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Freak Of Nature by Heart Attack Man

Cleveland locals Heart Attack Man released their third, full-length studio album Freak Of Nature today, May 26th. Freak Of Nature is a record that bends and defies genres, both sonically and lyrically. The entire album covers some darker themes, yet never becomes too melancholy; there are many reoccurring themes of self-hatred, yet this is taken in stride instead of wallowing in self-pity. It does an amazing job of handling these topics while combining them with sounds that may clash with what the lyrics are conveying. This album also follows their headlining summer tour that began yesterday--the Freak Of Na-Tour.

Official Art for "Freak Of Nature" via @omori_so_icy

The album opens off with a soft, acoustic intro--"Practiced In The Mirror". The entire song is reassuring, welcoming the listener into the album and comforting them. After this warm intro, the tone changes with the title track and first single, "Freak Of Nature". This song tackles being ostracized by others by simply accepting it and taking pride in who you are. This pop-punk anthem, considering the message, was claimed as a trans anthem by many heart attack man fans--myself included.

"Like A Kennedy" is softer and has more of a pop feel, but the topic is anything but--if you couldn't already tell by the title. The entire song is fun, the chorus is so catchy and immediately makes me want to dance along. Slowing the pace down, even more, comes "Late To The Orgy". The lyrics are riddled with anxiety and self-critical thoughts--this is not a bad thing. Parts of the song are more spoken rather than sung, which I feel creates a great visualization of how it feels to have those sorts of thoughts about yourself.

There is yet another tone shift with "Stick Up", which is one of the most pop-sounding songs in both the album and even out of Heart Attack Man's discography. Although it may be a conventional pop-punk anthem sonically, the lyrics are far from what would be considered "conventional" per pop standards. "God Called Off Today" introduces yet another tone shift, reeling back in the slower, softer style. It feels very melancholy, yet also sort of bittersweet. There is definitely a Midwest emo undertone to it musically.

Switching tones once again comes "C4", bringing in one of the more aggressive pop-punk anthems on this album. It's much faster-paced and immediately drives in with a catchy drum intro. The lyrics are fun and aggressive, definitely a complete switch from the previous song. It ends on an explosive note (literally) and transitions to something equally aggressive yet thematically darker, "9 On Your Bedside". Instead of taking the perspective of the one being threatened, 9 on your bedside takes the side of the aggressor. It creates an intriguing visual, especially with lyrics like "I wish I could end it all and just set you free," and "Put you out of your misery/Kill you in your sleep," giving an interesting idea of what the aggressor's view on the other was, as it almost sounds hateful but also almost somewhat pitying, however not feeling empathy towards the other either.

"Clown School" lightens the mood after the heaviness of 9 on your bedside. Although musically it is similar, the topic isn't as heavy and it feels more hopeful and fun rather than the darker tone of 9 on your bedside.

Closing off the album on a bittersweet note is "See You On The Other Side". It's a calm, softer song, and it handles grief. It's slightly hopeful, saying they'll meet again, yet they'd never got to say goodbye or spend more time with the lost loved one.

To further follow Heart Attack Man, you can follow their Twitter, Instagram or Youtube! Their tour dates and merch shop is also on their official website!


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