The Fraidies
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The Fraidies

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Seattle, Washington, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"Band of the Week #76 - The Fraidies"

Seattle-based indie/alt-rock outfit, The Fraidies, put out a record this summer and if you don’t know about it, you should. Upon first listen of the band’s debut release, Try Again, I felt like I was whisked away to the late 1990’s/early 2000’s era of alt-rock. The Fraidies’ straight forward pop-rock melodies, retro-inspired guitar riffs, and upfront lead vocal styling will have you feeling ready for an epic cross-country road trip in your Jeep Wrangler (can you picture that?).

“Never Love Again (It’s Doubtful)” is a stand out track for me, love the melody and groove of the tune! -

"Extremely Biased Album Reviews with Bradley Wik - "Try Again" by The Fraidies"

Welcome to a brand new segment I’ve just invented, since I’ve the right to do so, seeing as, well, it’s my own fucking blog, called “Extremely Biased Album Reviews.” The purpose of this is to both share some love and raise awareness for some of my favorite new listens. It just so happens that two of my favorite records right now are albums released by friends of mine. Does that affect my objectivity towards them? Probably, but who gives a shit. They are wonderful records that deserve as much praise heaped upon them as possible. So, I’ll start the heaping…

First up is The Fraidies debut album “Try Again.” Now, for those of you who don’t already know, this is the band led by none other than Mr. Jon Fickes. Yes, the one and only. I don’t know how to put this, but he’s kind of a big deal... Jon has been teasing us with self-released demos and home recordings put out at various places on the interwebs for a couple of years now. The songs were infectious and sing-along ready; and we were getting pretty wet in the pants waiting for a finished product. I remember vividly the first show I ever played with the Fraidies. I was already so obsessed with the unreleased tunes that I sang along to every fucking song. No joke. I hadn’t been such a fanboy since the first, oh, I don’t know, six god-damned times I saw the Hold Steady. So, needless to say, when I heard Jon had booked time in the studio and was FINALLY fucking doing this thing, I was so pumped. I had unrealistic expectations for the record. In my head, it was already multi-platinum-co-headlining-with-Katy-Perry-to-sold-out-arenas big. I mean, Taylor Swift would suck Jon’s dick to do a twenty-minute opening slot on the “Try Again” album release tour. Which, Jon would consider. And, the next time a hurricane hit mainland America and there was a huge, star-studded benefit for the victims, Jon would do an acoustic version of “Life Under Water” before Kanye West came out and brought the house down with a spirited live version of “Drunk and Hot Girls”(to take us all back to the better times of, uh, 2007) with Jon Fickes staying on-stage to fill in for Mos Def, I mean, Yasiin Bey, who wasn’t allowed back into the country for the benefit show. Wait, wasn’t there just a reunion of Black Star for Dave Chappelle’s residency at Radio City Music Hall? Is there anything Dave can’t do? Fuck, I mean, how did he get Mos, I mean Yasiin, back into the country? I thought he was blacklisted, no pun intended… Whatever, I’m losing my train of thought… Oh, yeah, that’s right. So, I had very high expectations for “Try Again.” Yet, somehow, Jon and the boys surpassed them all…

To put it simply, and succinctly, The Fraidies have made the perfect sleeper album of the summer. This is the “Oh, Inverted World” for 2014. It’s the kind of album you remember and associate with a time and place; like “Gold” or “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” WAS the turn the of the century. Or “Transatlanticism” or “Ghosts of the Great Highway” or “Funeral” WAS 2004. Like “Boys and Girls in America” WAS 2006, “Try Again” is the milepost for your life in 2014. It’s the places you lived and the people you knew. It’s who you were, and always will be, when this record comes on. It’s a remembrance of youth or an acknowledgement of age. It’s beautiful and it’s sad and it’s fun, and it will become a part of your life’s story. Entire chapters of people’s lives will be scored by this album. I know mine already is. But most of all, “Try Again” is a wonderful pop record that is destined to garner the praise, and fans, that it deserves. There aren’t enough good, honest radio stations to give “Never Love Again (It’s Doubtful)” the spins it’s rightfully due as one of the best, most innovative pop songs of the past, fuck, who knows, ten years. I haven’t been so helplessly taken by a pop song since the first time I heard “Sussudio.” “Never Love Again (It’s Doubtful)” has elements of Rock N’ Roll, Whammy-ridden guitar fills, synthy, dance-inspired breakdowns and is summed up brilliantly by a pure pop chorus. In short, it’s fucking awesome. It’s definitely the highlight of the record, but is by no means the only one. “The Clang of the City” is going to be a showstopper during live performances. “You’ve Got Nothing but You’ve Got Love” is the album cut that is destined to be one of everybody’s favorite Fraidies tunes. It’s such a sweet, sad, honest song about a failing relationship that it’ll melt your heart every time, even as you can’t help but sing along and hope for love to win out, knowing full well that it won’t. Every musician/artist/dreamer can feel the full weight of every word when Jon sings “There’s nothing left inside of me. I’ve got nothing to give you. Why do you insist on loving me? I can only destroy you.” It’s heart-wrenching to hear the sadness and resignation in those lines. Over the course of the record, Jon frequently lays it all out very simply for us; neither trying to hide his sentiments nor be too grand with his lyrical brushstrokes. This is never more poignantly exemplified than with the song “Gold Miner.” There are many experiences in life that are too beautiful and too personal to ever try to put into words. Things that our human language isn’t complex or complete enough to sum up for another’s comprehension. Such is the case with “Gold Miner.” I could waste ten thousand words trying to explain what it means to me. Why each verse is perfect, nothing wasted, nothing wanted. But I would fail. There are some moments in life that can only be appreciated. There is nothing I could say that would express the emotion I felt upon hearing this song for the first time, other than, most people do the best they can and hope there is some sort of validation at some point. I got mine…

For sure, none of this would land as hard if the band didn’t hold up it’s end musically. Andrew Angell does his part on the drums, guiding the band through the many complex rhythms and changes throughout the tunes. Jack Shriner(bass) is tasteful and driving while David Solomon(keys) helps build the sonic backdrops and flourishes when necessary. Jon Fickes, the guitar wizard he is, handles both the rhythm and the lead guitars, which dance in and out of melodies and counter melodies with the vocals. Jon constantly challenges the boys with his tunes and they handle them beautifully. The recordings themselves leave room for the performances to breathe and they shine through. Of course, Jon’s songs always stay at the forefront, and rightfully so. He is a master of melody and his songwriting talent is prevalent on every tune on “Try Again.” The Fraidies are already a staple of my summer party playlist, and hopefully, this isn’t the last we hear of Mr. Fickes and company. -

"The Fraidies "Try Again""

Seattle-based indie/alt-rock outfit, The Fraidies, released a debut last year and now I’d be remiss if I didn’t review it. Produced by Gary Reynolds, the band crafts a perfect mix of power pop melodies and late 1990’s/early 2000’s alt-rock. The dual guitar riffs and infectious verse on the great opener “X’s On Your Eyes” keep this song stuck in your head.

The happy tempos contrast the general misery of situation, concentrating on goofy lyrics on “You’ve Got A Brand New Calculator” to “cheer up” from the “same ole blues.” This theme continues on the alt country influenced “The Powers That Be” or the rock-synth combo “Never Love Again (It’s Doubtful)” with its catchy la-la chorus. More highlights include the anthemic chorus of “Your Mouth is a Radio” and “You’ve Got Nothing But Love.” It takes a sad turn with the long ballad “Gold Miner” but fans of The Lemonheads and Matthew Sweet are sure to love this band. - Powerpopaholic

"The Fraidies"

If The Fraidies' debut record Try Again is any indication, the spirit of classic power pop is alive and well. Featuring members from both Washington state and Wisconsin, the five-piece convened at Seattle's Electrokitty studios to lay down 10 tracks of timeless guitar-driven pop-rock, influenced by Teenage Fanclub as much as Alex Chilton. "X's on Your Eyes" is a killer opener, and while there are several other standout tracks (e.g. the very Fanclub-esque "You've Got Nothing But You've Got Love", "Your Mouth Is a Radio"), Try Again is a solid debut from start to finish. - WLUR FM Music Review

"Best CD's of 2014"

I like this band. There are all sorts of English flavors here. The Beatles, Radiohead, Oasis. It’s great, fun, upbeat, happy stuff. That makes it an oddity here, but for me this is infectious. I’m not a dancer. Not. At. All. But “Never Love Again” has me bouncing in my chair and wanting to go upstairs and with this song blaring dance all about the living room. - Northwest Music Scene

"The Fraidies - Try Again"

The Fraidies-Try it Again. Melding indie rock with a power pop sensibility, this Seattle band has produced an auspicious debut that also came out late last year. Produced by a name some of you may be familiar with (Gary Reynolds of The Brides of Obscurity), Try it Again combines the sound of indie rockers with pop leanings like Portastatic and Dr. Dog with the more straight-up power pop sounds of bands like The Shazam and Cheap Trick. The brilliant "Xs on Your Eyes" opens up in grand melodic fashion, catchy and rocking both. "You've Got a Brand New Calculator" comes off as an off-kilter Badfinger tune, and "The Powers That Be" has that famous stacatto beat that stretches back to the Beatles' "Getting Better" while taking off on a carnival-like bridge. And "Your Mouth is a Radio" just straight-up rocks. So don't be a fraidy cat - give it a listen. - Absolute Powerpop


Still working on that hot first release.



"Timeless guitar-driven pop-rock" - WLUR 91.5 FM

"A perfect mix of power pop melodies and late 1990's/early 2000's alt-rock." -

"Try Again" combines the sound of indie rockers with pop leanings like Portastatic and Dr. Dog with the more straight-up power pop sounds of bands like The Shazam and Cheap Trick." -

The Fraidies is a band composed of new friends, old friends, friends of friends, and classmates. Jon and Andrew grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. Jack, Evan, and David grew up in various Midwestern locales. Though miles apart, they have a shared history of sitting in basements going mad for Oasis and the 90s Britpop bands that kept 60s and 70s classic rock alive. They came together in 2013 via Craigslist. Jon formed the band to help his friend Bradley fill a bill at Seattle's Sunset Tavern.

At Seattle's Elektrokitty Studios, the inimitable Gary Reynolds committed their debut LP, Try Again, to tape. Jon's songs and the Fraidies' music seeks the perfect mix of cranked pop melodies, succinct chordal structures (mostly in the key of A and G), and trash-can endings.

Band Members