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MP3 Freq - Prelude
Ranging from bluesy undertones to unnaturally twisted metal, they have the power to entertain and satisfy
20 MP3 Songs
METAL: Doom/Stoner Metal, METAL: Heavy Metal
Review from Dayton City Paper
Freq: South Park metalheads
Posted by: Admin on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 03:36 PM
By Leslie Benson
Freq: South Park metalheads
If Cartman and Kyle from Comedy Central''s "South Park" grew up and formed a metal band with two of their friends, Dayton''s own Freq might resemble the outcome. Nowhere else will you find such committed, comic, metalhead geniuses with a genuine respect for the recording process and the business of working together as a unit.
Rather than terrorizing a small mountain valley community with skewed ideas of world domination and easy money-making from the minds of children, the members of Freq take on Dayton with ideas of musical domination. Okay, maybe not domination, but they certainly want their crazy songs about watching cartoons at 3 am and multiple skits about sitting in the band''s practice space in a dazed stupor - commenting on such things as a mysterious pile moving in a corner - to be heard. But the humorous, metal-edged tunes aren''t really family-friendly, unless your kids are the spawn of Hell, bent on fighting against the war on drugs and promoting uncensored, late-night psychobabble.
Freq is the perfect band for smart adults and teens with a lack of patience for government mistakes and commercialized B.S. Taking the time to lounge at your PC, chatting on Instant Messenger while listening to the half-aggressive, half-devil-may-care Prelude, the first full-length album by Freq, may go a long way to curing cabin fever and the winter blahs.
Freq was formed in 2002 by members John C. Woody on guitars and backing vocals and N. Keith Byerman on drums (formerly of Akasha), Raz on lead vocals (formerly of Corruption Theory and Mr. Eyetooth & the Majestic Moose) and Ramsay on bass guitar and backing vocals (formerly of Man vs. Man, Drunken Fred and the Nu Metal Explosion). Freq not only keeps your toes tappin'' and head bobbin'', but they also make your tummy roll with laughter like a demented Santa Claus high on more than just his holiday cheer. Their 19-track, self-recorded album gives an example of how the four-man band combines knowledge of the recording process and musical skill.
"All four of us are sound engineers and collectively own our own recording studio," Byerman said. "We feel this gives us an obvious leg up when it comes to making (the process of) capturing sound cost-effective. We hate boundaries and strive to make Freq a band without boundaries. We hate the word ''can''t'' and refuse to accept ''good enough.'' It has to be perfect, no matter what it is."
Working toward smooth sound quality for songs and skits alike, Freq creates original ideas individually and as a team.
"Nine out of ten times, all members contribute creative input into the creation process of a song," Byerman said. "However, occasionally one member will bring to the table a complete idea, and the other members will tailor what they play to the design of that one. Still, nothing ever really seems completely set in stone, and changes may be agreed upon in a song that''s been written months or years (ago). The same holds true with the skits, really. Though, they are more often the brain spawn of one member brought before the others."
As for Prelude, according to the band, the album title comes as a premonition that other albums and surprises lie in the group''s future. "The album itself is a very in-depth look into the twisted minds of ours and what''s yet to come," Byerman said. "We''ve already written most of the music for our second CD, which carries the title A Long Story in a Short Moment. It will have more music than Prelude, but there will still be skits. They will be more succinct, however, and will blend more smoothly with the songs."
Of the songs that stick out on Prelude, "Insomniac Cartoon Theatre" is a favorite for the band and their fans. "Let''s face it, it''s just fun to sing a metal song about watching cartoons at 3 am," Byerman said. "''14 Cycles of Severance'' is also a blast. We all really like the moods and changes. And we (like) ''Entry,'' because it''s about sex."
Typical of a metal band''s taste in lyrical exploration, Fr_q may fit the mold in some ways by singing about women and topics like aggression, but the band tries not to limit itself musically.
"Suffice it to say that, between the four of us, we''re influenced by just about everything, excluding country, rap and R&B, pop and disco. Just about everything else, we like," Byerman said. "There''s definitely a metal edge to our sound, but we feel our actual musical composing generally defies the typical boundaries of the genre of metal."
Thus far, Freq has toured and performed at a handful of regional concerts such as Baltimore''s Metal Mindrage II.
"The show itself was a blast, but the really interesting, crazy stuff happened before and after the show while traveling to and from the campgrounds, which just happened to reside a stone''s throw away from Burkittsville (setting for The Blair Witch Project)," Byerman said. "We camped in those infamous woods. Getting lost was interesting - all four times."
Being music lovers since catching their first glimpse of classic MTV, and listening to such artists as Randy Rhoads and Billy Idol, the members of Freq find intensity in the act of performing live.
"We love the freedom and creativity that writing and playing music allows us," Byerman said. "Music allows you to have a louder voice for your opinions and helps you seek out like-minded individuals. There''s a certain euphoria that accompanies live performance that is very addictive. Each of the musicians has their own thoughts when performing on stage in front of an audience."
Raz added, "Some songs put me in a more upbeat mood and make me want to move around, and other songs just really mellow me out, so I tend to stay in one place."
According to Ramsay, he begins playing a song with the hopes of not missing a note, "and by the end, everything has run through my mind, from when I last shaved to what I might have for breakfast the next day."
Simplicity can be a virtue when it comes to organizing stage shows, songwriting and focusing on the essence of the music. In that sense, Ramsay suggests it is "pointless to worry about the small things in life." Instead, according to Woody, Freq follows other advice and twists its dreams into reality. So far, it has worked.
Freq will release Prelude in January 2004. The band hopes to release its second album the following year. For show updates, visit https://www.tradebit.com.
Reach DCP local music columnist Leslie Benson at [email protected]://www.tradebit.com
Insomniac Cartoon Theatre by FREQ has got to be one of the funnest, most imaginative songs available today. You have to hand it to these thrashers -- they leave the normal subjects prevalant in their genre and just take off into the mind of an insomniac watching Cartoon Network at 3am.
The music is excellent. The drummer is ultra talented and incredible. The bassist and guitarist move along very smoothly and expertly. The recording and production quality is perfect.
The lyrics and vocals -- absolutely hilarious. I have never laughed so hard listening to the Smurfs theme being sung to thrash metal. But this wasn''t bubble gum adolescant humor here that relied on being gross or sloppy.
In short, in this world where musicians either try to sound like all the big guns, or they lack the skill to be taken seriously, here''s a band who remembered what music was all about -- expressing themselves through music and possessing the skill to do it right.
Lana J. Albert
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