Album Reviews

Podracer – Maskenfreiheit Review

Released by: Podracer

Release Date: July 13th, 2019





1. Your Twist


3. In Human

4. Honey

5. Inauguration

6. Ratline

7. Fit in Belong

8. Dead Head

9. 21st Century

10. Spitting Blood

11. Cross That River

12. Inauguration (Arvo Party Remix)



The Irish three-piece Podracer is making a very welcome return with the release of their new album Maskenfreiheit, due out July 12th. Massive Star Wars fans, hence the name, hailing from Dundalk, Alan Anderson (guitar/vocals), Damien Carroll (bass/vocals) and Keith Mulholland (drums) describe themselves as “angry, noisy, trashy, punchy and irreverent as they could be” while taking “the post-punk sounds of the 80’s”, “the sub pop sounds of the 90’s” and giving their own spin on it. Having been active for nearly a decade it is surprising then that this will be just their second LP, following on from 2012’s Parking Cars and Pumping Gas but one that has been worth the wait.

The name of the album, Maskenfreiheit, refers to the concept of the freedom that comes from wearing a mask, which is visually brought to life on the album cover artwork by Saerah Haytch. That freedom can have both positive and negative connotations for everyone involved. On the positive side, it can be liberating and people can feel free to be more expressive, able to shed their self-conscious nature. However, on the negative side, a mask can hide the darker side of people, erasing the sense of responsibility to their actions and those around them. This is all bound up in the lyrical concepts for the album as they search for identity on ‘TMWMNI: Tell Me What My Name Is’, rally against the distractions and lies of the political system on ‘Honey’ which is a track I am very much looking forward to seeing live, while lamenting the impact of social media and the false lives people sell online versus real life in ‘21st Century’.

Showcasing a variety of styles and clocking in at just over 42 minutes for the 12 tracks on the album, it is a short sharp shock to the system giving you everything from straight-up punk in the track ‘Honey’, The Cure influenced ‘In Human’ and slower grunge style of ‘Cross That River’ before a remix of the song ‘Inauguration’ created by Arvo Party, the electronic music alter-ego of Herb Magee who is the former bass player for the superb but now defunct LaFaro, takes you off on a six-minute plus dance freak out. You can check out the new material before the official release of the album as Podracer have released two videos, for the singles ‘Honey’ and ‘Dead Head’, which will give you a good idea of what to expect. You can catch them on their headlining Irish Tour through July and August or supporting the mighty NWOBHM legends Girlschool at the Disturbance Fest.


Written by: Brendan O’Mahony

Ratings: 8/10

For fans of Gang of Four, The Gun Club, Kerbdog, Fighting with Wire




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