The line-up for this album was:
Mattias IA Eklundh - Lead vocals, guitars, keyboards and precussion.
Christian Grönlund - Bass, vocals (on "I Refuse")
Joakim Sjöberg - Drums, vocals (on "Slap Me In The Face")
The experimental rockers from Gothenburg, Sweden are definately not an average band. You might have heard of the virtuosic guitarist and band leader, Matthias 'IA' Eklundh before - he is relatively well known for using dildos and the like on his guitar in live concerts. Their 2000 attempt, Dead Soul Men, is one of the most innovative and technically proficient albums released this millenium.
Straight away, with the odd introduction to "Silence!" at a high tempo with perfect rhythmic execution it's apparent that Freak Kitchen are obivously a talented band. The riffs are heavy, but aren't speed/thrash/death metal - just some hard rock/metal. The vocals on this are also excellent, and perhaps the greatest feature of this album excluding the soloing is the lyrics. Dealing with modern themes, often satirising modern society, the lyrics are not only intresting and thought-provoking, but in many places they are humerous: "Got fired, girlfriend dumped you? Losing hair, got a willy to small? Just choose the right caliber and go beserk in your local mall...." comes from the song "Gun God" where Eklundh pokes fun at modern day gun society.
And the soloing is just astounding. Eklundh's control over his instrument is very clear in how he flows through high speed solos with no difficulty and with plenty of style. His solos are flashy but also hold a melody well. You never think 'Wow, what a wanker' as Eklundh creates a nice balance in his solos. He is also a versatile player too, he can do the uptempo jazz and he can do the standard bluesy rock; but where he really shines is his flowing legato and his virtuosic sweep picking.
The fourth song, "Everything is Under Control" starts out with a clean guitar introduction and some soft singing from Eklundh and the band show that they can build a certain amount of atmosphere. They then kick into some heavy, syncopated riffery showing that they can produce the best of both worlds. The real gem of this song is the chorus though, held together by a highly effective chord progression and Eklundh's excellent vocals, which is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. The breakdown as some syncapoted riffing before Eklundh adds some creative leads over the top, before breaking into a more conventional solo. As per usual Eklundh gets the balance just right in his technical, yet catchy, solo.
Then there's "The Sinking Planet" with it's amazing lyrics, catchy chorus and jazzy solo, or "Deadsoulmen" with some of the best lyrics I've ever heard ("You log in every day to your favourite gang bang site, but still you can't get it up in the heat of the night") and heavy riffs. Or what about "***head" with it's funky, lead for an introduction or "I Refuse" with it's rather standard, high energy riffs before changing into some lighter playing and use of 'The Hendrix chord' which shows Eklundh's versatility and songwriting ability; and the solo in this song can't be done justice by mere words.
So why should you buy this album? Well, it's obviously not your average album, but I can honestly say that I don't own any other realeses (except by Freak Kitchen) that are nearly as fun to listen to as this. If you are looking for excellent song-writing, heavy music without going as far as extreme metal, some of the best solos in modern rock or an album that is just enjoyable to listen to, then this is what you are looking for.