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Friday, December 25, 2009


320 KBPS

Freak Kitchen is back and it seems that things are changing for them! First some big labels became more and more interested in the combo (Roadrunner Records in France for example) and some rumors even say that the band should play in some big summer festivals next year. They truly deserve it, so if it's real, that's good news for Freak Kitchen but also for all the people who will discover them and take a big blast in their faces live. With Land Of The Freaks, Mattias, Christer and Björn propose a new chapter in their musical story and it will be disturbing perhaps for some fans but don't worry they're still "freaky" by the holy cows!
Land Of The Freaks is without any doubt the darkest and most technical album out to date of Freak Kitchen. It's probably not their easiest one to access as well and if you were in the category of those people who don't know this band (even if they believe it) and thought that they were only clowns, you'll be disappointed. Once again the majority of the lyrics talk about serious topics but the music is really deep and complex. Don't expect a lot of "funny" songs on Land Of The Freaks and even if I can't say that this album doesn't have any "fun" on it, you must be aware that Freak Kitchen probably didn't want to do something so along the lines of "Pop" this time. In my opinion Land Of The Freaks is a mix of Freak Kitchen (the album) and Freak Guitars I & II the instrumentals solo project of Mattias "IA" Eklundh. This is technical and the really specific guitar playing of IA is demonic. Can anybody here give me the name of a guitarist who can do the same kind of riffs and guitar solos? IA has his own unique sound (if you know Freak Kitchen, this is something that you can recognize in less than two seconds) and Land Of The Freaks is probably the release where we have the strongest demonstration of his talent. Freak Kitchen is also refreshing on a side, and some songs like "Teargas Jazz" for example even have some Indie sonorities (percussions, typical traditional Indians sound played by violins etc). This is cool even if on a side and to be honest I really liked the "US" FM orientation which was more present on the old albums. Land Of The Freaks remains original though and features some really good songs like "Murder Groupie", "Teargas Jazz" or "God Save The Spleen".
Despite those good songs and the fact that the album is (once again with Freak Kitchen) solid, I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of mega hits. Sure some songs are really cool but they're maybe a bit too "Prog" in a way and I regret that we don't really have some pure in your face hits like "Jerk", "Gun God" or "Nobody's Laughing". Is it a big problem? I don't know and I don't think so because after all Land Of The Freaks is different and in a good way but even if they will be cool live, those songs will probably not have the same power than some older ones. On the other hand the musicianship on the release is great, from the guitar to bass and especially the drums where Björn Fryklund gives one of his most technical, but still groovy works. With perfect production and nice cover artwork, Land Of The Freaks is a good Freak Kitchen release (two - three songs are a bit average and useless but after all that's a bit the same on every Freak Kitchen album).
It's good to see the crazy Swedish trio back on the road for good. With their new release they prove that they're able to do something different without destroying their musical roots and that's not an easy challenge. Land Of The Freaks is probably the weirdest Freak Kitchen release but it's an interesting album that you'll have to listen to more than one time to understand it. Don't be fooled, you'll need time to enjoy this release completely but with time you'll probably discover more and more little jewels on the CD. One last note of advice from me, don't miss the band on tour this year, you'll finally see what a great metal show is!

1. God Save the Spleen
2. Hip Hip Hoorah
3. Teargas Jazz
4. Sick? (Death by Hypochondria)
5. OK
6. Honey, You’re a Nazi
7. The Only Way
8. Murder Groupie
9. The Smell of Time
10. One Last Dance
11. Do Not Disturb
12. Clean it Up

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