Fredericton’s Deep Fryer have released a self-titled debut EP, boasting their title as New Brunswick’s first hardcore and punk crossover super-group. More importantly they’re deserving of the distinction as the group that got Mike Erb (otherwise known as ‘that guy you see everywhere with the camera’) out of the pit and behind a microphone. Hearing Erb scream into a mic is like discovering that Brian Gallant is actually a brilliant hairdresser.
There’s no question about their status as a super-group: they’re pooling from a number of Fredericton area bands covering a wide range of genres: Verses, She Roars! Saint Jack, Beard Springsteen, Yorks, Physics for Poets, Oh no, Theodore! Rosesdead, The Trick, and Old Man Crew. JE Sheehy (guitar) says that things came together when he was approached by Erb about starting a hardcore band along with Jake Spencer and Kyle Clark. “After solidifying the line-up with Kyle Clark on drums, we began jamming. Our first couple of practices just ended up being us working on a song. It would be stupid to say that we immediately had a musical chemistry between the four of us, but after a month of practice or so, we wrote ‘Freddy Beach Bum’ and that’s where we really felt that the band had a more specific direction we could follow.”
A very direct ethos would form around the band’s efforts as they took a tongue-in-cheek stance in tribute to their hometown. Songs about drinking Alpine beer and the ensuing hangover (Lost In The Pines), to real life stories about dealing with the groundhog taking over your bandmate’s yard (Groundhog Eating Jake’s Parsley), to the linchpin of it all with ‘Freddy Beach Bum’s lessons in how to merge in traffic and the difference between poutine and fries with mozzarella and gravy.
The album is shorthand for life in Fredericton. Played loud enough and it’s enough to throw you back into a legion hall punk show with a couple of Colt 45s strapped to your hands. ‘Does anybody still mosh anymore?’ is the sort of question that immediately comes to mind. It’s an immediate throwback to a genre that’s been kicking since the ’70s but loud enough to defy age.
“I’m a huge fan of 1980’s American hardcore punk,” says Sheehy. “Bad Brains is in my top 5 favorite bands ever. I love how this genre has the energy and the speed of louder music, while maintaining a really straightforward aspect to it. I’m not a technician by any means and can’t play more technical music, so our hardcore/punk crossover sound really draws out some of the more in your face stuff that I want to express musically. You can play loud and fast, but there’s more to hardcore than that. You may not be playing leads and technically challenged material, but you end up finding your musical strengths by playing with other people and building up on the communal aspect of it. I learned to play music through punk rock and it’s definitely made me a much better player because of it.”
The band say that they’re pretty excited so see a public response, though first impression have been limited to a digital release. “This is people’s first impression of Deep Fryer and it’s great that it’s been receiving very positive reactions since it’s been out. We tracked the EP with Scott Miller from Anthesis in two days in Mike’s basement and he was able to capture exactly what we sound like when we jam, but also helped us to step up our tone game. It was a very straightforward process, but it worked perfectly for what we did.”
Expect to see Deep Fryer putting on shows in person sometime this Spring.