possibilities in doing business
with video game companies (witness the incredible collaboration between Warner
Bros. and Shiny Entertainment on the upcoming "Enter the Matrix" games),
music labels are starting to understand the benefits of forging similar relationships.
The soundtracks to the first two "Tony Hawk" games (before the series
started licensing more mainstream artists) brought awareness of several smaller
bands to a throng of gamers. Freezepop, a retro-techno act, was under the radar
when one of its tracks appeared in "Frequency." The game exposure
gave the group exposure and sales, and it has submitted a track for "Amplitude," which
is sure to create even more fans of its kitschy Kraftwerk-inspired sound.
-- Levi Buchanan, The Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2003
The music's just the base metal, there for you to mould
into something else. And some of it you'll love, some of it you'll loathe,
and by your second week in Amplitude's world you'll know it all off by heart.
Edge can't stop singing Freezepop. Plus ca change...
-- Edge Magazine, June 2003
Indie Synthpop: Falling somewhere between the 80's electro pop of
the human league and the 90's indie rock aesthetic of stereolab is the aptly
named Freezepop. Fashion Impression Function is a great EP of new
material along with remixes of their first album Freezepop Forever, which
successfully continues the retro new wave movement that bands such as Ladytron
and The Faint have championed. But what sets Freezepop apart from their peers
is their ability to produce simple yet enjoyable synthpop with an undeniable
and contagious playfulness. Comprised of members with monikers like Liz Enthusiasm,
The Duke of Candied Apples, and the Other Sean T Drinkwater, the Boston based
trio makes it quite difficult not to crack a smile at
the mere mention of the band. Musically, Freezepop's brand of light hearted
synthpop is downright infectious as bubbly sequences are met with bouncy beats
and Liz Enthusiasm's fluttering vocals as head on the opener "Manipulate." On
the catchy "Lazy," swirling synths and a pulsing rhythm serve as
a foundation for Liz's innocent tribute to staying home and doing nothing.
The included remixes don't do much in terms of genre hopping, but they do keep
the upbeat mood intact. "Robotron 2002" offers a slightly darker
feel with its distorted beat and vocoded vocal, while "Science Genius
Girl [Lameboy Mix]" gives the song a fun twist with added blips and bleeps
resulting in a sound not too far removed from the old Super Mario Brothers
videogames. Freezepop may not be the most ground breaking or the most serious
band, but their ability to combine the cold electronics of synthpop with a
fun, carefree attitude makes Fashion Impression Function a
very enjoyable listen.
--Brian Lumauig, Outburn Magazine
They sound like an unholy union of Gary Numan and the
Waitresses, and they're far more entertaining than "That '80s Show." Experience
the retro-electro wonder that is Freezepop... Lead singer Liz Enthusiasm
has perfected the detached, bored voice of 1980s pop. It hovers restlessly
over fizzy Human League-inspired synth lines from the band's trusty Yamaha.
-- Christopher Muther, The Boston Globe
A tongue-in-cheek but true take on early-'80s synth pop
music a la early Depeche Mode, Yaz, Human League, and -- dare I say it? --
the Kitchens of Distinction. It's not so much parody as it is selfless homage.
Freezepop comprises the Duke of Candied Apples, Liz Enthusiasm, and the "other" Sean
T. Drinkwater, wth Duke and Enthusiasm seeming to be the true aficionadoes. "Lazy"'s
vocals, courtesy of the dreamy Enthusiasm, remind me of Papas Fritas, which
is a nice vocal nod, and the overall vibe is rather sleepy and happily sluggish.
The beats aren't overly aggressive, the bleeps and swells are tastefully
placed, and these songs could easily be twee pop indie-rock anthems were
it not for their couching in Yamaha-fueled synth pop. The male vocals on "Shark
Attack" are a nice touch, riffing off of Soft Cell and White Town (a
modren reference!). Many of the songs are mixes and remixes by Kodomo, Commodore
Vic, and others. There's even an All Your Base Are Belong to Us remix, ably
taking Freezepop out of the past and into the future. Again, this is much
more than a kitschy return to the past. Freezepop's retro reproductions --
even the Pizzicato Five-like remix by Kodomo -- are honest, earnest, and
appreciative kicks in the pant of Synthpop. I'll be listening to this a lot.
Robotron vs. K-Rad. Servotron vs. Pracky Pranky. Brilliant.
-- Heath Row's Media Diet
With a Yamaha qy-70 sequencer, melodies sweeter but less
carcinogenic than saccharine, and the notion that synth-pop rocks, Boston
trio Freezepop have staked a claim on the retro-futuristic inner cyborg of
your heart. On their EP, Fashion Impression Function, The Duke of
Candied Apples, The Other Sean T. Drinkwater (also of Lifestyle), and Liz
Enthusiasm drop four new synth gems rich with zoomy Zirconiac beats made
voluptuous by vocoder and five remixes from their debut album, Freezepop
Forever. This music is what V.I.N. Cent from The Black Hole wouldve
heard in his sweet circuit-filled head. And while Freezepop may have a song
(Science Genius Girl, found here in remixed form) on a PlayStation
2 video game (Frequency), theyre Atari all the way. Even more rooted
in Kraftwork and 80s clubland than Stephin Merritt (of Future Bible
Heroes and Magnetic Fields) or Tuscadero, songs like Manipulate and Shark
Attack are dance floor ready. And they benefit from the warmth of Liz
Enthusiasms oft-times tongue-in-cheeky delivery (even when in monotone.) Lazy is
perhaps the first anthem dedicated to lethargy, and Starlight is
straight from your home keyboards memory. These songs are full of DIY
charm. Perhaps thats why the remixes tend to pale in comparison. The
fancy new-fangled beats often get in the way of the original songs kitschy
magnetism. The biggest question facing Freezepop is can they continue to
innovate a retro sound? Fashion Impression Function shows that they have
the potential. Stagnation can cause freezerburn and even cherry freezepops
taste funny with a protective covering of ice. However, a rolling synth band
gathers no rust. As one-time techno innovator Neil Young (in)famous for the
vocoder heavy Trans says, Lets Roll. May Freezepops
bleeps never rust.
-- JR Walsh, Soundcheck magazine
...Their first album, Freezepop Forever, was a
celebration of that irreverent fun, and here on this EP, they take a few
steps forward. The first 4 tracks on here are new songs that lean a bit more
on the serious side of things. First off the sounds that the Duke of Candied
Apples emits from the QY-70 are much fuller here, with a greater range of
the sonic spectrum being expressed. All of the music comes out of that sequencer,
and Duke's learning curve has spiked, as there is some real bass under the
cotton candy melodies. Liz Enthusiasm brings a more melancholy approach to
her lyrics, and such emotional heft makes the uncontained joy of the older
tracks stand out more in a live setting. Lest you think that the band is
giving you the short shrift with just 4 songs, this EP will more than tide
you over. Included in this package are 5 remixes (4 from the Forever album)
by Chris Childs, Intersect, DJ Nebula, Commodore Vic, and Robotkid. And then
to top things off, a Flash video for Freezepop Forever and a
Quicktime video for Tender Lies. With a package this comprehensive,
for those interested in delving into the bands sound, this is actually a
better place to start that the album itself.
-- Wally Cassotto, Northeast Performer
...As was established on Freezepop Forever, Liz Enthusiasm's
vocal delivery is silky smooth and seemingly as far removed from everything
as possible. It is as if Ms. Enthusiasm chugs a two-liter of the 1980's prior
to each recording session. The Duke gets his obligatory song to himself on "Shark
Attack" and it is everything that one has come to expect from this witty
character. If anyone could create a coherent, well-executed song about sharks
and Wheel Of Fortune, it's the Duke. Although his voice is never heard, the
listener is constantly assured of the presence of the other Sean T. Drinkwater
because the video included on the CD assures us that he really is in the
This CD does not come without a warning though. Whatever you do, DO NOT, under
any circumstances listen to the "hidden" 10th track. It is supposedly
a 1963 jingle for Sprite, but I suspect that it is really part of an evil mind-control
plot started by someone in the band. This song is ludicrously addictive. More
addictive than sex, more addictive than cocaine, more addictive than food that's
bad for you, more addictive than making fun of George W. Bush, it is THAT addictive.
If you listen to this track you will be sucked in and eventually you will be
found, nigh comatose, in a chair next to your stereo after having this song
on repeat for an untold number of days.
So, go give this disc a shot, it's more than worth your money, just be leery
of the "sprite." It's a little too good. You've been warned.
-- Erich Leas, Straight from the Pit
Music has been operating in the future for so long tht
things we thought sounded out of this world five years ago now sound like
a pastiche of a million different sounds that have come before. Freezepop
are the type of band that cross-genre name checking was invented for, i.e.
Dubstar sings Bis/early Magnetic Fields new wave tunes with nearly all of
the biting wit, bitter sense of loss, and riotous good fun that one might
expect from the mix-up. The result is not so avant as Takako Minekawa or
stapled together like Solex, because it's way too much fun. Anyone who says
there isn't much musical diversity in Boston hasn't seen this unique and,
and they're missing out. This EP, made up mostly of remixes, is a good way
to subject yourself to the audio mind control of the Freezepop.
-- Lukeo5000, The Weekly Dig
This is the follow up to Freezepop's debut album, "Freezepop
Forever". It features four (really five, but I'll get to that later)
new songs, five remixes, and two videos from the previous album. Each
of the four listed new tracks is very consistent with the previous album,
both lyrically and musically. Somewhat simple, yet incredibly infectious
melodies and lyrics combine to form wonderful, addictive pop music. "Lazy" was
a instant favorite track, and once I listened closely, I really loved "Shark
Attack" too. It took a couple of listens to figure out how the chorus
was relevant to the verses.... Here's the only clue I'm giving: Wheel Of
As for the remixes, most of them were also
very enjoyable. The only mix here I didn't enjoy too much was the mix of "Manipulate." It
was far too DJ-esque for my taste. But all the others were excellent. My favorite
has to be the Lameboy mix of "Science Genius Girl'... This is just such
a cool idea! Gameboy-style music on decent speakers doesn't sound bad at all..
The unlisted track, Sprite, is really a
jingle for the soft drink.. which if Sprite was smart they'd pay Freezepop a
bundle of money for, and use in a commercial. This song is so stinkin' addicitive..
I've found myself walking around at work all the time singing this song to myself
since I heard it. Great!
In short, this is a excellent follow-up
to the first Freezepop release. Now if I could just get my hands on the European
version of the first album (which has a bonus track..). Highly Recommended!!!!
-- Jason Baker, www.synthpopreviews.webprovider.com
If you're already a fan of Freezepop you know that to
appreciate Freezepop is to appreciate the lack of pretension in their music
(it is electronic pop minimalism) and to appreciate the quirky pretension
and humor in their mostly tongue-in-cheek topics and lyrics. Freezepop
writes music that matches the ideas in their words and ideas, not the other
way around. Simple melodies and playful ideas are wrapped around seamless
synthpop productions. They're recommended if you love the music of Arling & Cameron,
Joy Electric or the Book of Love. "Forever" (2000) was chockfull
of glimmering minimalist electropop melodies playing second fiddle to singer/lyricist
Liz Enthusiasm's musings about the things that are important to her and her
life. Musically, Freezepop is brilliant in creating catchy pop melodies in
a minimalist mode (they boast to using two instruments on their first LP).
They carry on in this tradition with their new set here... This EP brings
4 new songs, 4 remixes of songs from "Forever", a remix of a new
song ("Manipulate"), a bonus track AND 2 videos by the band (!). The
first new track is "Manipulate" (also remixed to great effect);
this track is Liz's description of the cunning behind a manipulative person. Liz
assures us she not far behind in knowing what's up. "Lazy" is
a great lyric imaginatively realized in music. Liz talks about the course
of a day slowly rising from bed "getting out of bed's no fun/stay in
bed with me eating candy bars and watching TV". The band matches
the lyrical idea with lazy blips and bloops. "Shark Attack" is
either Sean's or The Duke of Candied Apples (who take on vocals) twisted
fantasy about being on "Wheel of Fortune" (!). The music takes
on a frenzied electro-thrash to match that of a, er shark attack. The
final new song presented on "Fashion Impression Function" is "Starlight". A
pretty arpeggiated melody pulls us through Liz's description of the breakup
between two lovers "I watched you walk away/footsteps on the stairs/I
smell you on the pillow". All four of the new songs are first rate
Freezepop material; they match the high points on "Forever" easily. As
a treat, this EP features remixes of gems from "Forever" including "Japanese
Song" (not a literal translation, the title is in Japanese!), "Robotron
2002", "Plastic Stars" and "Science Genius Girl".
These remixes will please any fan who wondered where the minimalist mixes
of the LP cuts would go if they were revved up for the dance floor and pushed
towards other dance remix genres. Very satisfying. Overall the "Fashion
Impression Function" EP is a tasty package for the returning fan and
a fabulous introduction to Freezepop for the new inductee! I love 'em,
you will too... who doesn't love a Freezepop?
-- DJ, candyforbadchildren.com
On Fashion Impression Function, the 2002 follow-up
EP to the debut, the band cram four new songs, five remixes, a hidden track,
and two bonus videos (for "Tender Lies" and "Freezepop Forever")
onto a disc. Of the new material, the opener "Manipulate" is easily
one of the band's strongest, catchiest tunes with a keyboard line straight
out of 1985. The remixes vary in quality -- some choose to merely reinterpret
the songs, while others push them closer to their boundaries. That makes
for more unwieldy (and slightly harder hitting, though less focused) versions
of "Manipulate" (here in its "Machinate Mix") and "Plastic
Stars" ("Commodore Vic's Sleeping Dog's Mix"). There are also
two excellently gimmicky remixes: "Robotron 2002" appears in an "All
Your Base Are Belong to Us" mix, lifting music and words from the cult
classic Zero Wing video game. The poorly translated, nonsensical "All
your base are belong to us" phrase and the jerky, mechanical voice that
spoke it in the game are both laid over a mix of "Robotron 2020" that
sounds like its from the soundtrack to an 8-bit video game. Yet another remix,
Robotkid's Lameboy Mix of "Science Genius Girl", embodies the same
sonic similarity to classic 1980s home video games. It's enough to make you
want to unwrap your plastic controllers, slump in a video chair, and play
a game of Contra.
The music that Freezepop is making is so
uncool, so out-of-vogue, so far from the current alternative rock landscape of
Limp Bizkits and Linkin Parks that many of today's college students -- kids old
enough to remember the early days of MTV but too old to bother watching it now
-- are rediscovering the better half of the '80s. And judging by college radio
support for Freezepop in their Boston home and the band's nomination as best
US band in the 2002 American Synthpop Awards, the kids nostalgic for the days
when New Wave ruled the airwaves are paying attention.
-- Jason Damas, popmatters.com
Don't let the trashy, video-game sounds or monotone vocals fool you - Freezepop
Forever is a work of genius. Like a cabal of mad geneticists, Freezepop
cross-breed the seemingly incompatible genres of New Wave electro-cheese and
Indie girrrl-rock to create a record that's equal parts silly and sublime.
The songs on Freezepop Forever fall somewhere between Devo at their weirdest
and the Sleater Kinney at their most radio-friendly, and are arguably better
than anything either of those bands have produced to date.
...Forever doesn't waste any time getting
to the good stuff. The first track, "Hare-Brained Scheme" comes
off like a low-budget remake of Tchaikowsky's "1812 overture". This
overblown backdrop makes the narrator's innocent attempts to play matchmaker
("I've got a friend and she's a beauty / I've got a friend and he's a cutie...")
seem more like the machinations of an evil Svengali. Next up the instant
classic "Plastic Stars" which features a simple, sing-song melody that
never gets old, and lyrics that burn themselves indelibly into the listener's
Though none of the other tracks shine as brightly
as "Plastic Stars" (and, frankly, it would be unreasonable to expect
them to), there are many more excellent moments on Freezepop Forever. "Robotron
2000" and "Science Genius Girl" are just as funny on the third,
fourth, and fifth play as they are on the first, and the chorus of "Freezepop
Forever" will echo in your mind 'til your dying day. "Tender Lies",
meanwhile, is more deserving of radio play than most of the songs that pass for
hit singles these days.
No, Freezepop Forever is not perfect. Nor
is it the kind of "serious" record that's going to define a generation
or change music forever or whatever else the Beatles supposedly did with Sergeant
Pepper. But Freezepop Forever is probably as good an album as most bands
can hope to produce in their careers, and that Freezepop managed to create it
using primitive beeps and bleeps is a testament to their creativity. If Freezepop
find a way to one-up this album the next time around, I won't just be surprised
- I'll be stunned.
-- Emil Hyde, 100% Unnatural
For all ye olde indie rockers jonesing for that Tiger
Trap/Tuscadero-esque sound, Freezepop have arrived with your fix. They are
the type of band you may want to hate at first like ABBA or The Strokes,
but can't resist devouring until you have a stomachache. They're like a combination
of Human League and My Little Pony. All of their sounds come from a Twinkie-sized
box called a QY70, and vocalist Liz Enthusiasm's voice will make you feel
as though someone had just shot you up with a lethal dose of pixie dust gathered
from a chocolate-covered honey cloud.
-- Lesley Arfin, Vice magazine
Freezepop are like Boston's Baxendale, Motormark or Vic
Twenty, producing some magnificent electronic pop songs that have gone far
too unnoticed until now. Elefant are about to release their debut album in
Europe, which makesthis a perfect time to review the album I had to import
from the US. If you know my predisposition towards electropop, then you can
guess that I love this record. In fact, it's one of the best such records
since Baxendale's 'You Will Have Your Revenge'.
It starts well enough. 'Harebrained Scheme' is Liz Enthusiasm's recounting
of her attempt to matchmake her beautiful friends, and it's laced with enough
keyboards, drum machines and electronic noises that you wouldn't
believe the entire album was constructed only with a mam vocoder and a yamaha
'Plastic Stars' is one of my favorite love songs ever. The line: 'You say even
my toothpaste tastes sweet/ when you're lying next to me' is gorgeous, and
any song about lying next to someone under a sky of plastic glowstars can't
help but be perfect. Then 'Science Genius Girl' is slick, danceable, and sublime,
taking you deeper into Freezepop's glamorous, fairy-lit, synthesized world.
The song is compulsive and addictive, one of those tunes that wedges itself
in your brain and never, ever lets go. 'When I clone a human being/ he will
want to hold my hand/ when I clone a human being/ he will be a member of my
band' should be considered banal, but here it sounds like genius.
Freezepop are ambassadors of the 21st century with this fantastic space age
pop. 'Robotron 2000' is seemingly an apocalyptic tribute to the faceless robotic
hero of the aging video game Robotron (anyone remember that?). The album closes
with 'Freezepop Forever', the best introduction to the band you ever heard.
It's pure, unadulterated fun, slightly silly, and always good to dance to.
Like everything about the band, quite frankly. Brilliant.
-- Paul Haswell, strange-fruit.co.uk
I had downloaded a clip from this band years ago and
liked it, but never followed up on it. Who knows why this sometimes happens,
but it does. Then not long ago while listening to a comp CD I swapped with
someone, I discovered the track I liked most on it was also them. That did
it. Only Amazon had the title anymore as it's getting older, so this is how
this whole adventure started. (at that it was only available as buy it "new/used".
I had never used that before at amazon, but I got 2 things that day this
way, they were both in excellent shape, came sooner than the amazon order
did, and cost a bit less than amazons regular price. Don't be afraid to use
the service, it was great) As for this album, I really like it a lot. There
are a number of early 80's bands they sound like, most you probably wouldn't
know so I won't bother. From sweet pop chart numbers like Plastic Stars or
Tender Lies to the retro Japanese kitsch of Tennis Boyfriend (which is also
the included video) this album has it all. I really like the lyrics in Robotron
2000 which has the refrain; "The worlds in chaos now, it's Y2K, he wants
me in that special way, he whispers in his robot voice - (robot voice) I'll
keep you safe today and make you feel ok". Like you would expect of
the genre, it's recorded very well, sounds great thru good gear and it's
just a delight in every possible way. All their songs are written on a Yamaha
QY-70 as well and I saw you can get them on ebay used for $150-200. The funniest
thing is they are very small and run on batteries, which somehow seems very
appropriate for this band. If you're like me and didn't get this yet, don't
wait any longer. It's one of the best of it's genre for sure.
Now this is heaps of fun ... really catchy electropop
that contains elements of cute pop and retro-futuristic kitsch, but somehow
it manages to avoid sounding sickeningly sugary or naff. They create their
songs using a handheld battery powered sequencer and also use a vocoder.
Some great imaginative lyrics here, like in Science Genius Girl, where Liz
Enthusiasm sings about cloning a member of her band, and in Robotron 2000
she sings about falling in love with a robot! Tennis Boyfriend, the song
with Japanese lyrics that appeared on the Know Your Enemy compilation, is
also included here. These songs had me grinning from ear to ear! Really addictive
songs that demand repeated listens! This album really is a breath of fresh
air, I can't recommend it enough!
Hailing from Boston, Freezepop made in their Freezepop
Forever album of 2001 a minor classic of stripped back synth Pop songs
that carries all the promise and ill-fated tragedies of the 1980s wrapped
up in a laser beam, pointed through jump-up techno and aimed at your brittle
heart. Freezepop Forever is full of knowing nods to the history
the group must surely know about only through the archaeology of Pop: singles
picked up in thrift-stores and relatives' attics, albums reissued by someone
determined to keep a fire burning somewhere. Which might sound slightly
disparaging, but it shouldn't, because really Freezepop sound fantastic,
and I've not been able to get their tunes out of my head for weeks. There's
the match maker techno beat of 'Harebrained Scheme'; the wildly bopping
'T DJ', ducking and diving through the tunnels of the subway, addicted
to the electricity humming from the third rail; the icicles popping at
the heart of 'Tracey Gold'; the knowing Pop self-mythologizing album closing
'Freezepop Forever'; the bona-fide Pop Hit blast of 'Summer Boy', all teenaged
summer loves long lost and longed for, whose chorus of 'Summer Boy, the
sun is hot. Summer Boy, and so are you' is just too damn stupid to not
love unconditionally. Best of all though is 'Tender Lies' which is a lovely
song where the wonderfully named Liz Enthusiasm gets to actually sing instead
of half-talking in the kind of half-clichéd robotic rhythms that
the rest of the album mainly relies on. 'Tender Lies' is like a lost Strawberry
Switchblade track, reverberating with the same kind of cracked and flawed
plastic beauty that fed through songs like '10 James Orr Street', 'Being
Cold' or 'Who Knows What Love Is.' All of which probably sounds like a
nightmare of candy-floss circuits to some, but to others, like me today,
that sounds like some kind of heaven.
-- Alistair Fitchett, tangents.co.uk
Hmmm. Here's the problem I'm having at the start of
this review: it's difficult to know whether Boston's Freezepop are a trio
or a four-piece.
An unlikely source of confusion? OK, well, there are three actual people, but
then again the Yamaha QY-70 band-in-a-box hand-held sequencer is pretty darn
important to their sound. In fact, it is their sound, in that Freezepop
Forever is, remarkably, a pop record made entirely with that one tiny piece
of equipment - just that, and the vocals.
So how boring is that, across a whole album? Actually, it isn't in the slightest
bit boring. Fantastic song writing and a desire to stretch the capabilities
of their deliberately limited kit to the absolute limit go to ensure that Freezepop
have created a synthpop classic with this release.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of the Silicon Teens and other early
Mute Records bands, they write traditional, very catchy pop songs with hooks
and melodies a-plenty, but it doesn't end there. The attention to detail on
the drum programming as well as the synth lines is truly remarkable, and all
in all this record offers an object lesson to those people who are under the
impression that you need a mountain of the latest flashy gear before you can
even begin to consider the possibility that an idea or two might also be helpful.
An antidote to the lack of fun and humour all too present in so much current
electronic music, if you ever feel like throwing off the shackles of techno,
ambient or IDM and letting them fall to the floor with a loud POP! (unlikely
that falling shackles would make such a noise, but never mind), Freezepop
Forever is exactly what you need.
Freezepop is a perfect name for this band, as they play
that kind of cold, sterile, danceable, and beautiful Kraftwerk-derived pop
mastered by the likes of The Human League, Men Without Hats, and The Pet
Shop Boys in the 80s; currently enjoying a renaissance in indie circles
thanks to the likes of Ladytron, Add N to (X), and Barcelona. Like a freezepop,
the music on Forever is both icy and sweet, an irresistible combination in
these hot summer months. 80s pop-culture references like Robotron
2000 (evoking memories of the great video game Robotron 2084) and Tracey
Gold (a paen to the Growing Pains star) match well with burbling synths,
vocodered vocals, and drum machines, making this a treat you can gobble down
again and again without fear of brainfreeze. Other highlights include such
catchy songs as Harebrained Scheme, Freezepop Forever, and Get
Ready 2 Rokk. This band is just as refreshing and fun as its namesake and
without the calories!
-- Julio Diaz, ink19.com
If the Waitresses were still making music, this is hopefully
what they would sound like. Freezepop are probably the most aptly named band
ever, crystal clear moments of pop made perfect in the icy cold world of
Mixing equal parts new wave and synth (but
not the guitar new wave sound!) this band manages to be both fun and relentlessy
I'd say they sound like some other band
(and I did), but what they really sound like is someone telling you about a band.
You know. "Oh, the so and so's were the best. Every song was bouncy and
fun." But when you go check that band out, only the first single is good,
but the rest of the album was kind of lame. Freezepop is just like that, except
for the lame part.
Literally every track here has something
to recommend it, from the Top 40 ready ballad of "Tender Lies" to the
Nippon-friendly "Tenisu no Boifurendo." Part of what helps here is
the great harmonic vocals of the female lead. Add to that well-written songs
with great melodies and you can begin to understand why this is such a cool album.
The only drawback is that this is not the
kind of album that grows on you exactly. Either you fall in love with it forever
right away (like a good crush) or you never quite get it.
Freezepop forever. We should be so lucky.
Voted best new artist at last year's American Synthpop
Awards, this female-fronted trio make frilly, robotic pop about cloning, "rokking," awesome
DJs and robot friends. Hyper video game beeps and blips, corny melodies and
robo-voice up the silly factor in places, while other tracks--such as the
ethereal Japanese number called, uh, some lines and dots (you'll know it
when you see it)--showcase the band's serious knack for tunes and beats.
And hey, I got through this whole review without mentioning the '80s. But
really, "the '80s." 7.5/10
-- Lorraine Carpenter, Montreal Mirror
Blipp, blopp and vocoder! AND female vocals of the sweetest
Never heard a vocoder in action? Listen at Freezepop! They only have two instruments,
a Yamaha QY70 and a.. guess what.. vocoder. Just for the extras there is also
very sweet female song added. And most of the songs is about robots. Could
it be better? Well.. They could put up more songs on the web! Let´s go
thru some songs found on mp3.com.
Robotron 2000: Here is a song very much like those early computergames we all
love. Of course with sweet vocals from the very robotic girl Liz.
Tenisu no boyfrendo: I really don´t understand a single word of the lyrics,
because they are in japanese. But it all sounds very fresh and uplifting.
Summerboy: If a punkrock group did a cover of this song, it would be a hit
in the mainstream world. Now it´s done with electronic equipment by electronicly
routed minds and that´s so much better! Blipp blopp!
-- Martin, www.synthpop.net
Just when I was about to give up on the modern synthpop
scene, along came Freezepop, and my faith was restored. Lately it seemed
to me that the synthpop universe was being overtaken by a glut of gloomy
and doomy pale white boys whining about lost loves and God knows what else.
I was convinced that fun was something that died somewhere around 1985, and
any synthpop recorded after that time simply paled in comparison to the early
wave of carefree synthpop anthems.
Straight out of Boston comes this quirky
synthpop trio with their collective finger firmly on the pulse of 1983. And not
only is this CD fun to listen to, but there is also an abundant supply of pop
craftsmanship, blippy beats, and lyrical sentiments delivered with tongue very
firmly in cheek. Imagine... a synthpop band with a sense of humour. What a concept!
Freezepop sound like a modern day Human League; an electronic aesthetic married
to cooing female vocals. Songs like "Harebrained Scheme," "Tender
Lies," and "Plastic Stars" are instantly memorable, and the listener
is guaranteed to crack a smile during songs like "Tracey Gold" and "Robotron
2000." During "Freezepop Forever" (the title track), the group
takes great delight in passing around the microphone and introducing themselves.
Sure, this has been done before, but never with such enthusiasm. these guys genuinely
love all those glorious new wave tunes from the 80's, and it shows. Place your
hand over your heart and pledge allegiance to all things silicon. In the name
of love and dancing, all hail the almighty Freezepop.
-- Gary Flanagan, Nightwaves magazine
All this harsh/shouty music is all well & good but
it's sometimes nice to take it easy &, just for a change, listen to something
that puts a smile on your face. If this is what you are looking for then
the American trio of Liz Enthusiasm, The Other Sean T Drinkwater & The
Duke Of Candied Apples (not their real names, I'll wager!) will surely delight
you with this excellent 12 tracker.
The colurful presentation & the band's
groovy (baby) fashion sense all add to the band's general kitschness & help
set the scene for the opening "Hare Brained Sceme" which has a nice
line in understated humour.There's enough here to suggest that the currently
trendy "Electroclash" label might benefit the band with the robot voices
of Robotron 2000" &the offbeat "T DJ" as well as the Japanese-titled
(& styled) fifth track all leaning towards such areas.Where Freeaepop really
come up trumps is the fact that they know how to write good old-fashioned excellent
songs such as "Science Genius Girl" or the male-fronted "Tracey
Gold". The rock parts of "Get Ready To Rokk" fit in suprisingly
well but, in all honesty such is the genius of this band they could get away
with anything, even the playful "Summer Boy" comes out smiling & that's
what you'll be doing after listening to this album.The self celebratory "Freezepop
Foever" rounds up the album as each band member makes their introductions & tells
you a little bit about themselves although, as throughout the album, it's done
with it's tongue firmly in cheek.And as proof of their all-round talent "Plastic
Stars" & the superb "Tender Lies" prove that they are also
capable of touching the heart strings.Two delicately touching songs where Liz's
vocals accentuate the mood of the music, almost seeming to meld themselves to
the whistful melodic delivery.
To make music that proves excellent throughout
whilst not taking itself seriously is something that not many bands can master.
S.P.O.C.K have it in spades, of course & Goteki try their best but Freezepop
prove that they have mastered this difficult balancing act, too & it's a
safe bet that this was as much fun for the band to do as it is for everyone else
to listen to.
-- Carl Jenkinson, electrogarden.com
Back when New Wave was new and grunge pop wasn't even
a glimmer on the horizon, synth bands reigned supreme, and groups like the
Human League topped the charts. Angst was the lyrical name of the game then,
but it's not now for the likes of retro-New Wavers Freezepop, wry, self-referential
hipsters that they are. From the start of Forever, it's one pop confection
after another, zippy beats urging your toes to tap. Some songs are sentimental,
but most are just plain fun, like "Harebrained Scheme" and "T
DJ," a true-to-life portrait of a Friday night regular on the B line
heading to Allston. Liz's singing is spot-on, with just the right semisardonic
inflection. it all reminds me of the title of an old New Wave-era Nick Lowe
album: Pure Pop for Now People.
-- Taylor McNeil, Bostonia magazine
...Freezepop could have provided the background music
for the Saturday Night Live skit "Sprockets."
-- Teil Linn Wise, Rockpile magazine
(can you believe this was actually meant as a put-down? i mean, sprockets!
sprockets!! we're just bummed that the sprockets movie has been shelved...)
There was real effort not to make any mention of the
1980's or Germany or retro keyboards in this review no matter how badly it
was called for. It's always best to avoid such cliches. However, Freezepop's
first full length release, Freezepop Forever, sounds so much like
a forgotten Yaz album, recorded after Alison Moyet stumbled into the studio,
dazed and distracted after being lost in the streets of Berlin, while the
rest of the group struggled through the midst of a three-day speed binge.
Forever is by and large a lighthearted affair, concerned mostly with setting
up friends, tales of dance music-lovin' MBTA riders, and creating new band
members through the miracles of science. All of this is, of course, accompanied
by music heavily influenced by Krautrock and new-wavers like the Human League
and the aforementioned Yaz. So that being said, if you actually sat down
and learned how to play that damned Casio keyboard when you were a kid you
might have been able to create something like "Get Ready to Rokk",
which sounds remarkably like an intense game of Pong with the occasional
intrusion of your big brother's heavy metal guitar stylings emanating from
the basement. Like its name indicates, Freezepop can be a pretty chilly affair.
The vocals are flat and detached, and the unrelenting programmed staccato
coming out of the Yamaha qy-70, Freezepop's bread and butter, can sometimes
grate. But the trio shows mercy with occasional synth washes that drown the
listener in warmth, such as in "Tenisu No Boifurendo", which is
actually titled in phonetic Japanese characters just to keep us guessing.
The band's sense of humor should not be overlooked, shining brightest on
the ready-for-a-John-Hughes-soundtrack "Tracey Gold", a paean to
the ex-star of "Growing Pains", or so one would assume. Freezepop
can create a truly pretty song as evidenced by "Tender Lies", which
also happens to be the least
quirky on the album and features perhaps the only non-annoying use of a Vocoder
ever recorded. Overall, a fine first effort that's well worth a listen. If
a synth-rock revolution takes over the Boston music scene, consider Forever the
first shot fired.
--Peter Hanlon, Northeast Performer
From out of the blue an email arrives. Weeks later a CD arrives. This is a
normal turn of events here @ Oddbox but, this band got our attention. It wasn't
their clothes or their haircuts that made us take a second look. We fell in
love with the music. A refreshingly innocent and honest album with catchy melodies
and hooks. Synthpop has returned!
They have created an alternate world in which they exist as futuristic pop
stars. We recommend that you click on over and have a listen for yourself.
As their helpful bio sheet notes, Freezepop's entire
EP was recorded on a portable sequencer, which, depending on your ears, is
either an accomplishemnt or an excuse. These four songs bounce to programmed
beats, synths, and a vocoder (that robot voice toy). Judging from their band
photo and their stage names, the Other Sean T. Drinkwater, Liz Enthusiasm,
and the Duke of Candied Apples, these three are not afraid to be wacky.
As it turns out, the music is breezy, amusing
(that's not a dis), and well-crafted. I am not too familiar with this genre,
so while I could say that Ms. Enthusiasm's voice alternates between a caffienated
Suzanne Vega talk-sing (think "Cracking" from Vega's debut) and a stoned
Belinda Carlisle, I'd be hard-pressed to reference any groups. It's 4/4 electronic
pop, layered in synthesizers, without samples or guitars.
The opener, "Science Genius Girl," is
a quirky tune about a girl whose experiments become members of her band. The
vocoder works nicely on that one, flitting in and out tactfully. Track two, "T
DJ," is a long overdue ode to that intensely likeable Green line rider (I
think it's the B line) who plays a funky boombox to the delight of all. The kinetic
music and ebullient lyrics for "T DJ" are perfectly matched. "Tender
Lies" shows off an unironic, melodic side to her singing and perhaps has
some Yaz to it. The closer "Summer Boy" is a cloying pop song about
a crush that has little of the inventiveness of the previous three tunes.
Throughout the EP, the detached quality
of her diction keeps me following the lyrics while the pleasant loops go lolling
by. Overall, a nice diversion from a steady diet of rock.
-- Max Heinegg, The Noise, April 2000
Live at Bush Hall, London, 11/25/03
I am thankfully in time however to see the debut UK show by Bostonian synthpoppers,
Freezepop. Led by the wonderfully appropriately named Liz Enthusiasm, theyre
here to get the party started, which Liz takes very literally during their
tribute to the star of 80s US sitcom Growing Pains, Tracey Gold, when she
steps into the crowd to encourage more dancing. Flanked by the equally fabulously-monikered
The Other Sean T Drinkwater and The Duke of Candied Apples, one of whom is
wearing a leather t-shirt and trousers and his keyboard on a strap around
his neck, they bounce their way through "Bike Thief," "Science
Genius Girl" and the gorgeous "Plastic Stars." Like their
name suggests, Freezepop are the perfect accompaniment to a long hot summers
day. Suck it and see.
-- James S, soundsxp.com
Live at TT the Bear's, 1/4/03
Not being able to claim an expansive familiarity with current indie synthpop
characters, I can nonetheless rally for the Freezepop cause on several points.
This trio knows their (pop music) history and their gear, how to promote
themselves and keep things interesting ... and when to end a song. Liz Enthusiasm,
the Duke of Belgian Waffles and the Other Sean T. Drinkwater rely upon minimal
gear and maximum fashion sense to pull off a musical-marketing venture that
seems to enjoy and deserve an increasing amount of success. Who won Best
New Band of 2001 at the American Synthpop Awards? They did. Who won Best
Band of 2002? They did.
When sickened by thoughts of Chicks on Speed's
under-innovative cover material or the plodding melodies of Barcelona, I can
now reach for the living mini-video games that Freezepop actively nurtures on
stage as an antidote. These are not stale pieces trapped in the Atari 80's or
mind-tripping millennium Sega experiences, but wink-nod-raspberry music that
is almost as populist as their prolific web site, and as much rooted in the founding
fathers of synth as in the test tube babies yet to be born. Playstation 2 may
now claim partial custody of their song "Science Genius Girl," but
these guys make it clear that their friends and growing fan base have their hearts.
And while the songwriting role of each member demonstrates the amount of clever
planning and cooperation that are invested by the group, the final concoction
is still more Necco wafer than chocolate truffle -- with imperfections being
most welcome and happy.
Within the den of T. T. the Bear's Place
a gathering of friends, fans and representatives from almost every sub-genre
of the indie scene challenged the housing capacity. All for the "Mime Crime" benefit
of a photographer friend whose camera was lost to thieves and seemingly was not
insured. Apart from the four-band bill, the event for the evening featured a
fund-raising kissing booth and an inspiring demonstration of baton twirling skill.
Miss Dominica K.'s metal-spinning prowess
was a wonderful primer to the Freezepop set. Clad as a French mime in a striped
shirt and white face makeup, she mingled aptly with sonic loops and beats and
the projection of gyrating red neon ellipses. With the living spirograph still
in view, Freezepop took their turn on stage, standing in line like a holy pop
trilogy: Sean (vocoder/synthesizer)-Liz (lead vocals)-Duke (Yamaha qy-70). Superimposed
on the neon rings were Asian commercials and video game snippets, obviously selected
for their caricaturist/futuristic qualities and themes. The fashionista talents
of all three completed the presentation: Liz's fuschia vinyl sleeveless top as
a centerpiece; the Duke's sci-fi black buttoned (possible) jumpsuit; the Other
Sean's blue shirt and tie, scruffy beard and dark blue shades.
Right away the carefree spirit of the group
is revealed, as the Other Sean flashes a grin to the side during "Harebrained
Scheme," hugely shrugging off what I assume to be a blunder. Not important.
They are hopping in unison like three kids on a trampoline, and I immediately
wish I could put down my coat and notebook to hop along with them. "Plastic
Stars" takes things down a notch, as the title suggests a certain romantic
with a synthetic twist. Liz's voice is both bubbly and detached,
compact but not dead-upon-arrival. The Duke steers the music with two fists filled
with programmed treats on a small Yamaha device. The Other Sean complements the
vocals and music with his own electronic gear.
"That Boy Is All About Fun" pulses,
drills beats and blips and basks in glorious synth refrains. This song is about
-- or is dedicated to -- Liz's roommate, present at the show, like so many of
their friends. The stage-audience banter is silly, catalyzing and so important
to the Freezepop moment. A Sean (vocoder)/Liz duet eases the hyperactivity, and
a dreamy goth ballad is later performed live for the first time.
Back to the surging beats, tinny claps and
(introducing) fun French lyrics with "Parlez-vous Freezepop;" and back
to the hyperactivity with "Super Sprøde," a blatant ode to their
fans. They finish things off with the tongue-in-cheek "Bike Thief," based
upon a true story and told from the villain's perspective. Wink-nod-raspberry:
Freezepop chants the mantra, "You want it now/ I'll show you how," and
leaves behind an audience full of adrenaline and silliness.
Freezepop songs are alive, in spite of the
mechanical context in which they exist. Their songs are clever, sarcastic and
really and truly fun. The next time that I go to a Freezepop show I will not
be taking notes; I will be hyper and I will be hopping right along with them.
-- Kara Tutunjian, earlash.com
Live at the Middle East Upstairs, 10/10/02
Freezepop is all about the fun. There's a joyful simplicity
in their music that transports the listener into a two-dimensional comic
book world. Technology wizard The Duke of Belgian Waffles uses what appears
to be a joystick to coax electronic embellishments out of a laptop to augment
Sean T. Drinkwater's synth melodies and Liz Enthusiasm's sweet and icy vocals.
At one point in the set, Liz pulls out a cooler and hands out actual freezepops
to cool the palates of the audience members. Freezepop is as charming as
I anticipated they'd be, a pop-perfect shot of electronic happiness.
-- Laura Slapikoff, The Noise
Live at the Paradise Front Room, 2/9/02
I hopped off the Green Line Trolley and ran into the
Paradise just as Lifestyle took the stage. I was ready to be treated to Boston's
version of a synth-pop show and Lifestyle was about to begin to deliver it.
Lead singer Sean T. Drinkwater showed no signs of holding back; he danced,
gestured, and hopped into the audience whenever the feeling hit him. This
guy was made to sing and perform synth-pop. He has the voice, the attitude,
and the style.
Lifestyle makes me want to be in a synth-pop band. That night, the band had
so much fun on stage it made me want to go out and buy a synthesizer the very
next day. The band pumped out the kind of pure dance-pop songs that would make
Martha Quinn gush for more. As luck would have it, Lifestyle ended their set
with "My Favorite Song", which just happens to be my favorite song
When Freezepop took the stage, the "other" Sean T. Drinkwater was
on synths and vocoder. (Drinkwater is the original Sean T. Drinkwater's "genetically-engineered
clone" leading me to believe that Drinkwater is both the focal point of
Boston's synth-pop scene and poised to conquer and destroy the vanilla stylings
of Boston's white-hat crowd.)
Like Lifestyle, Freezepop churned out fun and danceable electronic music and
seemed to have a great time on stage. The Duke of Candied Apples looked like
he was playing a video game on his Yamaha QY-70, or "musical joystick".
Lead singer Liz Enthusiasm was adorable, to say the least, and she kept the
audience at attention with her catchy vocal melodies. With his vocalized effects
and his knack for getting the audience clap in unison in between songs, Mr.
Drinkwater supplied the humor for the night. The band threw out stickers and
freeze pops to the audience. (Unfortunately, I didn't get one and I had to
settle for going to Store 24 so I could at least fantasize that I'd caught
Freezepop showed some of their roots by covering an old Depeche Mode song, "Photographic".
But for me, the highlight of the night came when the band performed "T
DJ". For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of riding with him,
adorned with a blonde Afro, odd grin, and excessive amounts of pins, T DJ carries
a turntable with him on the T and DJ's all night long. Fun, catchy songs like "T
DJ" make me like Freezepop more and more.
If you are looking for something new and fresh to listen to and you want be
thoroughly entertained, I would suggest checking out either of these bands.
Perhaps one day in the near future the T DJ will be an international icon and
Freezepop and Lifestyle will reign supreme, but until then, as Sean T. Drinkwater
put it that night, "Hey, it's only Dance music"
-- Phoebe, earlash.com
The occasion for Saturday's midnight performance was
the release of their third EP, Fashion Impression Function... The band was
definitely in its element as they played to the moderately animated crowd.
Liz Enthusiasm, the subdued lead singer a petite, doe-eyed songstress
in leopard print breathily delivered a full set that included all
the songs off the new EP, as well as a wide range of old material and covers.
At times, she handed the mike over to the Duke of Candied Apples, and he
added his own monotonic flavor to the vocals in the hilarious song "Tracey
Gold," he seduced the former Carol Seaver ("Tracey Gold my
heart's in a whirl over you / Tracey Gold my brain's in a swirl over
you"). The Duke's main responsibility, however, is to operate the coolest
piece of musical technology I have ever seen: the Yamaha QY-70, described
on the band's website as a "portable handheld battery-powered sequencer." It
resembled a classic Nintendo-controller, and the sounds it emitted were not
far off. As the high school kid next to me remarked between his bouts of
head-bobbing and moon-walking, "this sounds like video game music."
The effect was further enhanced by the musical
stylings of Sean T. Drinkwater, the main synthesizer player. Sporting a Flock
of Seagulls rip-off hairstyle, Drinkwater kept the bass and drum synth pumping
and even added his own Transformer-inspired comments between songs. Taken together
and highlighted by the pulsing neon lights and swallowing volume, the three band
members produced an effect that was wholly unique and uber-trippy.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the set was
during "Summer Boy" (a song described by Enthusiasm as "extremely
silly") when the Duke implored the members of Lifestyle to retrieve a case
of freeze-pops from the dressing room freezer, which the band members and audience
members distributed throughout the crowd. As the happy sounds of artificial music
bounc around the lively room, the smorgasbord crowd, bathed in artificial light,
sucked and sipped their artificial frozen treats bound together, if only
briefly, by the guilty pleasures of the non-music that surrounded them.
I am not going to whole-heartedly convert from
my classic rock religion to new wave worship, leaving Dylan, Clapton, and Bono
for the likes of Thomas Dolby and The Fixx, as a result of Saturday night. Yet,
I think that music can be fun, and that most artists today can afford to take
themselves a little less seriously. And that is why some people will always covet
Converse All-Stars, the "Brat Pack," Atari and the lighthearted attitude
of the 1980s and why, as Freezepop's shameless musical propaganda suggests, "Fre-squared-zepop Freezepop
forever / Freezepop forever and forever..."
-- Courtney Hollands, The Daily Free Press
Live at the Lotus Eaters Gallery, Montreal, 11/14/01
Last Wednesday saw Boston's Freezepop mount the stage at the Lotus Eaters'
Gallery in what was almost certainly the most eagerly anticipated concert
of the season (year? decade?). Actually they didn't so much mount anything
resembling a stage as set up their instruments at the end of the room near
the windows. But after they did, they proceeded to preach the gospel of synthpop
to the gathered congregation of a couple dozen kids. Their cascading kerygma
of bips, bleeps, and robot effects tore the place apart, bit by digital bit.
We cried to a moving ballad for Tracey
Gold (Carol Seaver of Growing Pains), we swooned to the sexy 'Plastic Stars,'
we thrilled to the futuristic 'Robotron 2000.' Each song was replete with processed
vocals, soaring synthesizers, and whatever was accomplished by the "qy-70" (a
hand-held box about the size and shape of a TI-92 calculator).
If all this sounds a tad anachronistic,
well, that's because it is. Lead singer Liz Enthusiasm admits, "you try
to bring a little something new to it, but we definitely owe a lot to the early
80s." And don't we all: our youngest and tenderest years. "Maybe it's
because we grew up with it, we have some sort of connection to it," muses
-- M.J. Frassica, McGill Tribune
WBCN Rumble Semifinals, 5/18/01
...Freezepop, on the other hand, definitely stand out from the pack.
They are an 80s style synthpop celebration of style over substanceall
presented with a refreshing lack of irony. The incessant bubble machine they
employ matches their sound perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the blend of
The Other Sean T. Drinkwaters very compelling vocoder and Liz Enthusiasms
laconic vocal style (shes also on lead bellybutton tonight). My only
bit of advice would be to further amp up the mechanical aspects and really
take it over the top to create the ultimate robot pop group.
-- Corin Ashley, The Noise, June 2001
WBCN Rumble Preliminaries, 5/8/01
...Lastly we have Freezepop who have adopted a completely un-rock sound. A
trio consisting of a singer, and keyboard player, and a Game Boy looking
programming device, Freezepop have a wittily sarcastic, but oddly innocent
charm to them. They are playing 80s sounding dance music and getting
most of the audience to bob along to their utterly cute state of existence.
For an electronic outfit in a rock club everyone seems to dig it. Having
cheekily poked fun at all things that rock, the set culminates with a guitar
smashing and a whole lot of devil horn signs. Freezepop takes the night.
-- K, The Noise, June 2001
Live at Castle von Buhler's Apocalyptic Prom The Castle
Izzy and I break out our best previously-experienced tuxedos, splash on some
apocalyptic war paint, and head over to the Castle. We walk in on '80s synth
pop sounds coming from a crowded room of well-dressed, slow-dancing, gender-mixed
couples. The ceiling fan turns strips of crepe paper 'round in circles that
appear to be dancing to the programmed midi drums controlled by the Duke of
Candied Apples. The instrumentless Duke looks like he's playing Nintendo while
physically enjoying the rhythms. The other Sean T. Drinkwater, in a loud tuxedo,
isn't overloaded, though he's operating three different synths. Liz Enthusiasm
stands in front of the boys, sweetly delivering her simple pop melodies with
an easy-going attitude. The beat bops, the vocoder sounds bring back a different
era, and the twirling crepe paper weaves itself into Laura "Bats in the Bellfry" Wilson's
hair, practically levitating her. The dancing continues.
-- T Max, The Noise, April 2000
Electro Nouveau (Moonshine Records Compilation)
Electro Nouveau hosts many new new wave winners from the depths
of obscurity.Ladytron and a sweet GusGus remix provide the star power,
while unknowns like FPU, Northern Lite , and Freezepop deliver the detached
urgency. Essential tunes: Freezepop "Plastic Stars," Gary Flanagan,
-- Mixer Magazine, January 2003
Electro-pop is not dead, it's thriving, as this compilation CD proves. New
tracks by Ganymede, Gary Flanagan, Color Theory, Plastic Orgasm People, Wave
In Head, Freezepop, and other artists celebrate the many colors of the synthesizer
and the beatbox, with timeless stylings that evoke Erasure, Soft Cell, and
Depeche Mode....Now if we could only get MTV to pick up on the trend....
-- Jim Aikin, Keyboard magazine, April 2001