SAVE THE FREAK

SAVE THE FREAK 

SAVE THE FREAK

Save the Freak's bio boasts that this is a band that is not content to follow "any of the short-lived trends that are so prevalent in today's music," and its new full-length backs up this claim with a dozen decidedly untrendy tracks, plus one whose seeming concessions to current tastes might well be ironic (there's some rapping on "Mole," but the chorus shouts, "Stay underground"). However, this grunge-flavored record would have fit right in with the chart-toppers of six years ago. Formerly known as Goodmaker, this KC-based band got its new name from a stop-and-start tune that offers the album's finest riffs (and not from the Alice in Chains song, which grunge historians will recall was actually titled "Bleed the Freak"). It's not all rock Seattle-style: "Never Before" packs the power-pop punch of Everclear, while the closing track, "It's Not Over," recalls such slow-paced Ozzy Osbourne tunes as "Goodbye to Romance." Save the Freak features two singer-songwriters, Miquelon and Stonehenge, and although it's somewhat optimistic of the group to draw from this a comparison to The Beatles, as it does in its bio, the distinct voices offer even more variety on an already diverse effort. Save the Freak deserves plenty of praise, both for playing songs that don't sample heavily from today's radio fodder and for playing them well.

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