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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Album Review: The Freeks - "Shattered"

Taste is a funny thing. There is a lot of brouhaha coming from Atlanta that baffles me, which, of course, just showcases my own shortcomings I suppose. It does come at a time when I am able to sort of play Atlanta off of Rome, in an untypical way. I go back and forth between the oldest profession and their precious metals of the southern U.S. and those strange but hep cats from the heart of both the Unholy and Holy Roman Empires, The Freeks, and their newly released "Shattered". I find I favor, and love, the Roman outpourings hands down. Here's an opportunity for you to do the same.

A very cool thing about The Freeks is their stoner history. Band front man, Ruben Romano, was a founding member of both Fu Manchu and Nebula. Whoa. He has again surrounded himself with quality, as shown below:

Ruben Romano - Vocals, Lead Guitar (formerly of Fu Manchu, Nebula)
Bob Lee - Drums (formerly of Claw Hammer, Backbiter, Mike Watt)
Tom Davies - Bass (formerly of Nebula)
Esteban Chavez - Keyboards
Jonathan Hall - Guitar (Angry Samoans, Backbiter)

"Shattered" is their third full LP release, again chock full of incredible concoctions of uniqueness and wonder. The blend of styles and sounds is so profound, so varied, so pregnant, you might find from one moment to the next a sense and a snippet of style and sound from any of a dozen rock genres. The Freeks manage to blend these variances into a cohesive blanket of melodic noise, a fuzz stubble quilt of pure astonishment. There is nothing but magnificence on this album, from song construction and rendition, to a binding melodic sense of destiny. It's more than a garage rock, punk rock, stoner rock amalgam. It manages to deliver something that soars on a level above all that, held aloft by their magnetic underpinnings but propelled forward at breakneck speed on a newly composited sound of pure energy and fun. You'll hear something familiar in each song - a snippet of stoner fuzz, a clang of punk rock riffing, a run of psychedelic mind meld, a retro/blues reminiscence - that will initially and immediately pull you in. Once there you'll likely stay as the mesmerizing concoction of it all is a strong and heady brew of intoxifying wonderment.

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