Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Freeks - Full On

Conceived by Ruben Romano, ex of Fu Manchu and Nebula, The Freeks began as a collaboration between Ruben and friends of his from bands such as Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Parliment Funkadelic and others. This alliance spawned a self-titled CD and from there, Ramona formed a "regular" band with Jonathan Hall (guitar master of Backbiter, the Angry Samoans, Motorcycle Black Madonnas, etc.), Esteban Chavez on keys, Tom Davies on bass, and Hari Hassin on drums (the line up for this album). The most current line-up now includes Bob Lee, the Keith Moon-like drummer from Backbiter, Clawhammer, Crawlspace and innuerable others.

The Freeks describe themselves as high octane psychedelic punk rock'n'roll and they should know! There are heavy metal/stoner rock influences, to be certain, but just as many Detroit, high-energy punk'n'roll riffs, fired'n'fueled with ferocity'n'intensity. I just saw them live a few days ago and every player is highly talented and adds creative, inventive, drivin' riffs.

Opening with a bit of atmospheric noodling in "Before", the groups wastes no time in showing their true mission with blasts of rollin' drums, walls of wah-wah'n'fuzz and "the end of the human race" in "Big Black Chunk". Shriekin' screams, riffs galore, wild solos and furious potency drive this and a good portion of the album. Romano howls his voice raw in "Weirdness", they get powerfully psychedelic in "The Secret Pathway", get a little more mellow on the vocally harmonic freak-beat of "Splitting Atoms", then intensely frantic on the piano-pumpin' , Hypnotics-like"On a Whim", a bit more stoner in the riff-rocker "Fast and Black", trippy in the psych-slide'n'electric piano, effects-laden "Vitamin D", wild punk'n'roll in "Bitchin'" and ending with another piece of atmospheric-ness in "After".

I dig this a lot and they're even better live! Modern hard-psych is a-happenin'. man!