Big Fred’s Oh Hi Hello: Muddy Psych Rock’s New Face
>> Rochester’s latest garage-band-esque release is Oh Hi Hello, a full-length by the band Big Fred. They’ve defined themselves as trash pop; their sound is perfectly lo-fi and muddy. Their latest drop is full of powerful riffs, psychedelic guitar effects and wandering time signatures.
Each song in the album has an incredible flow. A few tracks seem to wander back and forth between spaced out guitar melodies to heavily crunchy power chords. Tuna captures this best with its transition from a far out verse to a noisy outro.
Lead singer Conor McCann has such a unique voice. Imagine a mash-up of King Krule and Mac Demarco with a whole lot of passion and emotion behind certain belts of imaginative vocals. His melodic shouts are a powerful addition to the genre they’re keeping alive. Goo seems to be the track he felt the most angst on from within the vocal booth.
The lo-fi aspect of this album is perfectly achieved. Each stringed instrument track is muddy, the vocals are gritty, and the drums are clean. The levels are stellar, and the fuzziness is tasteful. It’s hard to reach a professional level of trash sound without sounding like the record was recorded in a garage with mics that were found on Craigslist for next to nothing.
The guitar parts throughout the album seem to blend together after a few songs. They possess this inherent tendency to drone on a chord for a few measures with a single, simple picking progression. The similarities between the parts in Wood and Goo, for example, sum up this point nicely. Each is unique and badass enough to stand out, but the theme of finding a picking structure and sticking with it for every verse of a song gets a little repetitive.
This album introduced me to the concept of trash pop, a genre I didn’t know would sound so sweet and familiar. Mudhoney and Meat Puppet grunge evidently had a bastard child with early 2000s emotional rock, and Big Fred is raising it. This seemingly simple and crunchy record is full of talent, feelings, and power. 4.3/5 <<