Freeroad – Do What You Feel! (Dying Victims Productions)Friday, 27th January 2023
The proliferation of newer artists reaching back into that 70’s/80’s classic hard rock/traditional heavy metal influence bank continues here with Mexico’s Freeroad and this full-length Do What You Feel!. The quartet possess that plug in and play attitude with catchy, bluesy guitar action, swinging in the pocket tempos, plus the added bonus of undeniable hooky choruses with the supplementary soothing background harmony support to bring all these nine songs into the hearts (and minds) of their faithfully growing followers.
The blitzkrieg guitar action between energetic riffing and lead breaks/harmony activities from Alejandro Velazco and Ramiro ‘Ranzig’ Mendoza dip into everything from UFO to Thin Lizzy, Rush to Wishbone Ash as well as boatloads of early NWOBHM bands – allowing “Nature of Change” and “Rock Chaser” to be immediate standouts. Nothing fancy about the focused arrangements or primitive tones present – the warmth and sincerity of this four-piece speaks to a love of music that screams of the early years of hard rock/metal – adding special police sirens against a thick, prominent bass groove by Eli Arrieta for the street-level ethics on “Five Hours to Mexico”. Occasional progressive, jam-oriented transitions throw a bit of a curve ball to the proceedings, while never getting too excessive – check out the soothing instrumental ambiance with spiraling bluesy/southern rock leads during “Liar” as drummer Daniel ‘Fish’ Tirado adds his explosive fleet fills or fancy cymbal, snare, kick juggling expertise. Alejandro does double duty as main singer – setting the tone in an upper register melodic delivery right away on the uplifting title track, while going down comfortably like your favorite alcoholic beverage at the club on the Thin Lizzy-esque closer “Twighlight Row”.
Don’t know what to really make of the naked man on the road/ mountain scenery that probably will stun some and puzzle others on the cover. But when it comes to the music, Freeroad has all the proper abilities to appease those into the old school scene and fans of High Spirits, Haunt, and Night Demon among others as Do What You Feel! will have you screaming and shouting for joy.