SLEDGEBACK - Land Of The Freak

Sledgeback - Land Of The Freak

14 songs
36:48 minutes
***** ***


Two years ago I reviewed Sledgeback’s split-CD with The Generators and C.A.F.B., and since then band leader Gabr Szakacsi has released two new Sledgeback records. The man seems to be a downright workaholic who’s been active in Seattle for the last ten years but also often travels back to his native Hungary to record music with his punk band C.A.F.B.

It can be said straightaway that not much has changed with Sledgeback, apart from a new drummer who used to play with metalcore band Himsa. And why change a successful formula? As expected Land Of The Freak offers coarse street punk that way it is supposed to sound. The lyrics, in accordance with the album cover and title, show the band’s affinity for social aware content, dealing blows against every kind of power abuse.

There could not have been a more fitting opener than the minute long Snitch. This brutal and cheeky track instantly sets the mood for the following thirty-six minutes. Most songs are quite fast and rarely longer than two minutes. Occasionally they make it over three minutes, especially whenever the music sound more melancholic. I can’t say which side of Sledgeback I prefer, I guess both have their own merits and complete each other. What they all have in common is Gabor’s ragged voice which he is straining to ever new extremes. Check out The Hate which comes with a good drive, or the rock’n’rollish Frustration and especially So Long Baby, a truly broken sounding ballad. Only the lo-fi track Hey Ballerina which concludes the album doesn’t appeal to me so much.

If you liked Sledgeback in the past, you won’t have any problems with Land Of The Freak. It is also a good entry point for those new with the band, as the album perfectly mirrors Sledgeback’s variety. Let’s hope that they will soon be touring in Europe.

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