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34. Graham Coxon – Freakin’ Out

20/11/2009

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So this is what happens if you find yourself alone after spending 15 years stood just behind Damon Albarn. Coxon’s solo outings before this, all released during lulls in his day-job, had been defiantly lo-fi, with nary a pinch of pop in sight. And then here comes Freakin’ Out, a glorious stampede blast of Buzzcocks-infused post-punk, heavy on the rockin’ riffs, big on the juggernaut guitar chug. It flew. It popped. It freaked out but, crucially, it sounded like a soul liberated. Coxon’s guitar pedigree had never been in doubt, but his newfound vocal snarl seems like something he’d been desperate to unleash. The sarcasm of “Got on your aviators shades, yeah man you’re looking really ace”, in particular, is delicious from a 35-year-old man who’s been an icon of cool for half his life. But it’s not just the lyrics – the swagger and guts of Freakin’ Out is unhidden from top to toe, abrupt, brash and brimming with a heart-warming confidence. The quiet one had just spread his wings.

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