A Very Special Episode- Freak Me Out

by | Jun 23, 2023 | Reviews

A Very Special Episode Freak Me Out


Whether you’re ready to check in for a relaxing week at the The Great Northern, or just in the mood for a nice warm glass of Kool-Aid before bed (or anything in between really), the new LP Freak Me Out from your favorite Red/Blue Light noise rockers, A Very Special Episode, is available now everywhere music exists across all the digital and physical realms. 


The long awaited and highly anticipated latest release from from the sinister trio comes after one of the most robust and well executed marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen from a local band. You can’t hold a conversation in line for the bathroom at Alphaville or at the bar up on the roof at Our Wicked Lady without someone riffing on the now infamous “It’s not a grift, it’s self discovery” tagline. And to anyone out there who has not yet taken pause to recognize just how good this band has gotten lo these last couple years, that joke is indeed on you.



A Very Special Episode (photo by Cherylynn Tsushima)


Following up to 2021 not-so-sleeper hit Fix Your Hearts Or Die, everything is bigger this time around. The loud parts are louder, the textures richer, and much more dynamic in it’s execution than on previous endeavors. The band shows a clear evolution, taking risks regarding songwriting and layered structure, probably somewhat due in part to recording with Jeff Berner at Brooklyn’s Studio G, but mostly because this band embodies extremely synergetic communication through their musical love language. The Alice In Wonderland nod “Deep in the Weeds” is a perfect embodiment of this. “We wanted to allow for more pop-style melodies,” notes singer/bassist Kasey Heisler. “We were inspired by Halsey’s record with Trent Reznor, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. She laid her vocal sensibilities overtop heavier music, and it slaps!”


Freak Me Out wonderfully builds upon the band’s signature sound while at the same time exploring its limits. “The goal was, ‘let’s take every idea we have to their logical extremes,’”says guitarist Patrick Porter. And pushing those limits clearly paid off on tracks like “Neon Stars” which quickly spirals itself downward into the stuff from which nightmares are made. The song feels like Twin Peaks crossed with Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” existing in a realm that’s slowed and warbled as though trying to run through molasses. Chayse Schutter, the band’s cyclone slaughterhouse of a drummer, shares with us his behind-the-kit perspective. “Bands with songs that have slower tempos, like Cloakroom, inspired me to slow the tempo of ‘Neon Stars’ way down, making it emotionally resonate at a higher level.”


There’s no shortage of hit paraders throughout the LP, the preceding trail of lead singles heralding its release alone could hypothetically make up an EP that would top most tastemakers year-ends. From cult classic in the making disco synth bop “Heaven’s Gate” to “5 Dollar Cover,” (the band’s very own homage to their peers in the Brooklyn DIY scene who not only serve as reflective inspiration, but also make up the very substance of their universe), the saccharine sour sensibilities are enough to keep your mouth watering.



However, deep within the tempest onslaught of noise and catchy hooks swimming up against the barrage of heavy rip-tide riffs washed over power-pop melodies, it’s one of the few quiet moments that really draws focus. Right in the eye of the storm, sits the heart wrenching “Perfect Rain” which so beautifully articulates the fleeting nature of our human encounters. Much of its heavy lifting propped up by a single hesitant acoustic guitar riff, the duet between Heisler and Schutter is about as unexpected as the creepy synth line that dots it’s cold and regretful melody before tearing into the album’s most powerful rock moment by far.


As innovative as it endearing, as imaginative as it is self-aware, A Very Special Episode’s Freak Me Out is not only the best thing they’ve released as a band, but also is the best release I’ve had the pleasure of unpeeling in recent memory. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can listen to it yourself. Just be sure you follow them on BandNada first.


AVSE performing

AVSE live at EWEL (photo by Kate Hoos)


Freak Me Out is available now via EWEL Records and available on all major streamers. Read our Q&A with the band to find out more about the making of the record.


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