Freddy Spera – Temper EP
Release Date: 17/04/2020
Running Time: 27:45
Review By Beth Jones
For anyone who hasn’t come across Federico “Freddy” Spera, he is an Italian-Brazilian musician and producer based in Liverpool, UK, and one of the founding members and bassist of hard rock band, Novacrow. You may know that I am pretty partial to a bit of Novacrow, but I haven’t experienced Freddy outside of that… until now. Reading his bio he, like so many brilliantly talent musicians that are popping up around the UK, does a lot of stuff and has many projects on the go. As well as releasing music with his extreme metal project, Crejuvent (who Rick did an interview with last year), he’s also part of a Misfits tribute band, and a session musician and producer for a host of other bands. Not content with that, he has now released his first solo EP, “Temper”.
Having only heard him as part of Novacrow, and liking to ‘go in blind’ to new music by not reading anything about the artist beforehand, I didn’t know what to expect. There is something very special about the first listen, and you can pretty much tell in the first 30 second if you’re going to like it or not. It took the first few bars for me to make up my mind. I loved it.
‘Why?!’, I hear you cry! Well, there are a few reasons – it’s kind of proggy, it’s not too heavy, parts of it almost have a ‘90’s indie’ feel (which was my formative era!), it’s beautifully mixed and mastered, but the main grabber for me is that it’s heavily Devin Townsend influenced. You should all know by now that I hold DT on a pretty high pedestal, and anyone with the talent and skill to emulate his sound deserves high praise indeed.
The EP starts with the title track ‘Temper’ – a very relaxed and beautifully understated guitar composition, which then progresses into the second track, ‘Summer’s Walk’. This instantly hits you in the face. It’s pacey, full of unexpected chord progressions and melodies, and a mix of rough and clean vocals in close harmony, which is what first drew me into Devin’s spell. This made me smile, a lot!
The whole EP follows this line, peppered with interesting instrumentation, complicated cross rhythms and cross melodies, and experimentation around themes. It combines gentle and ethereal acoustic sounds with powerful vocals and percussion, crunching down-tuned guitars, and ripping bass lines, but nothing is over-stated or over-done. It’s just superb. I can’t pick a favourite track, they’re all beautiful, and personally I feel like this has to be listened to not as separate tracks, but as a full body of work – one track with several movements.
And then comes the killer crux of all this – I read the bio that we had been sent, and it turns out that, apart from the drums which were created by Pete Roper (XamVolo, Tommy Tenderloin and the Peppercorn Kids, The Rhythm Magicians), every other sound on this EP was Freddy! Vocals, Guitar, Bass et al! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! Mind blowingly talented bastard!!
This is by far and away my favourite release of the year yet. It has left me hungry for more, and I will be delving as far into Freddy’s work as I can over the next few months, for sure. People of the world, buy this record – you need it in your life!! And Freddy – get cracking on an album – I need more!!
02. Summer’s Walk
03. Treading Waters
05. The End Of I
Summer’s Walk live at Ma Boyle’s:
Rain Lyric Video:
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