Sunday, August 31, 2008

Freakflag - Experiments in Evolution (K)

Advertisments are a curiosity. On the one hand, they shall present to a neutral person some impressions on the item, like sound, smell, taste etc., but on the other one must all these facets be distilled into one catchy sentence or phrase. There you have the dilemma. Depending on the point of view of the person who wrote such a short description, one facet will be emphasized, while others are neglected. Some praise the band's musicianship, other the unique interpretation of the ideas and to some the mere existence of a band is great. The larger the band, the more of these phrases can be found... but Freak Flag is a small band ... from the underground. What kind of description might be found on their music?

So, there you are, the feeble person, without any knowledge on what the band performs and by mere chance you are confronted with this short advertisement: «Unbelievable experimental outfit, will likely induce acid flashbacks». Perhaps it may be best to consult a pharmacist before listening to the music or do some Google search on the topic "can music have a negative affect on my brain". You might also consider the option where to listen to the music. Who knows what might happen in the time you are 'affected by this piece of art? What would you tell your insurance company in case of a car crash ... while driving and listening to this album? Consider the effects!

Drugs play also a role on this album, yet not an important one. The dangers of the consumption of marijuana are dealt with on «Trans-con» or to be true, the band used samples in which people are warned about the consumption of it. Indeed it works; the track is really fascinating due to the different kind of samples in it and the weird way of song-writing. Freakflag takes the listener on a trip with this one song and it is a quite representative one for the whole album. The term «experiment» of the song title, gives some impression on what this albums offers to the listener: weird electronics, influences from the metal scene, some folk now and then and much more. All had been thrown together and the outcomes of it are fifteen unique tracks; and what about the quality?

Well, the band's potential is unfolded every time they start to rock and to combine a lot of elements into their songs. A little bit out of place are the electronic tracks, as they do not really fit into the whole concept behind the album, but perhaps this is rather a matter of personal preferences than a general obstacle; luckily these play only a minor role in the oeuvre. Characteristic for the music is impression that it creates in the head of the listener: everything seems to be in a flow. Accordingly is the music rather gentle and 'inoffensive' due to the lack of extreme elements, like breaks, noisy eruptions or the like; exception might be the track «End Suture» as well as the middle part of «Trans-con». It all lures the listener into a deep and (a little bit) depressing atmosphere and the music is quite appropriate to listen to in the background or to relax; perhaps its quality could be better would it be more influenced by the Drone genre and much longer, because this way the repetition in the elements could be brought to a new level and some ideas could be evolved further.

All is very calm on this album and even though there is a lot of complexity in the song, it is not perceived this way; the repetition of motives does its best to cover it up a bit. «Experiments in evolution» wants to be discovered, wants the listener to take the trip and needs some time until its full potential will be unfolded. It nothing that could be listened to when not much time is at hand or that would spin in the CD-player on a daily basis. It is a unique example on musicianship that finds its way onto one's playlist now and then; to remind this person on the beauty beyond the barren fields of commercial music.

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