By Ljubinko Zivkovic, Rock At Night Amsterdam
Review: Freddie & The Scenarios – Answer Machine -Release date March 23, 2023 (Ivy Records)
How do you something new as a musician but at the same time stay true to your original self?
This is the question former Vaccines guitarist Freddie Cowan tries to answer with his latest creation, Freddie & The Scenarios and the first album under this banner, ‘Answer Machine.’
One way to do it is to go to a new place and immerse yourself in the local music scene, and at the same time bring along for the ride people you are familiar and have worked with. That can possibly give you that combination of old and new ideas you might have been looking for.
And that is exactly what Cowan did. Back in 2019, Cowan was living in Mexico City, when he got involved with a series of local well-known artists, like Diego Herrera from Mexico’s legendary Caifanes, who has become a mentor, resident string and brass arranger Dan Zlotnik, and Moises Garcia, the trumpet player for Mexican hero, Juan Gabriel, among many others.
Yet, to retain connection with what he did previously, in recording the album he also enlisted Vaccines’ original drummer Pete Robertson, and keyboardist Tim Lanham, Laura Marling’s bassist Nick Pini, iconic Japanese guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei (Kill Bill), and producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Kings Of Leon, Ryan Adams) on percussion.
This practically supergroup concoction comes up with some truly smooth and free flowing stuff that goes any musical place you can imagine – from indie and dream pop to modern soul, you take your pick. And in hands of such a heady crowd it had to work. And it does.
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