Song: I Am Not A Freak
Release: I Am Not A Freak (Music Video)
Area: Brisbane, QLD
Date of release: 29/08/2018
Recorded, mixed/mastered: Nathan Woodrow of NM Audio.
Music video filmed and edited: Dan Hodgson.
For Fans Of: Riffs ballads and sweaty hair
"Don’t hate the world for it’s monsters, There’s always light in the dark you see. Keep fighting the hill you’re climbing, Stand strong and firmly plead."
Brisbane alternative rock outfit Alaina will hit you with slammin' riffs, grunge screams and breakdowns all within 5 minutes. The vocals of Ryan Valley still ringing in my ears, it's like if Creed and The Devil Wears Prada for some reason decided to do a song together; in my mind it would sound kind of like this. Well actually, I suppose that band would be Saosin, but I'm willing to say Alaina isn't to far from being a grungy aussie Saosin. Now that I've got that off my chest, time for the review.
I actually found myself quite liking this track, its not often we get submissions from Brissy. It was also nice to have something that wasn't entirely metalcore. Starting with a very fast paced circle pitting riff the band are seen in a smoke shrouded room with a bunch of sweaty mosh lords; I found some of this to be really effective in establishing atmosphere. The song itself, for me, brought back mad Silverchair and Nirvana vibes, but I guess that myself, and even most people, would associate the word 'Freak' with Silverchair regardless!
That said, Alaina take a different approach to dealing with being deemed as 'freak', in this case being that they break out into a hectic hardcore breakdown, but just as it gets to the climax, singer Ryan strips back, going way up high for the lines "The calling of a person who wishes a life outside, the life that they live. Receiving, I understand," and then breaking out to the ballad like growl to again go high as fuck. Let it be noted, yes there could be loads of post production involved in the impressive vocal performance, but if live performances truly are as good as this, keep an eye out Brisbane! You've got something pretty neat and unique on your hands. I think its the structure of the song which I find so compelling, cycling through a myriad of influences somewhat like a sectional story,
Regarding the shooting of the video itself, there are only so many shots you can get while being in a dimly lit room with a bunch of moshers, but Dan Hodgson (videographer) seems to break up the darkness with just enough flashes of the bright lights, even dropping a few windmill silhouettes and drum shots into the mix to keep things interesting, all while framing all the shots quite beautifully.
Overall the song and music video are quite impressive, the only drawback being a somewhat lacklustre mix, although this can surely be overlooked for the single; here's hoping they can raise the bar for the next full length release!
Video Narrative : 8/10
Video Production: 16/20
Visual Effectiveness : 22/25
Personal Enjoyment: 8.5/10