This album review originally appeared in Nexus Magazine.
Personally, I would never name a band Freaky Meat.
Whether you look at it as meat that’s been left on the counter for too long or something more sexual, it doesn’t look good. But Freaky Meat is not like any band I have heard before, so I don’t really mind the fact they have an unusual name. I couldn’t really give a genre to the music, simply because there’s so much in there. We have some jazzy stuff, some rockabilly stuff, some more pop-rock stuff – and that’s just the first two tracks. The vocals sound like a poetry club where the “tortured souls” hang out and approach themes around the area of sex, drugs and theft.
I wouldn’t be happy calling this album a music CD. To me, it’s more recordings of poetry recitals with some really good music in the background. And the music is good. These guys clearly have some talent and I definitely will be playing this CD again. However, it’s not the sort of music I would generally just sit and listen to. It’s really good music for having in the background while having a coffee or a quiet drink.
There are some definite New Zealand themes. Other than the place names, there’s no disguise of the New Zealand accent in vocalist, Shane Hollands. And that is so refreshingly different, as most New Zealand bands seem to put on American or British accents.
All-in-all, this album is definitely a keeper. I’ll happily have you play it to me – just not too often. It’s the sort of album that I would love to say has something for everyone, and in terms of the music there is. But the lyrics and the more recital-style of the vocals are going to make a great number of people not like this. And it’s a shame, because it really is quite a good album.
Oh, and any band that calls a track “My poetry is an alcoholic pit-bill in an bad mood” deserves respect.
So, while you’re here, have a video of Freaky Meat doing what I assume is a live-to-air for Kiwi FM.