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The Freakouts

Ah, to be young, and have the ability to rock someone’s face off

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Rock and roll is a youthful expression. It’s how the music was created and what it was meant to be. Rock and roll is about rebellion and energy and letting loose — all things you do better young. No matter how many more tours the Rolling Stones sellout, the facts will never change. If Pearl Jam and U2 are gracing the cover of Spin in tinted bifocals some day, rock and roll’s heart will still be 18.

Obviously, you don’t technically need to be young to rock out or enjoy rock and roll. The proof is all around us. Girl Trouble still rocks, and, well, Kurt and that gang aren’t exactly pubescent anymore. Something tells me Flash from Hell’s Kitchen still considers himself a fan of rock, and if you’ve seen him lately, well, let’s just say I bet it’s been a while since he got carded. Shit, even I’m pretty sure I suffer from weak stream, but you won’t see me changing the name of this column to Easy Listening Rhetoric.

Rock and roll is about being young on the inside — but not in your heart, because that sounds cheese dick. Rock and roll is about being young in the brain.

It’s a beautiful thing when older rockers take younger rockers under their wings — passing down years of gained insight and tricks of the trade. It’s a beautiful thing when older rockers take a genuine interest in a band of snot nosed brats (as a manner of speaking).

I first heard of the Freakouts from Bon Von Wheelie, Girl Trouble’s iconic drummer. (By iconic I mean well known and highly regarded from Point Defiance Park to, at least, 112th.) She used the Freakouts as an example of an up-and-coming band doing things the right way, and spoke of teaching the band how to put on their own shows and avoid being suckered by pay-to-play scams. When Bon speaks, I take note.

The Freakouts, for their part, are in high school. That’s awfully young in my book. If checking out pictures of them on the Internet gets me weird looks at the office, that proves it.

The Freakouts also happen to be one of the most inspiring garage bands Tacoma can claim. Thanks to help from the likes of Girl Trouble and booking agent Flash at Hell’s Kitchen, where the band will play an early all-ages show this Friday, Jan. 11, the Freakouts have emerged from the pack early, and have an obvious leg up on the competition.

“We’ve been a band since around the middle of 7th grade, so that means about four years. We went through a couple bass players, and then we stumbled upon Troy during the summer of 2006,” explains drummer Danaca Tomas, via MySpace naturally.

“I think Tacoma has a pretty broad punk rock scene. There aren’t very many garage bands, especially around our age group. Tacoma’s got a history with garage, and I’m pretty sure the Freakouts are helping it out by making it last.”

By my math, that means the Freakouts are currently in 11th grade. Considering they’re playing shows at Hell’s Kitchen, working on a 7’’ (kinda), and shooting the breeze with Girl Trouble about what it means to be a garage band from Tacoma, it’s safe to say they’re doing pretty well. Considering I was lurking around AM/PMs trying to talk people into buying me beer when I was their age, I’d say they’re doing damn well.

“When I play, I like to see a lot of dancing rather than ‘circle-pitting.’ We’re the kind of band that you can twist to. I think that’s much more appealing than knocking someone out. Our shows are pretty family-friendly, I’d say,” says Tomas.

“We’re hoping (the new 7”) will happen soon! There’s been much talk but no action. We’ve been recording a bit here and there but still have issues deciding which tracks to use. We’re hopefully going through Bughouse Records. We’ve got quite a few (recordings) actually. Enough to put out a CD. There are lots of songs that don’t get played anymore because we’ve progressed as a band, so we just play new material and forget the old ones.”

When a band of 11th graders starts talking about how they’ve progressed, you know you’ve got something unique on your hands. The Freakouts are, if anything, unique. Almost as pioneering as the musicians who created garage rock in the first place, way back when, is a group like the Freakouts — who’ve taken the time to do their homework and have a sound to prove it.

So, what does the future hold for the Freakouts?

“Hopefully lots of new things like shirts, 7”s (finally), and saving up for our tour during spring break senior year, but we’re still figuring that out,” offers Tomas.

The Freakouts will play an early all-ages show at Hell’s Kitchen Friday, Jan. 11. With the Scurvies and the Gypsies on the bill, the show should be THE bomb.

[Hell’s Kitchen, with Space Creatures From The Year 3000, The Scurvies and The Gypsies, Friday, Jan. 11, 6 p.m., all ages, $7, 3829 SixthÃ?¢ââ??¬Ã?â? Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

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