Freak Kitchen – Freak Kitchen III 4/5
As much as I love listening to experimental bands, writing them up is excessively hard. Especially with bands like Freak Kitchen, who play a genre I can safely call pop/rock, and that’s about it, for their influences, techniques, and the way they present their own personal style make them almost incomprehensible. I’m tempted to talk about the way they combine their diverse range into simple, catchy, and fun songs, but to do so in depth would counter-act the concept of a ‘brief’ review. So I’ll simply say, if you haven’t heard these Swedes yet, it’s time to do you ears a favor.
Even though what sets this band apart from other bands is their experimentations for what is possible in pop/rock, their core of musicians is extremely solid. The guitarist has that brilliant combination of technical skills, soulful playing, and enough humility to know where he is supposed to be the center, and when he’s not. The mains sections are normally reserved for a simple beat combo of guitar bass and drum, along with whatever crazy idea FK threw in to make the song special. The drumming is solid and acceptable, and the bass is often audible and quite groovy, making for a great rhythm section. The vocalist really earns his place as the front man for his diverse range of emotion and his keen ability to write lyrics completely from another’s view, and dissect himself with keen introspection. Key examples would be Vaseline Bizinezz, written from the view of a young girl upset at the news of her boy band crush coming out of the closet, and Broken Food, where he plumbs the depths of his own depression and search for acceptance and acknowledgment.
Still, the greatest strength this band has, beyond experimentation, beyond song writing, beyond technicality, beyond a great sense and depth of emotion, is their catchiness. There is rarely a track where I don’t feel compelled to sing along or at least lose myself in their music. The numbers of times I’ve wondered what that weird buzzing messing with the songs, only to realize that it is myself humming along, astound me. However, this is not an album without problems. A number of the tracks are hit and miss in memorability, and I don’t feel a lot of flow from track to track, and there is a noticeable lack of endurablity when the album gets the plays that its catchiness earns. These might be minor complaints, but significant in the scope of an album that could have been better.
Favorites: We've Heard it All Before, Entertain Me, Broken Food, A Regular Guy,