Freaks | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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We've had stadium house, hip-house, deep house, and microhouse, but the most apt way to describe the London duo Freaks might well be "Dada house." Luke Solomon and Justin Harris combine early Prince, oddball postdisco like Loose Joints' "Is It All Over My Face?," and cheap, early Chicago house "jack tracks." The Man Who Lived Underground (Music for Freaks), Freaks' second album, kicks into gear with the bizarre "Washing Machine," whose title is a nod to Mr. Fingers's pioneering acid-house record of the same name. The Freaks song, however, sounds like it's on crack, as mush-mouthed vocalist Diz chants "Watch my clothes go 'round" while cheap keyboards play hopscotch over a funked-up trampoline bounce. Possibly more delirious is "80's Throwback," also featuring Diz: "Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Duran Duran / Talking Heads and Manfred Mann / [unintelligible--and he repeats it six times!], the Human League / All these bands are new to me." Even the relatively straightforward "Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?" sounds alien thanks to an accusatory, paranoid diva vocal and hollow, almost detuned-sounding keyboards. And "What's the Point?," "Angry," and the P-Funky "Hang Up Your Hang Ups" are similarly addled and speedy, all insistent synth chirps and doubled-back drum machine grooves, tickling your dancing bone until you cry uncle. Thursday, June 5, 8 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.

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