F.K.Ü. – The Horror and the Metal (Despotz Records)Monday, 5th February 2024
A humorous moniker that stands for Freddy Krueger’s Ünderwear, Swedish four-piece F.K.Ü. originally hit the streets in the late 80’s – taking a ten-year break before reforming in 1997 to chug along at a steady pace. The Horror and the Metal is the group’s sixth studio album, a quick hitting ten-track affair that keeps the horror/humor angles on point next to the fierce thrash presentation. Expect salvos of mosh-worthy rhythms, shifting tempos of a fast paced to slightly moderate groove pacing, plus plenty of vicious vocals with group gang chants in all the key verse/chorus passages.
First off, it’s hard not to notice the raspy, tactile delivery of vocalist Larry Lethal throughout these songs. He has the right grasp of European finesse next to Bay Area / East Coast bite to crossover in a Schmier meets Bobby Blitz or Chuck Billy manner for winning tracks like “The Spawning” or blitzkrieg power monster “Bringing Back the Dead”. At other times, certain musical sequences will have a familiar distant relative relationship to key passages by other artists of the past. Check out the opening …And Justice For All-ish / Metallica tom rolls next to progressive, triplet-fueled rhythms that push the title track opener out in energetic fashion or the speedy S.O.D.-like “Don’t Have to Go to Texas”, complete with chainsaw sound effects paying tribute to the infamous movie series the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A bulk of this material contains the right bouncy to skilled musical interplay necessary to keep the thrash hordes satisfied – look into “They Are 237” or the shape shifting roller coaster “You Are Who You Eat” which contains ominous clean musical elements next to killer double kick/snare shuffle parts and commanding gang vocals incessantly barking the title into your brain.
The injection of horror, humor into 80’s-oriented thrash with punch, gallop and finesse puts The Horror and the Metal into fine territory for all fans old or new to this genre. F.K.Ü. deliver that quick fix sure to destroy your fellow headbangers in pits small or large, circular to multiple breakouts.