I Hate Our Freedom - Seriously
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Record Label: Mightier Than Sword
I Hate Our Freedom may be lowkey as far as so-called supergroups go, but they are deserving of the title, and their new album, Seriously, commands attention. The group is made up of Joseph Grillo of Garrison and Gay for Johnny Depp on vocals and guitar, Justin Scurti of Milhouse on guitar, Scott Winegard of Texas Is the Reason on bass, and Tucker Rule of Thursday on drums (although Scott Padden and Jack Jeffries play bass and drums, respectively, on the recordings).
I Hate Our Freedom would be best described as post-hardcore, but they're not so easy to classify. They blur the lines between genres, mixing their members' hardcore and punk backgrounds with rock sensibilities. Imagine a sound that combines the garage rock ethos of the Foo Fighters with the tenacious swagger of Every Time I Die.
Most of the songs clock in under the 2 minutes mark, resulting in a 10-track EP with a runtime just shy of 20 minutes. While I'm interested to hear more, the short length is perfect for for the band to cultivate their sound without getting stale.
The band's monicker comes from a bit by comedian David Cross (itself inspired by a George W. Bush quote), but the album is called Seriously. In a similarly enigmatic fashion, the songs fluctuate from chaotic to melodic without missing a beat. The effortless shift is clear from the get go, as the barn burning "Top 8" kicks off the record before going into the more accessible "It's No First 7"."
The juxtaposition is repeated at the end of the album, which concludes by following up its heaviest track, "Don't Bother Getting Married," with its most experimental, "Die In Your Sleep." At three minutes, the latter seems like an epic compared to the pint-sized songs that precede it. The frenetic guitars add to the feeling of vastness, with the rough-around-the-edges production allowing the whirring distortion to provide a befitting fuzziness.
Seriously's standout track is also the most classically structured of the bunch, "Batting Practice." The Nirvana-esque song packs a punch but could fit in rotation on an alternative rock radio station with ease. Ironically, its lyrics are about the expectations of writing a hit single.
By infusing surprisingly catchy melodies into terse, aggressive songs, I Hate Our Freedom manage to avoid being pigeonholed by a genre and, perhaps more importantly, eclipse the supergroup monicker. People may check out the band due to its members, but they will stick around because they make good music.