Freak Out Hard on You

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Although they released a collection of singles and rarities cheekily titled We Won't Rock You earlier in the year, 2002's Freak Out Hard on You is Fablefactory's proper follow-up to their 1999 debut album, American Custard. Fablefactory's fractured pop exists in the periphery of the Elephant 6 movement, with various connections to outfits like Elf Power and the Gerbils made evident in the Factory's playful cut-and-paste aesthetic. Masterminded by Visitations lead weirdo Davey Wrathgabar, Freak Out finds this Athens, GA, trio serving up more of its over the top eccentric pop, recorded along the lines of Guided By Voices' early basement cavalcade of schizophrenic fuzz and jangle, but without the all of the Brit and power pop leanings of the Dayton boys. Even at their weirdest, Fablefactory's songs are laced with a '60s jangle and singalong sensibility, but are dominated by quirky musical arrangements and lyrical adventures à la They Might Be Giants. With songs detailing having a nervous breakdown because "I need dopamine" ("Total Psychotic Breakdown") and telling the tale of a fly landing on a pie ("Banana Pie"), this album more than lives up to its title. At times calling to mind a sort of warped psychedelic folk explosion, and at others a marching band gone wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it), Freak Out Hard on You covers a lot of territory, but avoids coming across as fragmented or disjointed. One of the highlights of Fablefactory's early catalog, "Chemicals of Delaware" is reimagined on Freak Out. Whereas the previous recording bounced along in animated and eccentric Gerbils fashion, the new version is stripped down and straightforward, proving that while he often hides behind goofy lyrics and odd instrumentation, Wrathgabar's songs are strong and catchy enough to stand alone.

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