Live at CMJ, Day 5: Freshkills

photos by Doron Gild
review by Sheryl Witlen

One of the loudest band performances of the week is sure to come from Brooklyn’s own Freshkills. Vocalist Zach Lipez, drummer Jimmy Paradise, guitarists Johnny Rauberts and Tim Murray, and bassist Mitchell Jordan know how to claim your attention and stain your memory. With dark music thick with heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums, Freshkills don’t sulk into the scene... they bash your senses raw with fierce aggression. These Williamsburg rockers keep good company with screamers such as Team Robespierre, Goes Cube, and The Arms. Their second and recent effort -- self-titled, self-released, and produced by Alex Newport (At the Drive In, Two Gallants) -- blends post-hardcore with post-punk, creating a biting, yet still danceable mix. The Portland Mercury described this young talent as “a combination of the spazzy kid who threw desks and chairs at the teachers and the bully who pushed that same kid into lockers, Freshkills use a combination of tech-y, frantic breakdowns and relentless pummeling to get their way. Unpredictable and confrontational, the band doesn’t ask or compel listeners, they demand.” It is rumored that the band was contacted by the New York City Parks Department during an attempt to seek rehabilitation funds for Staten Island’s second-most-well known landmark: The Fresh Kills landfill, from which the band indeed took its name. Whether or not the band can put a more positive spin on what was once the largest dump in the world, one thing is for certian: Freshkills’ music isn’t so easily discarded.

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