At 7 tracks and approximately 13 minutes, Berlin, DE is the follow-up to Free Pizza’s great 2014 album Boston, MA (I guess they’re doing a Sufjan Stevens locational thing?), and while both are clearly works by the same band, this set of songs marks an obvious stylistic shift that serves the band well.
What we have with Free Pizza is melodic jangle pop songs imbued with a quiet, nervous energy. With Boston, MA, there was still a semblance of a traditional punk, Ramones-esque Tootsie Roll center, but Berlin, DE is downright breezy.
The Modern Lovers, Television Personalities, Orange Juice, the Feelies (that quiet, nervous energy ready to “boil” over at any moment), even early R.E.M. and hints of Meat Puppets’ brand of cowpunk could all come to mind during an analysis of Free Pizza’s new mini-album. Especially the lyrics and vocals recall Jonathan Richman: the first words we hear are “I wish I could go dancing, cuz dancing is the cure for mediocre moments“. Any man who writes that has got to love his Richman.
There aren’t really any clunkers on here, but of particular note is “Patience”. It stands out as a more sinister, brooding track (Thanks, bass. Thass.) about “waiting for this water to fucking boil“. I gotta learn to chill too, man.
All in all, Berlin, DE is a record I want to hear again immediately after listening to it, so Don’t Mind the Runtime, Here’s Your Free Pizza.
Music video for “Dancing”:
Music video for “Sighing”:
Buy Berlin, DE