Review Summary: The Chili Peppers continue developing and experimenting with their Styley.
For their second album, original Chili Pepper Hillel Slovak returned on guitar, after touring for The Red Hot Chili Peppers
turned out to create tension between the band and Jack Sherman, who had been the guitarist on their first album. With Slovak back, the Peppers were one step closer to re-completing the formation that started it all in ’83. Almost a year after their disappointing debut, they were ready to try it again, and released second effort Freaky Styley
Though perhaps expected to be a logical evolution, and more importantly, an improvement from their inconsistent, badly-produced debut, Freaky Styley
does not build too much upon the band’s early brand of energetic funk rock. Instead, it borrows heavily from the late 60’s/early 70’s traditional funk scene, resulting in a very relaxed sound, mostly far more laid-back than could be heard on frenzied highlights from the band’s debut such as Get Up and Jump
and Out in L.A.
Never again would they sound quite like it. The boys even fittingly covers two songs from traditional funk groups, Hollywood (Africa)
from The Meters
and If You Want Me to Stay
by Sly & The Family Stone
Logically, the addition of old-fashioned funk means there is a prominent appearance of brass instruments here (Flea is, in addition to his skill with bass, also an excellent trumpet player), which are put to very good use bolstering the pure funk sound, appearing very successfully in cuts such as American Ghost Dance
and The Brothers Cup
. Because of this, and the fact that Flea’s bass is still overpowering, the guitar is yet again drowned slightly, but Slovak nevertheless showcases considerably more talent and funk groove than his predecessor, and also Martinez’ drum beats fit in better with the overall sound.
Although most part of the album is consistent in that traditional funk trend, the later part flirts with a punk attitude. Battle Ship
, Catholic School Girls Rule
and Sex Rap
are simple but adequate, and were undoubtedly inspirations for later appearances in a similar style, such as Punk Rock Classic
off Mother’s Milk
. In between are once again crammed those useless, joke filler tracks (Lovin’ and Touchin’
, Thirty Dirty Birds
) that last around half a minute. They are simply a given in early Chili Peppers style.
To say that Freaky Styley
is one of the most unique entries in the Red Hot Chili Peppers discography is completely fair, but despite the consistent relaxed funk sound in most of it, and forgiving the few moments of filler, there are no real standouts than can carry it to a higher level. It was
however a definite step up for the band, and continued to have the band finding and developing their style. Like The Red Hot Chili Peppers
, Freaky Styley
does perhaps have more historical and collection value, and is only meant for die-hard fans of the band, but by no means is it a bad record.
Freaky Styley’s Red Hot Chili Peppers were:
- Anthony Kiedis ~ Lead Vocals
- Michael Peter ‘Flea’ Balzary ~ Bass Guitar, Trumpet, Backing Vocals
- Hillel Slovak (R.I.P.) ~ Lead Guitar
- Cliff Martinez ~ Drums
American Ghost Dance
The Brothers Cup
Yertle the Turtle
TO BE CONTINUED…