Freelove Fenner – ‘Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner’

freeloveReview by Andrew Patterson

When exposed to the repetitiveness of modern Top 40 songs, with hooks that loop ad nauseum throughout their entirety, I find myself wondering in maladjusted horror, ‘Why? Why has it come to this?’

There seems to be an accepted answer to this question, which is that, due to the warp speed at which our culture moves, all music is trashed almost instantly. No one has an attention span anymore and they don’t even want to hear a pop song with four distinct sections, let alone a whole album, they just want to hear the “sweet part” of a song over and over and over.

I, too, suffer from a short attention span. Though, I find myself seeking a different remedy. Rather than one really good idea per song, I’m inclined towards one really good album with a thousand little ideas. It’s my preferred format for music: one sonic palette, many tiny songs. I’m thinking of albums like Wire’s Pink Flag, Deerhoof’s Runners Four, the Minutemen’s Double Nickels On The Dime, Madvillain’s Madvillainy. It is in this good company that I now consider Freelove Fenner’s Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner.

On their debut long-player, the Montreal three-piece offer up an embarrassment of pop riches. Each song jumps confidently from thought to thought, never resting on or returning to an idea unless it’s a total hit. What’s more, at any given moment, each instrument is carving it’s own path, resulting in plenty of subtle, multi-faceted melodies (all captured in glorious analog, natch).

All this may give the impression of a schizophrenic product, but Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner is quite the opposite. All of it’s fat has been trimmed and there are no loose ends. The relatively short pieces function much the way Willy Wonka’s three-course-meal chewing gum works: deceptively compact and wholly satisfying.