The Skinny: You should listen to Army of Freshmen! Of all the independent, unknown and obscure bands I've come across in recent years, Army of Freshmen are probably the one band I recommend most to people. You might be surprised to hear that the California-based six piece have been together for over ten years, and have played over 1,000 shows, including the UK's Download and Sonisphere Festivals, as well as sold out arena shows with Bowling for Soup, Zebrahead and the Bloodhound Gang. And as time goes on, they only get better.
The Freshmen's early albums, including the self-titled debut and its follow up, Beg, Borrow, Steal are a little rough around the edges yet have a playful charm, full of upbeat songs that just beg to be heard live. But it's their third album, Under The Radar, where things start to get exciting. The band took everything that was great about their early releases - the catchy choruses, the charisma, and the sheer energy - and just amped it up even more. And then they did it all again for the follow up, Above The Atmosphere, which is (in my somewhat deferential opinion), one of the best albums of the 2000s.
On the surface, Army of Freshmen could be seen as just another pop-punk band. But underneath, they're so much more than that; their records simply inspire a whole new kind of joy. So far in 2010 they've given the world a taster of things to come, via the Close Encounter EP, which comprises three brand new songs and can be downloaded for free or on a donation basis at the band's official website. In a musical world that is wrought with greed, arrogance and pretense, Army of Freshmen make music with a delightful integrity that is truly a breath of fresh air. [ END ]