For starters, Brazilian band Freaky Jelly have one of the worst names I’ve seen. It ranks right up there with Bad Salad! I realize that the good names are all gone and yeah I guess most of the boring ones are too but Freaky Jelly sound like a shitty 90s nu metal band. But the good news is they are not one of those. The band are more rooted in 90s prog metal, like Dream Theater and even Shadow Gallery.
The good news is they are very skilled musicians and, on their album “Reverse,” they do showcase their skills but not to the point of excess. So I do admire their ability to self monitor their talents. The lead track “Reflections” does properly show both the skill and restraint of Freaky Jelly. The one downside to this track is that it sounds like it ends…like REALLY ends before it starts back up. While I don’t mind false endings, this sounds way too much like a real end.
I think that moment does highlight one of the flaws. The band is not great with transitions. There are plenty of great moments through out “Reverse,” but often it’s a great verse followed by an awkward chorus. There are other times like on “Alicia’s Garden” were each part sounds really off. I just couldn’t get into that track at all. It’s just very awkward and has no good hooks to it.
Vocalist Ricardo DeStefano can sing but too often he falls off a note and his upper register does get very nasally at times. It comes across as being forced which is a shame. Drummer Mauricio Grosso is a fine drummer but he often gets lost in his own never ending fills rather than drive the song forward. And his toms are tuned so high that they really annoy the hell out of me when he uses them, and he does. It’s strange at first because I thought “what the hell was that?” So perhaps a bit less of that would help out the listener.
Again, this band does have the talent and the epic closing trilogy “Behind the Memories” does prove it. The problems just tend to be tightening up the song writing and perhaps playing a bit more to their singer’s strengths. Granted, I certainly would change the name! But what’s in a name right? Porcupine Tree is an odd name too, right? “Reverse” has its moments they just don’t come often enough for me.
2. Highest Ground
3. Alicia´s Garden
4. Nothing to Feel
5. Saints and Sinners
6. Hardest Part of Goodbye
7. Behind the Memories – Part. I – Illusions
8. Behind the Memories – Part II – Wake Up
9. Behind the Memories – Part III – Morning Glory