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If you distilled the late-’70s explosion of punk rock into a single mixtape that incorporated the pop side, the garage side, and the experimental noise side, Freak Genes would be that mixtape made flesh.
Freak Genes is the child of Andrew Anderson and Charlie Murphy, brought into this world to make fun music. Charlie has survived bands like Red Cords, Holiday Ghost and M.Rutt, while Andrew is a veteran of Proto Idiot, the Marble Vanity and the Hipshakes.
The idea behind Freak Genes is to take all the weird ideas deemed too dysfunctional for their other outlets and create something interesting. Their original inspiration was the Raincoats LP Odyshape. So far, they sound nothing like that.
In 2017 Freak Genes released their first 12” LP Playtime on Alien Snatch records. That album has 16 tracks, and throws together all kinds of garage rock crappola to make quick, catchy songs. Live shows followed in the UK and Mainland Europe, featuring an all-star band of best pals from the Black Tambourines, the Hipshakes and the Be Positives.
Since then, Charlie and Andrew have discovered synthesisers and drum machines. The result is Qwak Qwak, a bumper collection of 17 songs, which, if we’ve done our maths right, makes it 6.25% better than their debut. Its angrier and more awkward but still has hooks.