TV Freaks bring raw, vivacious energy to their fourth album People

“For me, (punk) is doing what you want to do unabashedly,” TV Freaks frontman Dave O’Connor said in a 2014 interview with The Silhouette. It is this same attitude that has carried the Hamilton band through a decade of feverish and brazen garage punk records. Their latest, People, comes five years after the release of their previous full-length album, 2015’s Bad Luck Charms. Despite this hiatus, TV Freaks have not lost their footing. People is both a welcome return and a new beginning for the punk rockers, carrying the same frenetic energy that has come to define their sound, while simultaneously refining it. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, People is a concise, albeit short record. It uses that time very wisely, however, not wasting a single moment of its brief run time. Here, TV Freaks give us ten tracks of pure, unadulterated garage punk that blaze along with a fervent intensity. It is an album jam-packed with catchy hooks, crunchy guitar riffs and hollering vocals.

The album opens with the track “Destined for Stardom”, a facetious ode to the band’s quest for fame. O’Connor sings of how he has “always known” that he is “destined for stardom”, despite detractors telling him otherwise. If he could “just have that hair”, or “do that dance”, then he’d be closer to the top. Although tongue-in-cheek, it is a tad ironic that People is easily the band’s most accessible album to date. Still, fans will be happy to know that the grit and veracity of previous records is not lost. “Souvenir” carries things along at a breakneck pace, led by an incredibly powerful guitar and bass riff that will have you tapping your toes and longing for the days of live shows. Tracks like “Heart of Gold” and “Capital Eye” showcase the band’s ability for writing memorable choruses, while “Grain of Sand” flexes the band’s melodic muscles. People’s greatest strength, though, is its simplicity. There is something delightfully refreshing about a record that is so direct and overt in its presentation yet still manages to remain captivating until the end. For the punk or garage rock enthusiast, People is one not to be missed.