'Freax' - an interesting name, unsurprisingly bringing to mind Tod Browning's splendid film. At first, I took the name to mean that the band themselves were 'we who are not as others' - after all, rock & roll has a long tradition of employing drummers with the wrong number of arms (though this band sound nothing like Def Leppard, thankfully), nutters (there's a vague TAFKAP influence here) and persons of shorter than average stature (Blue Oyster Cult or Ken Dodd's Diddymen, who may or may not have scored a minor hit with We're going to break in yer 'ouse, like, rob yer video and sell you some skag).
It's also worth pointing out that 'Keith' is a fine rock & roll name. Who can forget such legends as Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Keith LeBlanc or Keith Mitchell? Certainly, in the latter case, I've struggled for many years to achieve that end, but as may be obvious 'Captain Beaky and his band' is still etched upon my quivering synapses.
But I'm off at a tangent again. In order to discover more about Freax I consulted the ever-startling distributed internetwork of computing devices. Freaks.com was pleased to show me a clock, which was a splendid effort, but somewhat redundant since I already own a number of timepieces. Freax.hu was an altogether more interesting experience, since it describes efforts to write a book about the (largely) European demoscene. As a sometime Amigademo coder, I heartily approve and commend other interested parties to view the site as expeditiously as may be convenient.
Tangenteering again. Sorry. We're supposed to be about music, or at least something akin to that.
I am reminded somewhat of Tackhead, only less so. Material similarly. I mean, it's all tolerably funky, and the Skip McDonald-style wall o'noise guitars are both noisy and wall-like, but... I keep expecting it all to kick off in some completely mental dub manner and it... Doesn't. The guitar is off out there running backwards and forwards and turning somersaults in an encouraging manner, but the rhythm section is just jogging along in a somewhat sullen manner. True, there are flashes of fire and spitting, but it feels like the sullen jogger has just stumbled over a kerb.
Then things go very Red Hot Chili Peppers, of whom my opinion is well known. (They can Piss Right Off, in short.)
Oh, they must have heard me grinding that axe. It's all gone cheerfully odd again. Imagine a thrash-metal band doing a cover of Sowing the Seeds of Love, but unfortunately they've all suffered a terrible industrial accident and have no short-term memory so they keep forgetting to play it nicely and go crazy ape-shit bonkers every so often.
I dunno about this metallic funk stuff. Maybe it was all spoiled for me since I discovered Tackhead first and care deeply for Hendrix. Maybe there was nowhere else to go after Timezone's World Destruction or Herbie Hancock's Hardrock. Maybe I like my grooves nine miles wide with percussion like someone joyriding a funky tank through a scrapyard and Hard Left lyrics. (Maybe I'm just bloody-minded about old-skool electro.)
Not unlike Cut too Deep, in point of fact. Oh. Acoustic guitar. I'm going to stop now. (Hold on. Sperm Song is reasonably silly.)
I'm still left shouting in frustration at this CD, mind: "Go on. Rock out - give it some bollocks. I dare you." I note that there are MP3s available for download from the website. Which may or may not persuade you to shell out for a CD.
Post: Maria Ferrero, 150 E Sample Rd Ste 220, Pompano Beach, FL, 33064-3550, USA
Phone: (732) 462-4262