"Land of the Freaks" (Laser's Edge; 2009/2012)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


According to the record label,  Freak Kitchen's albums haven't been available in North America until now. If you're a North American (and, who knows, on this global community we call the Internet, where the hell you are, really?), you're in for a treat.

Freak Kitchen is an intriguing band who describe their sound as "A corny little heavy-pop-rock-Latin-world-jazz-avant-garde-metal-blues-record straight from hell!" So, right off the bat, if that's what you've been looking for, you've found it here. As you might guess, however, that description is more than a little tongue-in-cheek. In reality, "Land of the Freaks," the first in the series of re-releases, is a collection of off-kilter progressive rock songs in the vein of Frank Zappa and maybe a little Faith No More.

As you might expect with the involvement of guitarist Mattias Eklundh, the guitar is the driving force here, but not to the degree that this sounds like an Eklundh solo album. Instead, the songs are the focus, and that makes for a much more interesting listen throughout. The lyrics are rather more serious than I expected from a band called "Freak Kitchen" and are quite dark and somewhat controversial. They merge perfectly with the unique music here, and -- lack of belly laughs aside -- work rather beautifully.

"Land of the Freaks" may not be instantly accessible to the casual listener, but repeated listens will draw you into Freak Kitchen's world, and I think you'll enjoy the visit.

Freak Kitchen: Mattias Eklundh (guitar, vocals), Christer Ortefors (bass) and Bjorn Fryklund (drums).

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 24 Oct 2021 16:10:49 -0400.