November 7, 2014 Freak Kitchen – Cooking with Pagans (Album Review)
Freak Kitchen began to shock the music world in 1992 with their killer Metal sound, smooth sexy vocals and comical lyrics. Through their label Thunderstruck Productions, together members Mattias “IA” Eklundh (vocals/guitar), Christer Örtefors (bass/vocals) and Björn Fryklund (drums) have released seven full length albums, one EP and several singles. Their newest offering, Cooking with Pagans has been very successful, not only the European market but also in North America. This Gothenburg, Sweden band has been very successful – not only in the European countries but also in the US. Known for their stage antics and huge, vibrant presence, Freak Kitchen has once again pulled off a winner.
Kicking ass and taking names, Cooking with Pagans starts off with the fast-paced, bass driven “Professional Help,” complete with killer gruff vocals, heavy guitar riffs and deep, steady drum beats. Possessing a grunge feel, the song pours into a flowing breakdown with mid-line screams and echoing back vocals. Next, “Freak of the Week” opens with a loud shout of screaming guitar harmonies, hard-hitting drums and a sick bass line. Fun, distorted lyrics dominate as a voice-over musical blackout. A spooky off-key guitar solo by Eklundh puts the finishing touches on this twisted Dark Metal song. Going directly into “Sloppy,” Freak Kitchen brings a whimsical track with clean vocals and seriously intense drumming. Eklundh pumps out an awesome, broken record guitar solo that seals the deal. Next, fans are served up a fun ’80s hairband tribute with the explosive sounds of “Goody Goody.” A flashback of catchy lyrics along with massive guitar erupt with mid-line screams, galloping drums and the sweet vocals of Eklundh.
Keeping the comic element strong is “(Saving Up For An) Anal Bleach,” which possess elements for a Hard Rock getaway, including the dirty lyrics that leave the listener breathless from deep belly laughter. Leading off with powerful stick work and thick electric guitars, the track offers several breakdowns, among other interesting changes. Taking a darker musical road while still keeping the lyrics fun, “Private Property” has heavy, clean, sharp vocals. Moving along, “Mathematics of Defeat” opens with a slap in the face, a rapid speed bass line and smooth, sexy singing that carries the body of the song with an off-key feel. Strange lyrics hold the morbid and demented funhouse undertone that sends the listener on a musical, magical adventure. Taking a sharp left turn, “I Don’t Want To Golf” is another face palming, lyrical adventure of bass and drums, where “Hide” is of a slower, sweeter texture. Lofting higher vocals, effective, yet simple guitars, and high symbols make this song a strong ballad. Things are brought back up to a speed with the pure music of “Come Back to Comeback.” Lathered in instrumental genius, this song is a snap back to reality with off-the-wall lyrics. Then on “Ranks Of the Terrified,” the band amazes with some beautiful guitar work and harmonic bass, before concluding the album with “Once Upon A Time In Scandinavistan.” Listeners should approach the latter track with anticipated caution, as its drunken party feel will have them singing all day long. The comical, goofy words work together tightly with the music, making it a perfect ending to the mischievous journey otherwise known as Freak Kitchen.
Whether one is having a bad day and in need of a laugh or just in the mood for some twisted metal, Cooking with Pagans is guaranteed to deliver just what the doctor ordered. This album is a musical masterpiece wrapped up in a ball of fun and misadventure. CrypticRock gives Cooking with Pagan 5 out of 5 stars.