Fit For Rivals – Freak Machine Album Review
“Judge me now for what I do,
I’m coming at ya,
Nothing left to lose,
So come on motherfucker”
Buoyed by that defiant proclamation, Jacksonville’s Fit For Rivals tear through the explosive “Hit Me,” the first song off of their long-awaited follow-up to Steady Damage. The new album, Freak Machine proves that good things do indeed come to those who wait, as the offering showcases the band’s diversity with a killer mix of new creations and recent favorites.
See more photos here: Fit For Rivals
“Hit Me” is one of a handful of tracks that will be familiar to the band’s ardent fan base, as four of the songs were staples on their well-received 2015 EP Sugar. All of those Sugar tracks are back, which is just fine with me, as each one of the tunes drips with cool rock swagger.
“Hit Me” and “Special Kind Of Crazy” are two invigorating highlights from the EP that return to help anchor the new album. Both songs are scorching rockers with sharp hooks and fantastic vocals. One of the other featured returning songs is the title track, an absolutely addictive rock anthem that has already appeared on RARAs Farm’s 2014 Song of the Year list.
When I chatted with singer Renee Phoenix recently, she noted that Sugar was released to show Fit For Rivals fans how the band has grown and evolved in the six years since Steady Damage. On the new album, we get to witness that evolutionary process continue, highlighted by a few unexpected surprises. (Read the full interview with Renee Phoenix here.)
The first single off of Freak Machine is another raucous song that the band has been playing live from time-to-time. “Novocain” is carried by a heavy guitar riff and thunderous rhythm in a song punctuated by Phoenix’s fantastic voice. It’s a song perfectly suited for hard rock radio, and one of many tracks on the album that are sure to translate well to a live environment.
As I dug in deeper to the album, the true diversity of the band truly came through. “Gimme The Pain” is a slinky, slow burner unlike anything I’ve heard from the band before. It’s totally different than the Fit For Rivals I know but it is quickly becoming a new favorite.
“Gave It Away” is another intriguing track with a new wave meets industrial rock vibe. It’s very different, but cool as hell. Finally, the last song “Devil Inside” boasts a hard bluesy edge to it, and provides a new canvas for Phoenix’s vocal creativity.
Freak Machine features ten diverse tracks which offer a little bit of rock for fans of any niche. For fans with more diverse rock tastes, they will walk away with the same feeling of excitement that I experienced as soon as I wrapped up my first tour through the full album and realized I had a timeless new rock album pouring through my headphones.
With Freak Machine, Fit For Rivals have succeeded in delivering an album destined to become one of the hallmark albums released in the Sunshine State this decade.
Pick it up beginning Friday, September 2nd.
And, check out some other killer new music we’ve dug up for your enjoyment here: RARA’s Fresh Crops
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