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Play It Strange

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Play It Strange album cover
Summer Of Love
Until The End Of Time
Tropical Island Suite
I'm All Shook Up
Be My Hooker
Plague Of Frogs
Who Needs A Man
Red Light, Green Light
I'm A Thief
Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 37:03

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Wondering Sound

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Jayson Greene


Jayson Greene is Senior Editor at Wondering Sound and a contributing writer and columnist at Pitchfork. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, GQ,...more »

The Fresh & Onlys, Play It Strange
2010 | Label: In The Red / Revolver

San Francisco's The Fresh & Onlys are sure to remind you of something, but you won't immediately — or ever, really — be able to figure out exactly what. They are a psych band, and it's clear from their rumbling rhythm section that they own several Nuggets box sets among them. But they also radiate a fey energy that could be from Pavement, or early Guided By Voices, or any number of shy,… read more »

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Shins, yo!


Hey Tim Sendra! The Shins! The Shins! Waterfall in particular. C'mon bro!

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Sounds from the Cave!


Good fun rompin' garage-y power popish stuff with references all over the cool and tasty map. Everything from Velvets to Ramones, Jesus and Mary Chain, Sadies, and countless garage rock bands forun on Nuggets collection. Nicely raw and rockin'. @ mainiac "sounds like they have talent, but need guidance with making the sound work. bet they'd be great live, but this sounds so like it was recorded on a walkman..." I believe that is the point: It's called Lo-Fi!

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really? It was recorded in the garage!


sounds like they have talent, but need guidance with making the sound work. bet they'd be great live, but this sounds so like it was recorded on a walkman...

eMusic Features


Interview: The Fresh & Onlys

By Marissa G. Muller, Contributor

The Fresh & Onlys belong to a class of Bay Area artists who make fuzzed-out, psych-infused pop songs and use prolificacy as a means of moving forward. Like their peers Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall and Sic Alps, the Fresh & Onlys have grown up a little more with each new release. Their chugging, punky 2008 self-titled debut hardly sounds like the work of the band responsible for 2012's crisp slow-burner Long Slow Dance, but… more »


Label Profile: Captured Tracks

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

File Under: Ragged, guitar-based indie pop; jangle-'n'-reverb forever! Flagship Acts: Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, the Fresh & Onlys, the Girls At Dawn Based In: Brooklyn, New York When I first meet Mike Sniper, he's drinking Patron Silver at an Oyster Bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. From any other record executive, the scene would be typical to the point of almost seeming mundane. But Sniper is the founder of the tiny, ragged Brooklyn indie Captured Tracks, a label that prizes… more »

They Say All Music Guide

The Fresh & Onlys’ debut record, Grey-Eyed Girls, was a murky, clattering, quite often thrilling mash-up of ’60s West Coast psych, the Cramps, and ramshackle garage rock that put them at the top of the noise pop heap. On the follow-up, Play It Strange, the San Francisco group cleans up the clatter and noise and ditches the psychobilly influence in favor of a slightly twangy sound that creeps up on country-rock at times. It’s a trade-off most bands make as they mature, nuance instead of noise, and the Fresh & Onlys manage to do it well by keeping most of the things that made them good, like the catchy songwriting, the intense performances, and singer Timothy Cohen’s deeply idiosyncratic vocals. He’s a little less affected and arch this time out, which makes him less unique-sounding, but he gives the words and melodies a little more emotional pull. His voice fits like a puzzle piece into the newly full and rich sound the band creates using walls of guitars, plenty of reverb, and — unlike on Grey-Eyed Girls — lots of woody-feeling organ. Plus, even though the sound is cleaned up, there are still plenty of times when the feedback and excessive reverb take over (the middle section of the epic-length jam “Tropical Island Suite,” the romping “Plague of Frogs”) and give the listener a jolt. Mostly though, the record sounds like an ’80s college rock album made on a shoestring budget. A really good one. In fact, if it were the ’80s instead of the 2010s, some of the tracks might even catch on and be radio hits. “Summer of Love” is a sweet-sounding but lyrically harrowing midtempo ballad that would sound great over the airwaves, “Until the End of Time” twangles like classic R.E.M., “Be My Hooker” is a pleasingly rambunctious rocker, and “I’m a Thief” ends the album with a swelling ’50s-influenced ballad that would sound perfect in a John Hughes student film shot on Super 8. Taken as pieces, these songs are prime 2000s indie rock; added together they make Play It Strange a satisfying step forward for the band. – Tim Sendra

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