Freeborn Rising Blood/GBH
Both tracks on this debut single from Freeborn Rising are built around frontperson Thorins restless acoustic guitar and haunted vocal. Hes a real ear-grab too, melodious in timbre but gutsy in delivery. But its not a one-man show, there is plenty of stuff going on that showcases the entire band. Blood has a surprise heavy guitar riff on the chorus that reminds of R.E.M. or even Pearl Jam, and sinister violin lurking around the songs peripheries. In contrast, GBH trades on a classic folk rock sound with a great sing-along chorus that is pure Levellers.
The songs benefit from clear and concise production and great performances from all concerned, that never spill over into histrionics, further helped by tight arrangements that have trimmed unnecessary flourishes that often blight folk and rock genres.
There is an anti-war theme throughout both tracks with lyrics told from the view of the subjugated - We are the voice that nobody heard/When the bombs feel and lines they were blurred makes the chorus of Blood hit hard without being heavy or mawkish. This single makes for an excellent introduction to Freeborn Rising who sound confident enough to go for something bigger, maybe an EP next. Great stuff.
(available now in all good online stores)