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Freak Guitar

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Album Review

The title sums it up perfectly: 22 tracks of nearly all-instrumental, mostly original guitar music that is at once over the top, wild, intense, silly, screeching, humorous, and beautiful. The thirty-something Swede, a Frank Zappa disciple, recorded Freak Guitar on an eight-track in his bathroom with little or no effects (despite the outrageous sounds you hear). Most of the cuts are heavy and intense doses of headbanging material filled with lightning-fast shredding and mind-boggling runs up and down the fretboard. A few songs, though, stand out from the rest and serve to break up the somewhat tedious pattern (Eklundh himself — in the informative and entertaining self-penned liner notes — says, "Listening to this record from the beginning to the end nearly drove me insane."). There's the fastest version of "La Bamba" you're probably ever going to come across. There's a reeling, upbeat, pseudo-folk music theme that incorporates a 9/8 time signature. There's Kiss meets Django Reinhardt in a hilarious acoustic version of "Detroit Rock City." Best of all, there's a jazzy original called "Squirrel" that features warm, multi-layered harmony vocals. This song is just plain cool. Freak Guitar is a must-have for six-string nerds, but anyone who loves and appreciates groundbreaking music from a truly talented player will find plenty to smile — and laugh — about.

Biography

Born: Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Swedish guitarist Mattias "IA" Eklunch was originally a drummer when he saw Frank Zappa at the tender age of 11. Immediately changing his outlook on music, he dove head first into playing the guitar and dropped out of school at 13 to practice more. Self-taught, he began writing his own...
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Freak Guitar, Mattias IA Eklundh
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