August 4, 2009

The Fresh & Onlys
The Fresh & Onlys

San Francisco, CA
Recorded at the Treehouse in San Francisco | Produced, mastered and
engineered by The Fresh & Onlys | Mastered by Kevin Ink

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The heart races, feels like it’s going to bust out-of- chest. Seven hundred ninety-five seconds. This is how long it takes to fall in love.

This is also the amount of time it takes to forget all your earthly troubles and start dancing as if with a new pair of legs, which you'll do once you reach the first chorus of “Peacock and Wing” – exactly 795 seconds into The Fresh & Onlys' self-titled debut. The song is so exuberantly joyful, so jaw-droppingly perfect, it makes you wonder if other songs will fade into seclusion a la Brian Wilson after Sgt. Pepper’s.

The Fresh & Onlys have hit on something truly special with this sixth song on the record. That the other tunes don’t come off like a bunch of homeless dudes dining with the Queen speaks to the quality of the San Francisco garage band’s chops, songwriting ability and affinity for the elusive “it.”

On “Fog Machine,” head Freshy Tim Cohen musters his best Jonathan Richman kiss-off amongst driving, thump-thump percussion, zealous tambourine and Wymond Miles’ fretboardlimiting fuzz guitar – “Machine, don’t talk to me / talk to someone else!” At one with the muffled, lo-fi jangle of garage spirits past and present, one can only nod at the screwball hippie lyric and add a stoned, “Amen brother.” Similarly, “Endless Love” and “Only One I Want” feed off a 1960s psych-pop vibe, the former in its batshit reduction of Velvets and early Dead, the latter with a neurotically lovesick overhaul of the Peter Gunn theme. And then there’s the aforementioned “Peacock and Wing,” wherein the Fresh & Onlys hit full stride in a 100-meter sprint of infectious melody. In theory, it takes 38 minutes to listen to this album once through. In theory. (Castle Face)
-Robbie Hilson

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