The Punk Vault

Selections from The Punk Vault [The Freeze]

The Freeze – I Hate Tourists 7″ (1980 Rebel Music)

My first introduction to The Freeze came from the Flipside Vinyl Fanzine Volume 1 compilation LP. Their song, “No One’s Ever Coming Home” was among the many standouts on that record and as always, it was all it took for me to seek out more from the band. My next fix came in the form of the Unsafe at Any Speed compilation, and then I’d end up buying their two albums later.

The Freeze formed way back in 1979 in Boston, MA. They could very well have been one of the first, if not the first punk band from that city. Their first show was at a Middle School outdoor “Halfshell” in 1979 to about 50 friends and a fast growing army of enemies. In 1980 they recorded this, their first 7″ single that featured two songs. They released it themselves and only a portion of the pressing had picture sleeves, which I recall reading that the band made them in a school somewhere with “borrowed materials”.

Two years later, they released their next 7″, Guilty Face, on Modern Method Records. Modern Method was the label started by the Newbury Comics store which has now grown into a large chain out in the Boston area, despite the fact their label didn’t last. The label did release some great Boston punk stuff in their short life however. This single showed The Freeze becoming a hardcore band and the songs are harder and faster than the ones on their debut.

Another two years would pass until they would release this record…

The Freeze – Land of the Lost LP
(1984 Modern Method Records)

Originally this feature was going to just be for this LP, but since I originally envisioned it, some very kind soul traded me a copy of I Hate Tourists, thus completing my Freeze collection. This album ranks as my favorite Freeze record for the featured track from this one alone. It is a perfect slice of Boston hardcore. The album is solid from start to finish. The band played lots of shows opening up for touring acts of larger stature (Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, etc.) and played overseas in Italy, 60 miles from a Yugoslavian warzone, and other places.

Another two years passed and they released their second LP, Rabid Reaction, also on Modern Method Records. It was a little more musical than the first, but still very good. It was right after this that the label went under, leaving the band without a home. The band members also had methamphetamine habits that were out of control and in the time between 1986-1989, couldn’t even manage to put together 5 songs.

In 1990 they finally got it together and released the Misery Loves Company album on Taang! Records. This would start a somewhat prolific period for the band as they released a record almost every year until 1996 when they seemed to stop again, perhaps due to substance abuse problems that have plagued various members over the years. In 1999 they released what I found to be their best post-Modern Method record, One False Move, on Dr. Strange Records.

The last two years has seen a lot of their earlier recordings get reissued on Dr. Strange, and I have it on good authority by Cliff Hanger that next year will bring a new Freeze album. Through the good times and bad, The Freeze has persevered and is the longest running Boston punk band in history.

As always if you have any additional information please get in touch.

Listen to “I Hate Tourists” from the single

Listen to “Sickly Sweet” from the Land of the Lost Album.

Visit The Freeze website






45 comments

  • Thanks for finally printing a great article on one of most underated Punks in U.S. history. The Freeze are almost solely responsible for “melodic Hardcore” something they were endlessly ridiculed for playing bak in those days in Boston when “Police ruled the dancefloor”… Here’s to THE FREZE!!!

  • Most “old” Punk Bands weaken and then fade away without fanfare, NOT The Freeze though… I just bouth their last studio album, ONE FALSE MOVE and was completely blown away by it. I’m looking forward to their next album and the supposed U.S. and European tours that will follow!

  • I don;t know about anyone else but my favorite FREEZE Cd is the classic FREAK SHOW, just rereleased on Dr Strange!

  • Did anyone get a chance to hear THE FREEZE live on Boston’s WERS radio show this past Saturday night? They played two brand new songs. One reminded me of MISGUIDED MEMORIES from their classic RABID REACTION lp, the other a fast, pummeling Blaks Flag like nunber. When’s the new album going to come out?

  • Freeze first punk band from Boston in ’79? Doesn’t DMZ count? That’s ’76 pre-Pistols. And what about Live at the Rat? Well, whatever, not tryin’ to be a downer here. Dig the site.

  • Yeah, this is a band that is/was definitely underrated. So good. They were from Cape Cod, the summer vacation spot, thus “I hate tourists.” They were supposed to tour with the Dead Kennedys in 1984 and it didn’t come together.

  • This si the first time I’ve ever seen a cover for I Hate tourists, mine is sleeveless. Great band, one of my long time favorites. The Token Bones disc on Dr. Strange is great place to start for someone unfamiliar (even has Don’t Forget Me Tommy)

  • Hello to all,
    This is Clif Hanger from The Freeze. I want to thank everyone who’s left their thoughts on this board and everyone who’s been patiently supporting us throughout the years! I wanted to mention to Fred above that, NO WAY were we the first Punk Band from the Boston Area! Hats off to Mono Mann and DMZ, also to Steve Cataldo (producer of 3 of our Cd’s) from THE NERVOUS EATERS, THE NEIGHBORHOODS, LA PESTE, UNNATURAL AXE, THIRD RAIL, John Felice and THE REAL KIDS and whoever else I’ve forgotten! Dave Minehan, lead guy from THE NEIGHBORHOODS co-produced and engineered our last studio album for us, ONE FALSE MOVE, 1999 on Dr. Strange. I remember just getting into Punk in 1977-8 and I couldn’t get enough of any of the above, live or on record! I think what was meant by the original statement that THE FREEZE were the first Boston punk band was more a reference to our having been a part of the dying “Live At The Rat” days, but also being the only band from then to make the still be accepted and successful as the new Boston Hardcore Punk scene developed. I can safely lay claim to one thing though; THE FREEZE are the longest lasting Punk band from, if not just MA then from all of New England AND we’ve NEVER jumped a trend, we’ve ALWAYS stayed true to our core beliefs, just trying to get better and grow as a band as every year passes, 26 years and still counting! Look for a 25 year, comprehensive DVD, re-releases of ALL our material not now in print a long with alot of old live shows added on. Finally there WILL be a NEW studio album that we’re working on the songs for now (a couple song titles are “Somebody’s Been Bleeding” and “Sleepless Heads”). There should also be a long-time-coming 2nd U.S. tour and a 3rd European tour to follow! take care, Clif

  • The Freeze will start playing live again in October with a New Studio album and a U.S tour to follow! Thanks for not forgetting us!

  • I had never heard The Freeze before now, and its pretty cool. I will have to check out more. Clif mentioned La Peste above, now there is a band that is in serious need of a rediscovery. They were totally great.

  • Whoa – Ok, I heard that Clif had DIED a couple months back! Apparently the news was totally false and I’m pretty damn glad. “Freak Show” is in heavy rotation on my player lately. I agree with the ‘underrated’ comment – the lyrics I can relate to almost a little too well, and the music knocks over most of the pop-core coming out these days. Glad to hear there’s a new album coming out. Any chance whatsoever of adding some west coast Canadian dates? (The border is TOUGH these days, I know…)

  • I live on the Cape, in Buzzards Bay as a matter of fact, and saw a woman working at a local liquor store with a freeze t-shirt. When I asked her where she got it she told me about the web site and an upcoming album.The Freeze is some great stuff; you could not find it here and it got NO airplay ever. I found out why in the liner notes for token bones. It was in the store but it was out of sight behind the counter! Damn, I wish i’d known that 20 years ago. Thank god for the internet or I’d still be looking for The Freeze’s stuff. It sucks living in a place as repressive as Cape Cod. Also I never hear them on the local radio stations either but they play Greenday, Clash, and occasional Ramones late at night. Too bad.

  • I checked out the website and as far as I can see, it just rotates various flyers. Am I missing something or is there more to the site?

  • glad to find other freeze fans, everytime i mention them as the best, nobody ever heard of them. anyway where can i find tour info, i cant figure out their website either!

  • Hi, Thanks again for all the kind comments. I check in on this site every couple of weeks. By the way DAN-above^, the “woman” you talked to was my wife! I gave her a patch and a couple of pins to give to you the next time you go in the liquor store. Didn’t she tell you she was married to me? Weird… Anyways, next time you go in mention to her I read this and she has some stuff for you.. Anyone who wants to contact me, feel free to do so at: rabidreaction@adelphia.net. The Freeze have have chosen the 27 songs that will appear on our first release for Beer City records titled 25 YEARS OF DEFIANCE. It will be out before Christmas. next up is the first DVD we’ve ever done. We’re in the process of writing the songs for our next NEW studio release: sone song titles so for-SOMEBODY’S BEEN BLEEDING, NEW EYES and SLEEPLESS HEADS. I’ll keep everyone posted as shit happens! Take care! Oh, I’m not dead yet, well physically anyways…

  • Clif again, for those of you in the Boston area, we’re playing saturday night October 15th at The Beachcomber in Quincy and then November 11th at TT and The Bears. Hope to catch some of you there! Clif

  • Why do I keep forgetting to mention this? senility probably… but Schizophrenic Records from Canada is re-releasing the I HATE TOURISTS 45 with old phot’s of the band, old flyers and two pages of new liner notes I wrote for it. The first 200 copies are going to be a Signed and Numbered limited edition! So check it out if you can! Hanger

  • Yes, she did mention that she was with someone in the band, but I was just too surprised at the T-shirt to to take in the exact relationship. Thanks for the patches and pins. Very cool of you and thanks. I’m a bit old for the patches but I’m going to find out if any of my step sons friends are into punk (it seems like they may be into the heavier/harder stuff) and pass ’em on to them and maybe a kid at a gas station in Cataumet who always has the good stuff on the radio when I fill up at work.

  • Also regarding “I Hate Tourists”. On labor day weekend this year (Saturday around 4 p.m.)as I was trying to get over the Bourne Bridge to finish my truck route, I got hit by one of the bastards just as the song finished. Happily my Mitsubishi Fuso took no damage but the little tiny new VW in tow behind the large RV that cut me off from the merge lane took some serious damage (lug nuts dragged down the whole drivers side of it from front to back, lmao). The best part was it was a vacationing retired NYC cop who tried to pull rank, and got shut down for it by the State Troopers over the bridge at the barracks.

  • Glad to see the FreeZe & Clif have endured all these years. My best friend, Liz, and I, used to see them at the Mill Hill when we were in high school in the early 80’s, and hang out w/ Clif when he was working at Baskervilles in Hyannis, and up at Wave Records w/ Bill Storz. Liz & I graduated high school w/ Ron Cormier too, and were good friends w/ Chris Bell (from The Wifebeaters). I’m also pleased to see that Lunchmeat’s still playing music; he was a wizard on the guitar. Used to blow our minds to see him listen to a Clash song once, then play along right away!!

  • “religion is always fun!!!”

    listing to the freeze makes me drink… or is it drinking makes me listen to the freeze??? either way, the freeze kicks ass and never sold out!!! fuck ya!!!

  • Did the Freeze play in Denver, Colorado in the early ’80s at a place called the Meatpacking Plant? My old guitar player, Dennis, from the band Ante Bellum told me about when they played there. He said they were swallowing hand fulls of white crosses before they played. Kick-Assssssss!!!!! Also, is Land of the Lost available on CD anywhere? The Freeze was the first hardcore band that brought out an eerie, creepy feeling when I listened to them. What was that song about Uncle Tom’s house or something . . . creepy shit!
    The Freeze Rule!

  • Clif again, thanks for all the kind words. Just a quick update: The I HATE TOURISTS re-release on Scizophrenic Records now come out. There’s a very limited number on colored vinyl. Also, we’re playing a gig here on the Cape, March 3rd at the Sons of Italy Hall in Mashpee. It’s an all-ages show, with the doors at 6:00, 4 other bands, and The Freeze on at around 9:00… As more shit happens I’ll post it here. Oh, the website people have been referring to is sort of obsolete. Personally I’ve been spending a lot of my time on My Space. There are two Freeze sites there. One is myspace.com-thefreeze and the other is: myspace.com-thefreeze thanks again! Clif

  • The Freeze played a show here on Cape Cod a couple nights ago. They played with a few local bands. I left early and ended up missing them 🙁 but my boyfriend saw them and said they were great. They said they would be playing another show here within the next 5 years.. I don’t think it’s likely i’ll be here then, but for all you that are.. young or old.. this seems to definitely be a band to see.

  • Cliff, when will u play at my house in LA MIRADA California.well all be waiting with open arms and smiles.!

  • Clif.
    One of my favorite bands of all time.The Freeze=fucking amazing live.Yes young Pete the Freeze did play at The Packing House.If I remember correctly the boys broke down in Wyoming and Jill Razor drove up there and brought them back. About the white cross….it was handful of pills. I remember the bean bag incident and some skin head trying to break a beer bottle over his head.It would not break…fucking funny.Denver scene was a blast. Glad to see The Freeze still around and kicking ass.
    Dennis-ante bellum-expatriate

  • I remember the Denver show, sort of… What I DO remember about it is that all the people we met were REAL, not artificial punk wanna-be’s that mutate in perpetuity in the scene.. As to “the pills” in question… are you sure it wasn’t Meth? Actually it probably was meth, just hidden in emptied out capsules… An amphetamine is an amphetamine is an…!

  • Oh, and to “malamar”, sorry you missed the show, but when I said we would play there within “another 5 years” I was just being facetious. It was a joke because we hadn’t played a show on the Cape in 5 years. That won’t happen again. We’re already planning something similar there this Summer… Hope you can make that one!

  • drugs draged me to the heart of darkness…cliff, wanna play down in miami. my name is glenn larsen i put on hardcore punk show down south at a place called churchill’s. in the last couple of years The Angry Samoans, Murphys Law, M.D.C., U.K. Subs,45 grave, blah, blah blah have all left very happy
    gtlstudios@yahoo.com

  • Greetings from Hull, England.
    My first exposure to the Freeze was when I bought ‘Unsafe at any Speed’ in Hull’s HMV, probably as late as ‘;83. It was a well thumbed sleeve, but i just had to have it. It just looked so much more interesting than the shit that was going on in the UK at the time. The Exploited et al.there were skins with these funny Xs on their wrists and shit
    Refridgerator Heaven was played many a time on the free for all ‘decks’ at my school much to the disgust of the Halen mob.
    Then I bought Land of the lost….
    Come play Hull Adelphi Mr Cliff Hanger.

  • This is Clif Hanger from The Freeze, with the latest on what’s become the band’s most productive year of our 26th and counting. The band has a new line-up (as usual) but this time we have a completely solid, power-rich unit.
    Joe Koonz, our rhythm guitarist from 1987-1994 who was also a valued songwriter, at least when he was able to squeeze something through the “Bill Close and Clif Hanger” combo.
    As an aside-Bill left the band in 1999, the day ONE FALSE MOVE was completed. He joined The Freeze in 1982 for the recording of our GUILTY FACE Ep. He was 15 years old at that time. His 17 years with The Freeze is and was more than memorable.
    I had every intention of laying the band to rest after Bill’s departure, until Joe re-appeared. Having had a lengthy history with the band made it fairly easy to continue The Freeze without compromise as he was the only other guitarist who was familiar with the band’s sound. He’s done a great job filling Bill’s place as our Lead guitarist while adding his own distinct take on the music. Joe and I will be writing songs for the forthcoming, new studio recording which will begin later this Fall.
    Chris Barone is our new drummer replacing Boston’s legendary drummer Walter Gustafson, who recently chose semi retirement. Walter has drummed for almost every Punk And Hardcore band that Boston’s ever had: Besides The Freeze he’s played in Gang Green, The Nervous Eaters, Got’ny, The Outlets, Jerry’s Kids, and on and on. Chris reminds me of a young Walter: a chaotic metronome, who teaches drum lessons on the side AND he’s ony 26.
    On Bass is Kevin Bonelli. He may not be the most manic guy, yet if he was, it would be more like bumper cars onstage, a trainwreck.
    On Rhythm guitar is Mark Leonard whose looming 6’2″ presence adds muscle to the band yet adds all the high-voiced background vocals that have been missing from past live shows.
    As I’ve recently turned 45 I can use all the help I can get!
    With this new line-up the band has been playing out live at least once a week on average. Yes, we will be touring the states again as well as a third tour of Europe. These will happen after, either after the release of our “Best OF” Cd and DVD both titled “25 Years Of Defiance” which we’re just finishing up now and will be releasing soon by our new lable, Beer City Records, OR after the new studio album which will probably come out early in 2007. The Cd will have 28 songs from 1980’s I HATE TOURIST’S through 2005’s live recording of two brand new tunes SOMEBODY’S BEEN BLEEDING and NEW EYES. The DVD will be a little for difficult to document live video going back to 1980, a time when I don’t think Camcorder’s had even been invented. We’re working on figuring a solution out for this now.
    Also planned for this year is the recent re-release of our first 45, I HATE TOURISTS on Schizophrenic Records out of Canada. They will also soon be re-releasing our 1982 ep GUILTY FACE with an additional 2 tracks. Schizo will be releasing, what is the only known live recording of the band from the pre I HATE TOURIST’S days on a limited Edition Lp in the next couple of months. Recorded in early 1980, the sound quality is surprisingly good. Listening to the recording recently I almost forgot my age and felt like the 18 year old I was at the time. The gig was at Cape Cod’s “Mill Hill Club”, the site of the later incident I wrote the song VIOLENT ARREST about. Out of the 18 songs on the album, at least half were never played again, and had been completely forgotten by me until I recovered the recording in an old box of cassettes I was getting ready to trash. A couple months after the limited edition vinyl release it will come out on Cd.
    Other bits of interest happening this year is the nation-wide opening of the film AMERICAN HARDCORE. All major “scenes” from across the country will be featured in the film with interviews, songs and live performances by key bands as the movie premieres in each key city. The Boston scene will feature songs from Jerry’s Kids, Negative FX, SSD, The FU’s etc.. We’re represented on the soundtrack with our songs TIMEBOMB/THIS IS BOSTON NOT LA. The two bands playing prior to the Movie’s opening will be Gang Green and The Freeze. I find it ironic how the two band’s still together and active have nothing to do with Boston’s “We’re in it for life” militant Straight Edge soldiers. Distributed by Sony and featured at the Sundance Film Festival, this film should be viewed by everyone who was part of this scene. It fully records the history of the music and should be seen by those who were too young and have only heard about it in bits and pieces. It was a time in music that will never be repeated.
    I’ll also be busy as a regular columnist for the UK zine MASS MOVEMENT as well as for AMP magazine.
    Since it’s 4am now, I’m almost feeling tired. So take care everyone and I hope I haven’t bored everyone into a catatonic state.\

    Clif Hanger

  • A lot of people talk about the early stuff but I think the later material is amazing. Crawling Blind and Bloodlights/Talking Bombs in particular. Great band!

  • Thanks for staying with it Clif. Very sorry you and Bill have parted ways as I think you guys made some unforgettable music together. I can’t wait to heat new material and possibly see you guys in ’07. This will be one of my music dreams come true. I have posted a bio for The Freeze page on Last.fm (a site I have been on a lot recently). If you or other fans here get a chance to read it, please let me know if it sounds ok. I want to be fair and try not to offend anyone. Please post any news you have about releases and tours to keep all of us fans updated. Thanks again.

  • THE FREEZE! what an amazing band. me, personally, im 15. i never got to witness the 80’s, never got to see all these crust/hardcore bands actually play. so why not clif, come play down in Greensboro, NC? we’ve got a couple places worth playing here..and we’ve got other bands in our teeny scene.
    it’d be fucking amazing.

  • Met joe in sweden, get a copy of one false true album , by him. Need to see the band touring europe now!!!lookin forward for a show around !!!

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