2nd record from power trio
'Complex Disorders' is a record that could have only come from the States. The straightforward heaviness of Tubefreeks' blue-collar rock isn't something that we really do in the UK; too many indie boys drinking WKD and not enough grizzled men oppressed daily by Fox News. The music is precise, economic and with absolutely no extraneous frivolities - as all good power trios tend to be. There's a definite mid-nineties influence to the Tubefreeks sound as they take a little from grunge, alt.metal and hard rock across twelve tracks.
'Aflagarden' and 'Dumb Games' dance to an Alice in Chains beat and Paul van Valkenburgh's vocals are suitably gruff. The lyrical content hails from the same darkened soul that inspired Alice as the opening words to the album demonstrate: "When I see you, when I bleed you on the cross, when I grieve you/Who sustains the loss?". With a title like 'S.O.B.' the third track was unlikely to be a lullaby either and the central riff grinds like a piece of heavy machinery occasionally tempered by a wah dripped lead. 'Warm December' opens with throbbing bass, circular toms and lots of reverb. The scuzzed-up guitar is never far away though and it has to be said that the industrial rock by way of the desert approach is pretty damn cool. 'Spirits' ventures into Sabbath territory with its focus on a certain mania "Are the fears all just in your mind (it's what I'm thinkin')
/Are the fears so real, they justify the time". Compliment should be paid at this point to the band's booming sound and all round tightness. In particular, Shawn Vickers' often sick guitar contributions and Dimebag-like inflections to his riffs keep the album interesting.
The sounds drilled into this CD are certainly very familiar in late 2010 (a drum solo on 'Parana' eh?) but there is power in Tubefreeks' attack and anyone with an affection for plaid, long hair and diamond hard rock should give 'Complex Disorders' a spin.