Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to listen to music. Case in point – despite being active since 1992 and releasing a slew of albums, Freak Kitchen (from Sweden) is a band that has flown completely under my radar. Thankfully The Laser’s Edge is taking it upon themselves to re-release the band’s most recent album, 2009’s LAND OF THE FREAKS, in an attempt to garner the band some much-needed attention.
A quick Internet check on the band sees them called everything from progressive metal, to hard rock, or simply experimental metal. Clearly, these guys are tough to classify. It comes as a breath of fresh air that the band does indeed have a sound that is wholly their own; if I had to put a label on it, I’d go with experimental metal, simply because it encompasses the overall feeling Freak Kitchen evokes. From the song titles right down to the groove-laden music, these guys do their own thing. The band is fearless, whether it’s incorporating bouncy beats in “Hip Hip Hurrah”, or Zappa-esque saxophone in “Teargas Jazz”, it seems they will try anything. I don’t know how, but they manage to make it all coalesce into a sound that is identifiable as Freak Kitchen.
This exploratory irreverence extends to the lyrics as well. Reading along to the lyrics will likely have you laughing along with the band, but also appreciating their combination of humour and biting commentary.
Despite the fact that I’m impressed by the band, LAND OF THE FREAKS isn’t always an enjoyable listen. It feels like there are times when the band’s drive for experimentation gets in the way of them actually writing a good song. There are plenty of great riffs and melodies scattered throughout the album, but they don’t always add up to great songs.
That said, the occasional clunker song is worth skipping to hear this band’s insane musical genius. The spirit of truly progressive experimentation is often lacking in music, and certainly heavy metal, so a band like Freak Kitchen deserves to be heard.
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