2016 marked the 12th year of Driven Fear and with it the follow up to 2011’s thought-provoking album “Contender”. “Freethinker” is an aggressive and insightful punk hardcore album that holds within it the theme of free thought whilst continuing to push the bands’ musical boundaries. Punk / Hardcore for fans of Comeback kid, Good Riddance and Defeater. facebook.com/drivenfear
500 x Digipak CDs

Hysteria Mag
DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
Genres? Where we’re going we don’t need genres. Metal, punk, ‘core – it’s all here and it’s all spectacular. From earwormy Crisis and rabble-rousing Hold On You this album is one of the sleeper hits of ’16 by a future Aussie heavy household name. Watch this space. Review by Tom Valcanis

PunkRockTheory.com [Belgium]
DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
Australia’s Driven Fear sure have taken their sweet time to release the follow-up to 2011’s “Contender”. Produced by longtime friend Sam Johnson (The Smith Street Band, The Bennies), “Freethinker” was recorded over the course of two years in three different studios. Which might seem like a long time until you consider how long it took Axl Rose to record “Chinese Democracy”. Not that I want to compare “Freethinker” to that album. Mainly because the two have absolutely nothing in common and because well, “Chinese Democracy” was absolutely dreadful. Driven Fear deals in the kind of melodic hardcore we love bands like Comeback Kid and Good Riddance for and they do a pretty solid job of it. Just give tunes like opening track “Falling Awake” and “Crisis” a spin. You’ll know what we’re talking about. With plenty of aggression and breakneck speeds, Driven Fear explore what free thought entails throughout thirteen songs that range from the all-out speedfest that is “Built To Fire” to the more restrained “The Red Hill”. I just wish the vocals showed as much variation as the music. While Tim Hyde’s hoarse screams are pretty impressive at first, they do tend to become a bit monotonous as your work your way down the track-listing. With just a bit more diversity there, “Freethinker” would have turned out even better than it has. But hey, you do however get plenty of excellent shredding and well-placed breakdowns in return, so I guess that kinda evens things out.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10 – Reviewed by Thomas

Hysteria Magazine
DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
There’s a fairly clear divide down the Australian hardcore scene – bands that think hardcore should sound like a tough and brainless offshoot of metal and end up sounding like Madball or the Cro-Mags, and bands that think because Green Day are called punk then they should really call their music hardcore. What makes Gold Coast five-piece Driven Fear stand out is their inability to slot neatly into either of these approaches. Freethinker, their second full-length album after Contender dropped in 2011, is so interesting because you can hear songs that a Break Even crowd would lap up, but then in the next track there are these meaty riffs. True to its name, Freethinker sees Driven Fear rejecting the conventions and mores of both sides of hardcore’s dichotomy to do something that feels much more honest as a result. It’s not so usual these days to put on a hardcore record where you don’t really know what to expect, and it’s even a more precious commodity to be able to put emotionally-driven jams like The Red Hill next to big old pit warrior wet dreams like Hold On You. What’s even more surprising about this is how coherent the band makes these change-ups sound. The decade or so they’ve spent slugging it out on the Australian scene have given Driven Fear a self-assuredness that makes Freethinker powerful and compelling.
By Tom Hersey

Ox Fanzine [Germany]
DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
I put the CD, the first song is playing, slight confusion. I throw another look in the CD Info, DRIVEN FEAR come from Australia, not from Canada. Okay, but the first song sound exactly like COMEBACK KID! Had not better clone. The other songs then differ (sometimes) but by the Canadians, but it remains within melodic and pop to punk / hardcore. Here DRIVEN FEAR are quite trying to find new solutions for song parts. This works sometimes better, sometimes worse, Little Fun-fact gives “Freethinker” but in all parallels a certain personal touch. As much Singalong- and catchy potential is there and the occasional song has been with me for several days. From category Misheard -Lyrics: last Breakdown of “Fireball” is not sung “I am the Nazi one” but “I know a thief When I see one”. Freudian interrogators?
7/10 – Review by: David Micken

DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
Driven Fear have been sitting on gold. If this doesn’t get you excited about Australian punk/hardcore…then maybe you don’t actually like punk/hardcore. ‘Freethinker’ is straight fire. From start to finish. This onslaught of riffs, high impact lyrics and energy is one of the best locally produced albums I have heard in ages. The last time Queensland’s ‘Driven Fear’ dropped new music was back in 2011 with their album ‘Contender’. A lot’s happened since then. The scene fads and trends have come and gone, bands have blown up and fans have grown up.. etc and the time is right for a record like this to bring back some provocative and sincere music. In taking their time to prepare this release (2 years of writing, recording and preparing) what the band has crafted is so solid from beginning to end that it begs the question: why don’t other bands take their time to make something special instead of putting out half baked EP’s and underwhelming albums? (end rant) Driven Fear have been around a fair while, paid dues and probably learnt from others mistakes (or maybe their own?). If an album is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. They did this right. If you like bands such as Defeater, Comeback Kid, Polar Bear Club or even some early Hot Water Music..then this is going to reach you. Vocals range from screamed, sung, hoarse and shouted. Backing vocals carry melodies under choruses and it all works very well to give something to sing/hum along to without using a dreadful auto-tuned ‘clean’ vocal. Fast, abrasive and uncompromising in delivery ‘Freethinker’ is not trying to be cool. It’s not trying to be ahead of the pack or carve a new path. There’s breakneck double time and thrashy hardcore numbers, slower more tense and darker jams, a few more accessible tracks and it all feel fresh. Freethinker, as an album definitely has a sense of urgency and relevance contained with the lyrics and over all delivery. Track 3 ‘Crisis’ is one of those accessible songs on the album which benefits from a strong chorus/hook you can sing along with. It will get stuck in your head. The first track lifted off the album in the lead up to it’s release was ‘In Care Of Pt2’ and it’s a great example of the dynamics and variety Driven Fear have incorporated into this genre of music. Stick around for the ending if this is the only song you check out! Track 8 ‘The Red Hill’ is the one i didn’t see coming. A slower pace, more vocal and less guitar driven. It takes it’s time. A welcome break for the ears but is no less an intense song for it. The record finishes strong and hard with ‘Reach’ & brings the pace down for a more melodic and reflective end with ‘The Feedback Loop’ (longest song on the whole thing at 5:28 min). I loved this album. I have not stopped jamming it since being given access to it. Pee Records are dropping this on 26th Feb…. mark it in your calendar.

Music Is My Muse
DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
Driven Fear’s new hardcore-punk album Freethinker is a musical defibrillator for the mind. With untamed vigour, roaring vocals and instruments that pound straight through your core, you’ll feel your life has been given a massive jump-start after listening to this record. Although the album pushes boundaries, it still remains true to the vision the band started out with 12 years ago. Extending on ideas from their previous records, Freethinker covers various themes while relaying the message that we are all connected. “This is not an album about atheism, even though organised religions are a theme covered in the record. It is an album about free thought and our journey to understand and explore what that free thought actually means,” said Driven Fear’s Chris Hyde. Quite frankly picking ‘standout tracks’ from this album is tough. Like a good concert where you lose yourself in space and time, all of the songs on Freethinker form a gripping kaleidoscope of raging thoughts. To truly appreciate all that it offers, you need to listen to the album straight through. If you really are strapped for time though, start with their new single In Care Of Pt. 2. Regardless of whether Freethinker opens up your mind or not, it will certainly help you lose it for 45 minutes. My parting thought is – if this is what Driven Fear can do on a record, imagine the levels of EPIC they reach when performing live…

DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
Brisbane boys Driven Fear are at the helm of a thriving hardcore scene in their southeast Queensland locale that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. The five-piece is among the regular players that draw rowdy bunches thanks to blistering, tight lines and their effervescent frontman Tim Hyde. After a two-year production, fans can once again relive the band’s chaotic shows through their speakers with the release of second album Freethinker. Opener Falling Awake builds then erupts into some snappy guitars and furious kit, Fireball (Mr Sinister), Built To Fire and Reach are rampant, but Crisis, Dancing With Daffodils and Hold On You reiterate this band’s deft hand at menacing riffs.
3.5/5 Carley Hall

TEO Magazine
DRIVEN FEAR – Freethinker
Driven Fear expand their musical offerings on Freethinker, showing that hardcore doesn’t always have to be so fast-paced and in your face. The Gold Coast quintet has been kicking around since 2004, sharing stages with the likes of The Amity Affliction and The Ghost Inside. Freethinker is their fourth release via Pee Records and the follow up to 2011’s Contender. The album was recorded and mixed by Sam Johnson (The Smith Street Band, The Bennies) across three different studios and took over two years. Driven Fear is still energetic and aggressive, kicking off with heavy breakdowns and powerful screams on ‘Falling Awake’ – but there is variation in textures across Freethinker. ‘Crisis’ is a highlight with its melodic edge, gang vocals and bouncy riffs. ‘Dancing With Daffodils’ returns to a feverish speed, which carries onto the first single ‘In Care of Pt. 2’. The second half of the album plays with contrasting sounds. On ‘A Bright Flash’ there is a back and forth between crunching guitars and rolling bass. ‘The Red Hill’ slows down dramatically, again with a controlled approach, building tension with soft guitars. Vocalist Tim Hyde even shows some restraint at times. These tracks lighten up the otherwise heavy feel in the first half of Freethinker. Lyrically the album explores free thought and particularly repressed thoughts with lyrics such as “He keeps his anger deep inside,” and “Nobody knows the shame I feel inside,” which acknowledge common anxieties. ‘The Feedback Loop’ begins with a monologue comparing society to machine, before ending on another hectic note. Freethinker could be two separate albums. It aims to please both the fundamentalists and those who favour melodic hardcore. Driven Fear sound their best when they are not drowning in a wall of sound; allowing their reflective nature to show. On Freethinker abandoning the loud and fast rule has worked in the band’s favour.

26 Feb 2016

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CAT #: PCD067
Recorded by: Sam Johnson @ Three Phase Studios
Mastered by: Alan Douches @ West West Side
Artwork by: Evan McLellan

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