Freshkills
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Freshkills

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
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"CMJ 2010 Day 2, October 20: Parallel Universes"

NEW YORK– Madison Square Garden. It is known as the world’s most famous arena. This landmark in Midtown Manhattan has made history out of events, legends out of musicians, and heroes out athletes. It is the only true BIG stage.

French rock group Phoenix played there on Wednesday for this year’s CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival.
There, under the hallowed rafters decorated by sports jerseys with names such as Frazier, Monroe, and Reed;
and in front of a full-house crowd, the band rocked out. They played their hits that made them big winners in the Grammys and AMAs.
And towards the end of the show, they made the concert a true event that only the Garden can host: They called in guest artist Daft Punk to jam with them.
The fans went absolutely hysterical.


On the second day of CMJ, Phoenix were totally THE highlight. But true to the philosophy of this great music and film festival, they were not the day’s BIG story.

The day’s story happened in a parallel universe.

Cake Shop. It is a great small club on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side.
It is not a bakeshop but a place that serves booze and provides possibilities.
In the basement of this little venue is an area where bands are supposed to play. There is no elevated stage.
Not even spotlights to provide a semblance of glamour to the performers on stage. It is a place where roaches
and rats, without a doubt, mingle with the humans. It is dingy as it is memorable. And frankly speaking, it is horrible.

But I certainly believe that a place like the basement of Cake Shop has something in common with Madison Square Garden: It could also turn musicians into rock legends.

On the second day of CMJ, far from the bright lights of MSG, the day’s story happened here. The story was the band Freshkills.

I will cut to the chase and say that Freshkills were spectacular. Yes, perhaps as, or even more spectacular than Phoenix.

Their post-punk-New York–Brit-rock is both melodic and hard; urgent yet not fleeting; dirty yet lovable.

Freshkills have the power to turn a spectator into a fan in an instant. They can get you on hello.

Knowing later that the band is relatively not a new band (they released their debut album in 2006), made me scratch my head in bewilderment.

Why aren’t they playing Madison Square Garden? Why an early show at the Cake Shop? What’s fucking wrong with this music industry?

Well, soon enough, after getting blown away by this quintet, I got to answer those questions with one single answer: New York.

Only in New York and more so during CMJ can things like this happen. Only in this city can two bands, play in two very different universes and create their own legends.

Whether it is at Madison Square Garden, or the Cake Shop basement, it doesn’t matter because in this great city, stars are born in constellations as kings are born in mangers.

And when you ask these great artists where they would rather play, they couldn’t care less. To them, every venue is a place to shine.
- Poptime Magazine


""Creeps and Lovers" LP review"

Fresh Kills bring us five thick slabs of post-hardcore post-punk that sit somewhere between Jehu and Damaged with new wavy pop choruses and dance grooves injected into their centers. Dark jaded yet romantic decay kind of stuff that tends to escape from NYC every now and then. The sound of a new expensive pair of high heel stepping on rats and syringes as they stumble out the door and into the dawn. When the first rays of daylight hit a small clear baggie on the street and, from a few feet away, you mistake it for a diamond. Dirty and shiny.

Rock poet Zachary Lipez’s voice is more full-bodied and in-tune than I’ve ever heard it – entering British pop territory. The JJ Paradise Players Club rhythm section of Bill Miller and Jim Paradise prove that they’re still one of the tightest and most muscular in New York, Johnny Rauberts and Tim Murray’s dual guitars do all kinds of slippery octave work, feedback, precise glass shard slicing, and, in odd places, full-on macho man powerchording.

This is one of those records that contains equal parts metallic brutality and catchy candy melodicism. As Zach says, "Metal feels good in your mouth." What if the Strokes didn’t spend their twenties being rock stars but working at Mars Bar instead? Did you get it? Have you got it? - New York Night train


""Creeps and Lovers" LP review"

"Feeling nasty… check out “Creeps and Lovers� from Freshkills - Full power danger rockers with leanings towards the bizarre. Ferocious guitars, ripping vocals and a whole lot of boom, boom, boom. Black light tunes for slinky creatures and late night drinking, slip into something more comfortable and crank it up a notch. - New York Waste


""Creeps and Lovers" LP review"

The strange, dark, and insistent sound of the Fresh Kills recalls bands like Drive Like Jehu, Nation of Ulysses, Dirtclod Fight, and other innovators of grim sound and damaged rhythms. The math rock elements are there but it’s still listenable through a clever mix of alternating chaos and structure. They throw off your equilibrium with tightly executed jerking rhythms until you’re weaving across the deck like a drunken sailor and then drop into driving pounding breaks that pull you back from the railing just before you fall overboard. There’s a bit of noise farming here and there but never for its own sake and they weave a balance between grim discord, desperate vocals, and a sort of fucked up pop sensibility that inexplicably works. I’ve always been a fan of bright yet jagged bass tones bands like No Means No or Drive Like Jehu champion and that was definitely part of the personal attraction. Always interesting and determinedly unpretty and aggressive bursts keep your attention and on your toes anticipating the next curve or abrupt turn, like driving late at night in a fast car with no headlights on. There’s a sort of gripping dark element here that seems to be symptomatic of making music in the claustrophobic urban decay of New York which is summed up appropriately enough in the sound and lyrics of their song “We Live in The City� and is evident in the songs of other New York bands like early Boss Hog or The Hells. The Fresh Kills may turn off those with more sensitive leanings I found myself drawn into the dark soup of their sound and liked its somewhat bitter flavor. Definitely one of the more intriguing bands I’ve heard in recent memory with similarities to past favorites. 8 out of 11 - Culture Bunker


""Creeps and Lovers" LP review"

Freshkills have honed their skills to create straight-up, trashed-out, catastrophic songs. This young New York five-piece are strikingly stripped down on these nine tracks. The title track starts it all off with its high-tension stylings that sound soaked in amphetamine fuelled inspiration. Each moment of this album pulsates and shifts under its own weight, as if the music is trying to break out of its tight skin. This band have tapped into an energy that many can only emulate, not originate. Although song titles like “Hot Ex-Wife Action� and “Is There Enough Cocaine in the World to Make You Care About Me?� might give the impression that there isn’t much more going on here than a few jokes. But once the first chord is struck here it becomes obvious that they aren’t a band you want to ignore. Recorded and mixed by Joel Hamilton (Tom Waits, Frank Black), Creeps and Lovers veers and combusts into taut, sharp-edged territories that spit out the best bits of sound. - Exclaim - Canada


""Creeps and Lovers" LP review"

Hours of practice, a dedication to songwriting, and a sizeable budget. These are all things that are less important to a good record than having a cool older borther - someone to break your Collective Soul tapes over your stupid head, as the older brothers of the Freshkills clearly did, and say "Hey you stupid idiot, here is Drive Like Jehu, Jesus Lizard, and Nation of Ulysses. Now quit being such a herb".

8.5 out of 10 - Vice Magazine


"Music Hall of Williamsburg live review"

There is something so immediate about a Freshkills (http://www.myspace.com/freshkills) show - something in the involvement of the band in the music, in the quivering voice and sometimes-pained expression on the face of the frontman. The lyrics, which sometimes aren’t completely intelligible, are absolutely worth a second look. Lead singer Zachary Lipez is an adept storyteller - his words are abstract and poetic, gritty and visual, carrying hints of the sacred in tales of the profane - and they are made all the more real when delivered through five moving, breathing bodies right in front of you on stage.

These five individuals with warring influences are what make this Brooklyn band (comprised of the aforementioned Lipez on vocals, guitarists Johnny Rauberts and Timothy Murray, bassist Mishka Shubaly and drummer Jim Paradise), so instantly recognizable, even despite being a band of few words, as they were at Music Hall of Williamsburg (QRO venue review), opening for ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead (QRO live review) on Saturday, October 19th. Their punk rock-styled pummel and unflagging drive is perfectly coupled with Lipez’s full, distinct pipes, and even more with his nervous energy onstage. Of course, it’s not that he’s actually nervous - instead that his energy truly inhabits the songs, as if he’s living his reasons for writing them all over again. The energy is present from the start, creeping just beneath the surface. The band is clustered together in front of a wall of amps and equipment, unable to utilize the full expanse of the stage. Noise from the double guitars reverberates, seeming like the average soundcheck, but then without warning, and without any grandiose introduction, the sound transforms into the opener, "Asleep Means No", the first in a set made almost entirely of cuts from their latest self-titled release (QRO review).

Lipez begins - hand on cheek, fists clenched, and looking as though he’s actually going through something onstage. Steady drums introduce the track, and at once the tempo is high and the story is told - all the while showcasing their honest lyrics, driving rhythms, and abrupt tempo changes. Lipez is steadfast at the front, and by the second song, "Enemies", their signature frenetic energy is breaking through - his skin is crawling, the drums launch to the forefront at the pounding chorus and breakdown, and the band is really beginning to come alive. It doesn’t take long to realize that Freshkills has a serious knack for memorable, anthemistic, shout-it-out choruses, and "Enemies" is no different. And in a way, a line from "Enemies" can describe the feeling of watching Freshkills, desperate and devoted, offering up their sonic punch under red lights and dark shadows - "I can feel / Something enormous rushing towards us".

The second song ends abruptly, making space for the few words Freshkills does say that night. "We’re Freshkills, from down the street," Lipez says with a nonchalant but semi-comic air, gesturing to the streets outside with his water bottle. Then before you know it, the music rushes in again - "My House" begins, and Lipez is belting the lyrics with palpable desperation, backed up on the chorus with steady vocals from the guitarists, every member fully involved in their respective instruments - some not even eyeing the audience at all. Yet not a moment of it is passé, not a moment lacks authenticity. It only becomes more apparent during their next song, "Child We Almost Had", a new cut saved for the recording of their forthcoming album, which fits right in with their dark and emotional yet direct and hard-hitting repertoire. The drums are building, Lipez is literally hanging off the mic stand, repeating, "Not tonight, not tonight," bassist Shubaly has his back turned, playing to his amp, and it becomes undeniably clear that Freshkills have this ‘desperate energy’ thing down to a science. It’s what makes a nearly wordless show still so unbelievably engaging.

The next song in Freshkills’ set stands out completely. "The Bigger Man", another new track that has yet to be recorded, saunters in with distinct, creeping riffs of bass and guitar, and as the band plays on, especially furiously for the breakdowns, it seems Freshkills is flirting with a sort of harder, rocky bluesiness that unexpectedly suits them very well. Then the formless, rising noise of the guitars is back - building ever so slowly before suddenly bursting into a track which brings the band back to material from their last album: "I Quit Smoking".

The song is stylish yet touching, emotional yet indifferent - a completely honest portrait of the complicated kind of hope we somehow cling to in the face of trysts that just can’t seem to work out. "I said I... I want to be happy for you / And I... Want to be less helpless all the time / And I... Don’t want to be someone you got over / And I... Just want to be around when you come alive." As the chorus chugs and Lipez is standing at the mic, staring out, repeating "When you come alive, when you come alive," you get a glimpse of that joy he’s chasing, and it couldn’t seem any more true. Yet without getting too deep into what could resemble Freshkills ‘ballad territory’, their nervous energy returns with an immediate explosion into the unmistakable "Caroline", a little firecracker of a song just under three minutes - constantly moving, pounding, driving - the clincher of their formula for a singable, repetitive chorus.

And then, without missing a beat or offering much more than "Freshkills, this is the last song," the band has suddenly reached their finale: an unforgettable rendition of "Revelations". They’ve chosen the ideal song to close their set with - a dramatic, powerful pinnacle that leaves a lasting impression - and they ride it out to the very last note, seeming again like that ‘something enormous’, like something to behold. "Now bow your head, know that evil is real/ Now bow your head, know that evil is real / You’ve got to believe / You’ve got to believe," Lipez shouts, nearly chanting to the frantic tempo, and this is only the start of the ascension.

The band is moving as much as they can amongst the restrictive crowd of amps, and absolutely punch it for the chorus - everyone is wholly absorbed, bobbing heads, singing along: "If you think the heart that beats / Beats for you and yours alone / Revelations, revelations / Revelations, revelations..." It’s simultaneously spiritual and sinister, seeming like a beckoning, an otherworldly invocation, and the spectator can’t help but be honestly struck as the lights are blaring, the band is shouting, the feeling is fervent, the sound is skyrocketing upwards, and then suddenly - "Freshkills, thank you" - they’re gone. Who needs lengthy between-song banter when you can run the gamut of emotions in a tight, explosive set, even as openers? Let the music do the talking and Brooklyn’s Freshkills will be the real statement-makers. - QRO Magazine


"Parallel Universes - CMJ 2010 live review"

Madison Square Garden. It is known as the world’s most famous arena. This landmark in Midtown Manhattan has made history out of events, legends out of musicians, and heroes out athletes. It is the only true BIG stage.

French rock group Phoenix played there on Wednesday for this year’s CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival. There, under the hallowed rafters decorated by sports jerseys with names such as Frazier, Monroe, and Reed; and in front of a full-house crowd, the band rocked out. They played their hits that made them big winners in the Grammys and AMAs. And towards the end of the show, they made the concert a true event that only the Garden can host: They called in guest artist Daft Punk to jam with them. The fans went absolutely hysterical.

On the second day of CMJ, Phoenix were totally THE highlight. But true to the philosophy of this great music and film festival, they were not the day’s BIG story.

The day’s story happened in a parallel universe.

Cake Shop. It is a great small club on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side. It is not a bakeshop but a place that serves booze and provides possibilities. In the basement of this little venue is an area where bands are supposed to play. There is no elevated stage. Not even spotlights to provide a semblance of glamour to the performers on stage. It is a place where roaches and rats, without a doubt, mingle with the humans. It is dingy as it is memorable. And frankly speaking, it is horrible.

But I certainly believe that a place like the basement of Cake Shop has something in common with Madison Square Garden: It could also turn musicians into rock legends.

On the second day of CMJ, far from the bright lights of MSG, the day’s story happened here. The story was the band Freshkills.

I will cut to the chase and say that Freshkills were spectacular. Yes, perhaps as, or even more spectacular than Phoenix.

Their post-punk-New York–Brit-rock is both melodic and hard; urgent yet not fleeting; dirty yet lovable.

Freshkills have the power to turn a spectator into a fan in an instant. They can get you on hello.

Knowing later that the band is relatively not a new band (they released their debut album in 2006), made me scratch my head in bewilderment.

Why aren’t they playing Madison Square Garden? Why an early show at the Cake Shop? What’s fucking wrong with this music industry?

Well, soon enough, after getting blown away by this quintet, I got to answer those questions with one single answer: New York.

Only in New York and more so during CMJ can things like this happen. Only in this city can two bands, play in two very different universes and create their own legends.

Whether it is at Madison Square Garden, or the Cake Shop basement, it doesn’t matter because in this great city, stars are born in constellations as kings are born in mangers.

And when you ask these great artists where they would rather play, they couldn’t care less. To them, every venue is a place to shine. - Poptimes Mgazine


""Freshkills" LP review"

Where do Fresh Kills come off acting like such snotty overeducated punks? It probably has something to do with The Nation of Ulysses, and the whole DC hardcore scene in general. Their self-titled second full length is a strange, raucous amalgam of mid to late-period hardcore and recent post-punk revival. In contemporary terms the Brooklyn-based five piece sound like Interpol all hopped up after doing a few lines of At the Drive-In cut with very early Jimmy Eat World and Foals.

Fresh Kills love of DC hardcore is obvious, and they fuse it with updated post-punk sounds with the precision and care of a Swiss watchmaker. Singer Zach Lipez’s lyrical nonchalance belies a well though out worldview, one he obligingly lays out for the listener on the opening track “Asleep Means No:” “In the absence of an interventionist God/ I believe in right and wrong.” Throughout the album, Lipez bellows and barks out meta-poetic shards of 21st century punk philosophy over the band’s roiling musical fits.

The band’s sound will seem well thought-out to fans of the genre, hand-picked from the best the hardcore/post-punk genre has to offer. As with most bands who can trace lineage to Joy Division, very little instrumentality is wasted, especially on bass where Mitchell Jordan does his best to live up to his influences.

“Asleep Means No” begins with a frenzy typical of bands like Rocket From the Crypt and Mission of Burma. As with most post-hardcore the flow gets stilted on the guitar breaks, but even that could be intentional. “I Know I Know” delves into more dance punk similar to Foals, but remains anchored in Fresh Kills mapped out genre mix.

“Enemies” and “I Quit Smoking” are slower tempo with a stronger post-punk presence, the latter featuring a particularly well-executed bassline from Jordan. “I Quit Smoking’s” musical pedigree resonates deeply, sounding like the theme song to a Paul Verhoven remake of The Breakfast Club if it was set in 1990 and featured 20-somethings. Lipez sings, “I said I want to be happy for you…I don’t want to be someone you got over/ I just want to be around when you come alive…I quit smoking to keep your scent on my sheets.”

“Revelations” has more Foals grooves with a spoken word bridge over hand claps. “Separation Tree” and “Caroline” fizz with manic post-punk delivery. On “Caroline” Lipez wants the listener to know that this woman Caroline has been through some shit, and he’s not going to take it anymore, “Through this sullen vicious world/ I will never let you down…you’re the only good thing in this world, oh Caroline.”

“Winners” is an anthemic mid-tempo exercise in post-hardcore abstract politics with a hint of Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World: “We are traitors/ collaborators…like cancer we’re winning/ it never goes out of fashion does it.”

Overall the album is a progression of the sometimes abrasive post-hardcore genre. All this intelligent design is respectable, but it can’t cover the fact that sometimes post-hardcore’s mania is untenable in the mind of almost any listener, and in the end the album needs more songs in the mood of “I Quit Smoking” for balance.

Lyrically, “Asleep Means No” and “Winners” are perfect bookends for this band’s brand of punk philosophy, just as “Fresh Kills” is the perfect name. The band got it from a landfill in NYC. By sheer coincidence on 9/11, confused and horrified newscasters had to repeat the name Fresh Kills over and over, because that’s where evacuees from the Twin Towers were being told to go. “Kills” is a corruption from the Dutch word for stream that’s used in many NYC place names. It’s no coincidence Fresh Kills chose to name themselves something that would provoke an immediate negative reaction but after close examination reveals challenging, innocuous roots. - Stereo Subversion


""Freshkills" LP review"

Freshkills bring back grand punk rock on their self-titled, self-released LP. The New York City five-piece first broke onto the scene with 2006’s Creeps and Lovers on Arclight Records, but now the group has decided to go wholly on their own for their follow-up. Freshkills can get over-grand at times, but it’s a revival of a style of punk rock that’s, well… refreshing.
Opener “Asleep Means No” introduces the twin strains of Freshkills: a pressing force and a tendency towards an overwrought nature. This is a band that is better as messenger than as message; throughout the record, Freshkills are stronger when they put the pedal to the metal than when they stop and declare their intentions. Tracks like the dark “Enemies”, the punk-road “Hard To Be Decent”, and the grinding finisher “Winners” feel too serious, with singer Zachary Lipez’s voice getting too deep and bellowing. But then there are speedy pieces like the dance-punk “I Know I Know”, the frantic and frenetic “Revelations”, and the call-out “Separation Tree”, which stand up strong.

Freshkills do this all best on the penultimate “Caroline”, whose absolutely pressing, driving punk rock is the kind of grand punk they just don’t make anymore. The band also plays it well on at least one slower track, with “I Quit Smoking” more effective in its size than other pieces. Freshkills will need to work both sides of the plate, but they’ve got their hands on the wheel in Freshkills. - QRO Magazine


"20 Bands not to miss at CMJ"

No sleep ‘til Brooklyn! After a couple of years of being inundated with flabby indie-pop and lazy laptop beats, New York's best borough finally brings the noise. The fractured guitars of on the group's self-titled new release create sweet disharmony behind frontman Zach Lipez's oh-so-slightly-Ian-Curtis broodings—some would compare this to Drive Like Jehu, others may see it as a messy take on Interpol. Best track: "I Quit Smoking" a relationship anthem that builds from bitter recriminations ("She said, you make love like a punchline/Jokes die inside your mouth") to something...kind of sweet ("I quit smoking to keep your scent on my sheets"). - Metro Mix


""Freshkills" LP review"

We live in dark times. New York has a foreboding haze of impending decay hanging over it. We knew that the past 15 years, with low crime, an economic boom, and condos in Brooklyn (!?) was too good to be true. This past year has confirmed our suspicions. Face it, the bums will likely take over the subways, packs of wild dogs will roam our streets, and some sort of desolate, zombie filled I Am Legend version of New York City will become reality.

But there is good news; Freshkills [Myspace] have provided a pretty awesome soundtrack to these end times.

Freshkills new self-titled album is awash in darkness and with a Comac McCarthian sense of impending doom. You’re left to wonder “why bother” and “what’s the point”. By the end of this album you’re contemplating quitting your job, leaving your lover, and just hitting the road to who the hell knows where. A killing spree starts sounding like a viable option for your future. After all, what’s the point of everything? So yeah, this is a pretty awesome album.

Freshkills, Brooklyn based and named after the infamous Staten Island landfill, are a five piece, lead by vocalist Zach Lipez. Lipez’s frantic yet apathetically detached depression lords over the band’s live show and strongly brings to mind The Sound’s Adrian Borland.

There are only two places a post-hardcore, post-punk, post-civilization band like this could exist: New York City or Manchester. Album standouts include the Mission of Burma-esque “I Know I Know”, Joy Division-but-a-lot-more-kickass “Enemies”, and “I Quit Smoking”, which would have fit nicely on The Sound’s Jeopardy.

While Freshkills are not as overtly dark and posses a much fuller sound than a Joy Division, the downward spiraling despair present the later absolutely exists in the former. Some bands or albums can only end in murder or death. The only logical conclusion of Closer was death. It completed the album and it completed the band. Was it any surprise Adrian Borland threw himself in front of a train? Freshkills leaves you feeling the same. Maybe somebody in the band will go and off themselves. Maybe the album will serve as a “Helter-Skelter” to some future psycho. Maybe that person will be you. - Radio Exile


""Freshkills" LP review"

This Brooklyn band’s 2nd album is a fine set of dark, driving indie-rock that recalls at times Drive Like Jehu, Mission of Burma and even Interpol. Their ominous, at times claustrophobic sound is also fiercely rocking and loaded with catchy hooks. - KEXP Radio


"The Deli Magazine Interview"

Taking its name from Staten Island's geographical claim to fame (the estuary or the land-fill, your pick), Freshkills are a band of veteran NYC insiders, spinning sordid late-night tales from deep in the bowels of the city’s bars and bedrooms, with an authority and chops few current “New York” bands can muster.
Cool and crass, detached and desperate, dissonant and darkly sarcastic, the quintet (Zack Lipez, vocals Johnny Rauberts and Tim Murray, guitars Jimmy Paradise, drums Mitchell Jordan, bass) specializes in a sound alternately slashing, hypnotic, urgent and controlled. They deliver both live and on vinyl (yes, vinyl), all without the benefit of anything resembling a guitar solo or a vocal harmony. They also have one of the best drummers in the business.

Here, vocalist Zack Lipez and guitarists Johnny Rauberts and Tim Murray talk about their new self-titled full-length, working with Alex Newport (Mars Volta, Melvins), Nick Zinner’s (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) remix of "Revelations", and their upcoming U.K. tour.

Freshkills is a vinyl-only release, with the lyrics hand-printed on the sleeve. Are you happy you went this route? Or was it a pain in the ass?

J: I'm happy we went this route AND yes, it's a major pain in the ass.
T: It actually includes an mp3 download, so I guess in that sense it’s a vinyl / digital release. Just not plastic.
Z: If you're going to bother doing vinyl, you may as well personalize it as best you can. Especially if it's only your friends who are going to buy it.

I consider you guys to be the quintessential New York band. Yet, lyrically, there are a lot fewer references to New York City than in your debut. Was that a conscious decision?

Z: We are not a political band, but at a certain point ignoring the rest of the world becomes a political act. I wish I was better at addressing that sort of thing, but it's hard to not do in a really clumsy fashion. Luckily, now that Obama is president, everything is cool, right? I can go back to writing about throwing up in a pint glass at Motor City.

Those older songs (from Creeps and Lovers) were pretty frenetic. On the new one, there's a focus on clarity and even a certain grandeur to some of the material. What do you attribute this to?

J: Writing things that are bigger instead of faster.
Z: With the first one, we really liked Drive Like Jehu. Now we really like The Clash. But we still really like Drive Like Jehu. But we want to be Drive Like Jehu with less parts.

How much of this had to do with working with Alex Newport? Was he "hands-on"?

Z: English people don't like to be touched. So, no. But he was really great.
T: Alex has these nods he does and you have to learn to interpret what he means by them based on context. It's like reading the heads on Easter Island ... but once you got it on playback, you could hear he had a plan. And after the first time you see that happen, you learn to trust his intuitions.
J: It was like looking into the eyes of the truth.

And how did you get Nick Zinner in the mix for "Revelations"?

Z: I asked him to remix a song and he said "I would love to, Zack, I would LOVE to." Or words to that effect.
Who knew it was so easy!
T: Nick did an amazing job. I can't wait to see what people think of it.

How is that track gonna be released?

Z: I don't know exactly what we're going to do with it. It's going to be free. I know that.
J: Probably send it out into the ether when we go to the U.K.

Speaking of which, what, in your mind, will constitute a successful first tour there?

J: Coming back with smiles.
T: I'll feel successful if we don't come home broke.
Z: Nobody holding us personally responsible for the last 50 years of American foreign policy.

The ball's in your court, England! Thanks, Freshkills! - Deli Magazine


"Freshkills live review"

Taking its name from the vast old landfill in Staten Island, Freshkills, appropriately enough, injects a degree of trash rock into its post-punk hybrid. The band’s painstakingly constructed hooks put them at the top of the heap of late-eighties revivalists. - The New Yorker Magazine


""Freshkills" LP review"

I love this band because they remind me of the way I thought of New York before I lived here. It’s hard-hitting and infectious, but the frantic desperation is always palpable. It’s dark in that way. - Vice Magazine


""Freshkills" LP review"

From the church of sludgy punk staples like the Melvins and Jesus Lizard come the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, discord-loving disciples Freshkills and their new testament of melodic-not-pretty post-hardcore.

Guttural and gritty, the MP3 "My House" is a throwback to '80s cassettes that garble into a growling mess. Freshkills sound is intelligible, even polished, but they maintain the old-school aesthetic of crackling amplifiers and atonal vox.

So the chords crunch and the snare pops like they would've in a dingy basement twenty years ago, while vocalist Zach Lipez leads his quintet with timeless heart. "I've got a couch and a pool in my house," he chants repeatedly. And even though, taken literally, these lines are unlikely in the band's modest urban 'hood, the words, like the band's throwback sound, ring true regardless. - Spin Magazine


"New York Press"

Pull the window shades down tight and lose yourself in the Freshkills' gothic post-punk drone. The five gentlemen who make up Freshkills claim to know nothing about music�we beg to differ. They seem to know what a hook is and how to bang away at the drums. Zachary Lipez's vocals are great too; dramatic and strong. You'll be singing along in no time. - New York Press


"Portland Mercury"

"Like a combination of the spazzy kid who threw desks and chairs at teachers and the bully who pushed that same kid into lockers, Freshkills use a combination of tech-y, frantic breakdowns and relentless pummeling to get their way. Unpredictable and confrontational, the band doesn't "ask" or "compel" listeners, they demand. The same giant hands that stretched out of the amps of the MC5, Nation of Ulysses and At the Drive In have been shaking audience members to within an inch of their lives at Freshkills shows for the last year in their home of New York City. This West Coast tour with like-minded troublemakers Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower ought to leave entire crowds gasping and panic stricken, and so glad for the experience." - Portland Mercury


"Village Voice"

Thunderous sexy bass over math-y rythms and a saucy twin-guitar attack has the Freshkills' dead piling up somewhere between Drive Like Jehu and a garagey post-punk Radio 4-like graveyard. Check out their recent demo EP, Here For The Backlash - good stuff! - Village Voice


"New Noise UK"

Providing welcome gravelly bedrock to a veritable manure tip of singles are FreshKills, rocking on a rare good-band-from-New-York tip.

For a start there's more material on their seemingly self-titled five-track EP than most garage rock chancers release on an album. Plus, like fellow art-rocking Yeah Yeah Yeahs alumni TV On The Radio, they're upstaging their more famous friends without pausing for breath.

And you can’t argue with a tune called 'Hot Ex-Wife Action' either. - New Noise UK


"Punk Planet"

An outstanding EP from this new band out of New York. While Drive like Jehu are an obvious influence, everything from Fugazi, Wire, The Murder City Devils and Dave Allen's bass playing can be found on this five-song EP. It's refreshing to hear a band with an idiosyncratic sound; just when you think you got the FreshKills number, they change it up on you. The group delivers rich song structure: when lead singer Zachary Lipez isn't belting them out, the band doesn't abide by a typical pre-chorus or by the numbers bridge. Whether it be their rhythm section playing in a dialect only they know or angular guitars killing you like a drunk with a circular saw, there isn't a slow spot on this record. Which leads me to this question: why can't all records be this fulfilling. - Punk Planet


Discography

"Raise Up The Sheets", (to be released March 14, 2012 on Bat Rabies Alert/The End Records), was produced by Jim Sclavunos and recorded at Translator Audio by Andrew Schneider

"Freshkills", (self-released 2008, re-released on In Music We Trust 2010), was recorded with producer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, The Locust). The track “Revelations” was remixed by Nick Zinner of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Freshkills debut EP, the poetic, jarring "Creeps and Lovers" (Arclight Records 2006), was produced by NYC hardcore stalwart Joel Hamilton and earned rave reviews from publications such as Vice and Punk Planet.

Photos

Bio

For their latest offering, Raise Up The Sheets (March 13, 2012), Freshkills tapped ‘elegant degenerate’ Jim Sclavunos, the No Wave icon who performed with Sonic Youth, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and the Cramps before hopping behind the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ drum kit. Sclavunos: “Freshkills inhabit a dark but thrilling underworld in which relentless machine-like rhythmic intensity hammers ear-anvils at the bidding of wryly louche after-hours philosophy. They’re the visceral embodiment of power and poetry.”

Raise Up The Sheets attacks on every front like a pandemic. The songs are prettier, darker, more concise and more expansive. Lipez is wounded and acerbic, the rhythm section both tight and monstrous with military precision and vulgar swing, the twin guitars frantic, chaotic and dangerous as a sharpened screwdriver. The whole band sounds like they’ve been cornered and will have to fight their way out. It’s anyone’s guess who will win, but either way, it’ll be worth watching.

Freshkills has toured the US and UK, sharing the stage with acts like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleigh Bells, TV On The Radio, …Trail of Dead and Mission of Burma.