This is going to go down as one of my favourite albums of all time.
The cover note said a crossover funk band with influences like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys and Rage Against The Machine and while that is true they are so much more, it’s like a refreshing breeze has just blown across the genre and it is wonderful. The twelve tracks on the album range from weird to heavy but always with a killer funky twist.
Kicking things off is “Talk Big” a seriously groovy number that defies you to stay still, Infectious Grooves anyone, combining funky beats with fast riffs and a thumping bass that will get ya booty moving. Coming in heavier with a grinding riff and thunderous drum beat is “It’s Ticking”, a nice solo opens it up before the tempo and groove is kicked up big time, harder and heavier than the opener but such a killer groove with a RUN DMC vibe. One of the best tracks is “Chasing High”, short and sweet with a deadly drum beat savage riffs and Beastie Boys style vocals going back and forth, this one will be stuck in your brain for a long time with its infectious rhythm. “Nosedive” gets a good bit heavier and is a kind of cross between hardcore and funk, a cool slapping bass line is off-set against some crunching riffs, and screaming vocals replace the more mellow funky style for the most part setting this one off. “Hectic Life” takes up the baton from the previous track and keeps on running with another high-paced hardcore-style song, with a funky rhythm that should not work on something like this but it does and makes it the banger that it is.
“True Blue” is a track that is straight out of the 90s with its big bass line and hip hop style vocals, a big nod to The Red Hot Chili Peppers on this one, a cool funky track that has a ripper solo at the end, another contender for track of the album. Things take a heavier turn with “NBQ”, a more thrash/hardcore feel with a grungy kick as they rip into it with cutting riffs and a pounding drum beat dropping to a slower more grinding style midway through to the end of the song, they just keep churning out bangers. “Why Sad” is all about the guitars with sharp riffs that drive the track ably backed up by some cool vocals that go from somewhat melodic to frantic and a nice rolling drum beat in the background, you better believe this one will grow on you. The low approach to “Ain’t Easy” builds you up nicely to a kicking track that is full of 90’s funk attitude, big bass and thundering drums lay the foundations for a great track; the vocals are more on the hardcore side which is no bad thing giving the track an extra bit of oomph. Title track “Freak Dreams” is exactly that; a wonderfully weird freaky funky track that is one of the biggest earworms you will ever hear, it’s like Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Faith No More and The Chili’s all got together and went on a mind-expanding bender to create this masterpiece of funk, you got to love it.
The album closes with “Out Of The Blue Into The Black”, a nearly five-minute onslaught in the best possible way, hard riffs and machine gun drumming batter you into submission, and the screamed vocals are very reminiscent of Harley Flanagan in his prime, another cracker and a great way to finish things off.
A brilliant album that deserves to be heard by everyone!
‘FREAK DREAMS’ is DUE 2nd FEBRUARY via CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
Review: (Birthday Boy) Conor
1. Talk Big
2. It’s Tickin’
3. Chasing Highs
5. Hectic Life
6. It’s Always You (Interlude)
7. True Blue
9. WHY SAD
10. Ain’t Easy
11. Freak Dreams
12. Out of the Blue Into the Black