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Freak Kitchen - "Land of the Freaks" (CD)

Freak Kitchen - "Land of the Freaks" CD cover image

"Land of the Freaks" track listing:

1. God Save the Spleen (4:37)
2. Hip Hip Hoorah (4:49)
3. Teargas Jazz (5:51)
4. Sick? Death by Hypochondira (4:06)
5. Ok (3:52)
6. Honey, You're a Nazi (4:29)
7. The Only Way (3:26)
8. Murder Groupie (4:52)
9. The Smell of Time (3:32)
10. One Last Dance (4:17)
11. Do Not Disturb (3:06)
12. Clean it Up (3:51)

Reviewed by on May 29, 2012

"From heroic guitar shredding to incredibly catchy anthems, 'Land of the Freaks' is a tour of everything rock and metal, with a bizarre sense of the melodic and an insane sense of humor that’s hard not to love."

A prog metal fan’s wet dream, Freak Kitchen’s “Land of the Freaks” is a melting pot of just about anything you could imagine, as the band throws in everything for this album, definitely including the (freak) kitchen sink. From heroic guitar shredding to incredibly catchy anthems, “Land of the Freaks” is a tour of everything rock and metal, with a bizarre sense of the melodic and an insane sense of humor that’s hard not to love.

With titles like “God Save the Spleen” and “Honey, You’re A Nazi,” it’s clear the audience isn’t supposed to take anything too seriously here and instead should just have a good time. There are some underlying serious issues (“Honey, You’re A Nazi” seems to be about those perfect-seeming soccer moms who are happy to spew racist/homophobic/hateful rhetoric once you get ‘em talking), but the delivery is more than just tongue-in-cheek, it’s totally off the wall.

“Freaky” is a fairly good way to describe any song on the album, as the music is funky, jazzy, and then randomly technical and heavy for good measure. Most of the tracks behave like pop music in disguise, in that the music is catchy and has plenty of hooks, but those ideas are translated into a much heavier medium. “Sick? Death By Hypochondria” in particular has a pop theme, with vocal arrangements that seem to have taken their influence from Michael Jackson, but a love for popular music most definitely is not a requirement to enjoy what Freak Kitchen has to offer.

Before the idea of Top 40 inspired metal scares anyone off, there’s so much going on in “Land of the Freaks” it’s important to not forget all the other inspirations that drive the music. There’s plenty of guitar shredding, and when the pop elements die down, the album has a ‘90s, Faith No More feel to it. There’s no doubt “Land of the Freaks” is an odd album, but it’s also a thoroughly enjoyable one. It’s pretty much the only release where you’re ever going to hear lyrics like “Starbucks and buttfucks” or “Everyone’s trying to cheat, dig up a bum we can beat!” on tracks like “Do Not Disturb.”

You’ve probably got to already be into jazzy prog to fully enjoy it, but the disc is never boring and there’s always some interesting blend of metal and non-metal occurring, so it definitely holds up interest well even if poppy, jazzy music isn’t your thing.

Highs: Awesome guitar work with catchy hooks and weirdly awesome lyrics.

Lows: The pop aspects may be a bit much for some metal fans, and it would be nice if the album explored more of the extreme side of metal.

Bottom line: Jazzy, poppy prog with a bizarre sense of humor and some serious guitar shredding skill.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)