CD Review: The Shanklin Freak Show – Act II – The Light Fantastic

By January 11, 2009 September 10th, 2016 CD

The Shanklin Freak Show, complete with their ‘industrial glam opera’ are about to get in your face and they will not be ignored. This lot don’t care about what you think of them and they live to make very loud and unsettling noises which come straight from their own personal hell and into you like evil candy for ears. The group take elements from bands that you are too afraid to admit to liking (Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse) and put a fresh spin on dark alternative rock.

On the opening track ‘Stomp’ and then the follow-up ‘The Light Fantastic’ the band sound like a spiteful and venomous Manson around the ‘Portrait Of An American Family’ era while ‘Lizard Man’ stands alone as a defining track ready to please both the festival crowds and the mosh-pits. ‘Revenge Of The Freaks’ packs a wholesome punch and it’s a furious rap-rock beast that comes across very well, even if the chorus sounds cliché.

‘Dark Light’ provides a nice prelude for the surprising piano intro to the haunting and intelligent ‘Playground Twist.’ Up next, ‘Voodoo Doctor’ incorporates acoustic and blues elements for a fun and confident song that harks back to The Doors via Danny Elfman and Rob Zombie. ‘Voice In Your Head’ is a suitably sleazy and dark electro-rock ballad that stands up proudly next to the material of any peers. ‘Funny Farm’ continues this trend with its rough guitars and pounding beats. ‘Dying Dream’ is a prolific track that will have fans of popular electro-punks Mindless Self Indulgence rocking out should they be lucky enough to catch the Freak Show on tour. ‘Anti-Light’ is a slow and seductive cabaret of sound that wouldn’t be out of place of it was to feature on The Mighty Boosh – funky, distorted and very very dirty. ‘Burn It Down’ will have you chanting along when SFS break it out live and this is some particularly inventive Industrial Metal, which is something of a find these days. The final offering on here is ‘The Light Fades’ which acts as a tongue-in-cheek ending in which the band set us up for the apocalypse.

‘Act II’ looks back at what the aforementioned influences on the band have done before in order to create a very welcome and fresh approach that incorporates a variety of genres and styles including nu-metal, electro and Goth. It is a bold statement of intent and all in all a very clever body of work with some fine production and a real sense of drive and belief that comes through within the sound. The freaks are most certainly coming out to play. Get out your make-up and there’s no need to hide those leather pants anymore, the wait is over – The Shanklin Freak Show are here to entertain you.

For fans of: Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Rob Zombie

Check the band out at Myspace and on SPHERE.