By Kendall Becker
Artist: Andrew Friedberg
Album: Thank God For Rock Bottom
Release Date: November 18, 2018
Label: Andrew Friedberg
On Nov. 28, 2018, Andrew Friedberg released his first self-released album, Thank God For Rock Bottom. There isn’t anything about this album that gives off the impression of predictability. In 15 tracks Friedberg creates a stark contrast of songs and melodies strung together without any sort of warning, destroying any inkling of coherency. Friedberg’s lyrics are lost in the tracks with oversaturated muffles and loud guitars in true Jack White fashion, making it hard to make out what he’s saying most of the time.
In his first track, “I Want Ya,” a cacophony of sounds echo through the ear drums, with crunchy guitars and drums carrying the weight of the song; however, there are some indications of tonality and understanding in later tracks. Friedberg’s creative process throughout the album invites some melancholy heard specifically within the third track, “Fade Up”, which seems to be a reflection of his desire to keep up despite his nightmarish and intrusive thoughts in the verse, “…oh grow up. You need to find a f***ing way to keep the crazy outchea brain”. It reveals this sadistic yearning to see his monsters in his dreams. In the seventh track, “The Squirrel,” the listener is invited to experience sounds that emit joyful echos of strings, electric keyboards, guitars and even introducing sitars. Yes, you saw that correctly. Sitars.
The inconsistencies of each track puts me off for a number of reasons. The oddities of each track don’t convey a solid message or consistent tone. One redeeming quality to note is that despite the confusing messages Friedberg is fervently trying to encapsulate as one cohesive sound, he is clearly trying to stand out and showcase his interests in a variety of diverse tones. It is obvious that Friedberg spent thoughtful time and energy into this project, but it’s sadly saturated in a overwhelmingly confusing package.
With this conglomerate of instruments, this album evokes funky, out-of-this-world rock that takes you to places you would not expect. Had this album perfectly executed unique transitions of songs, pleasant mixture of sounds and consistent tonality I would be swayed to add this to my library.