HEART ATTACK MAN –  ” Freak of Nature “

Posted: May 26, 2023 in MUSIC

In classic punk and pop punk fashion, Heart Attack Man are irreverent but that doesn’t mean they don’t take themselves seriously. On their new album “Freak of Nature”, there’s one song where the narrator compares themselves to an assassinated Kennedy and another from the perspective of a stalker threatening to kill Heart Attack Man vocalist Eric Egan in his sleep. Many of the songs are informed by, in Eric’s words, “feelings of isolation, loneliness, and freakiness,” but for all the dark shit on “Freak of Nature”, it’s consistently a fun, lighthearted album. It mixes the influence of the most radio-friendly of pop punk bands (blink-182, Sum 41) with beloved underground gems (Sugar, Piebald), and there’s also some weirder stuff like the Butthole Surfers/Beck-influenced “Late to the Orgy.” H.A.M. embrace a handful of familiar, by-the-book pop punk tricks, yet they do it in a way that’s entirely artistic, and they retain a level of grit that was often lost during the genre’s Y2K-era boom that Heart Attack Man pull from. They’re a rare band who feel catchy enough for arenas and punk enough for basements all at once.

 It’s a great record that splits the difference between radio-friendly hooks and underground grit, and it’s got some dark themes but never in a way that takes itself too seriously. You can read my review of it in Notable Releases, and for a deeper dive into the album, vocalist Eric Egan has also given us a track-by-track breakdown of the whole thing. 

“Practiced In The Mirror”
My mentality going into this song was to make a proper introduction song that isn’t just a short audio clip or 15 seconds of pointless ambience—I wanted to write a song where the lyrics literally welcome you to the record. The last lyrics of the last song (Leap Year) on our release before this one (Thoughtz & Prayer) are “I’m happy to be here” and the opening lyrics of this song and this record are “I’m so happy that you’re here.” It’s a warm welcome to our freaky little world.

“Freak Of Nature”
After a nice, inviting welcome to the album; we kick it into high gear with the most Heart Attack Man sounding song we could conjure up. This song really just started with wanting to write a super hype pop punk anthem based around a truly epic and fun shreddy riff.

“Like A Kennedy”
I’ve been wanting to write a song invoking the Kennedy assassination for a long time, but it had to be done right. A relative of mine was involved in the plot, and this song really is really near and dear to my heart in a very strange way.

“Late To The Orgy”
Going into this song, I really wanted to incorporate some influences that haven’t been tapped into in the Heart Attack Man Hammyverse yet—namely, The Butthole Surfers and Beck. There’s something so cool to me about those bands and I think they get overlooked a lot. They have an extremely weird swagger that’s hard to nail down.

“Stick Up”
My biggest musical inspirations for this song were Paper Planes by MIA and Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz. I wanted to make the most conventionally pop-sounding Heart Attack Man song yet, but with lyrics that deliberately disqualify it from being a conventional pop song.

“God Called Off Today”
The idea with this song was to channel some influence from the more nerdy, emo, story-telling lyrics into a song that we haven’t tried yet. Musically I was really inspired by Piebald and Modern Baseball, but with lyrics that read and resolve like a country song.

Ripping right into this one, the starting point was to have a super upbeat and impossibly catchy pop punk banger with an immediately recognizable drum intro…and of course, lyrics that you can’t sing in a bank or a government building.

“9 On Your Bedside”
This song is the most intensely personal song on the record to me. Very long and traumatic story short, for awhile, I was being harassed by someone who called me late at night threatening to kill me (among many other things) and because of this, I was sleeping with my handgun on my bedside for some time. Rather than hash out trauma from my perspective, I decided to write the lyrics from the other perspective in the situation. That situation sucked, but we all got a banger of a song out of it.

“Clown School”
To lighten the mood after a real doozy, Clown School reflects on the process of deprogramming from taking oneself entirely way too seriously. I used to be a completely insufferable and miserable person, and now I’m just insufferable! Musically, the idea was to take influence from one of my all time favorite bands, Sugar.

“See You On The Other Side”
This song is dedicated to my dog Smoke that passed away. I never got to say goodbye to him and I miss him so much. He was the goodest chocolate lab in the whole wide world that ever lived. He deserved all of the treats, as well as a song dedicated to him. RIP my buddy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.