Saturday, March 12, 2011
Dutch Treats: The 'Suck It' Sessions
In Denton, TX circa '96 or '7, there were few greater rock n roll forces than the ubiquitous John Freeman. The roster of bands that he has fronted is immense. We could begin with the art rock supergroup Dooms UK, which was spearheaded with accordion wizard Corn Mo (http://cornmo.com/), who fronts .357 Lover and is a whole other story. The genres of his bands spanned faux-German new wave in Telethön to shock-based motopunk in the group Meat Helmets. The first incarnation of the former found Freeman in a white lab coat presenting songs such as 'There is a Man Made Virus Loose in Sector 9' played on various lo-fi casios. All songs lovingly done in full character, complete with German articulation. Uncle Sloppy also fronted the Meat Helmets, which was a nutzo artpunk outfit where all members (including both bass guitars) delivered mock bone-crushing anthems such as 'Everyone is Going to Die' and 'I Jack Off on You', decked out in motorcycle crash helmets adorned with ground beef.
Which brings us to the Dutch Treats. On any given night of the week in the late 90s you might find John doing some variation of this solo project in any number of the dank Denton venues at the time. He was fucking relentless! He was a one man rock n roll army 'just following orders' from the arena rock show going on in his head. He's the only performer I ever recall to use impromtu vomiting as a riff onstage during a guitar solo. Luckily it was on the short-lived outdoor stage at the Argo, but he came right back to the mike to finish 'The Tree Will Grow, Where the Giant Blew His Load', to receive a standing ovation from all ten of us sitting on the lawn at the time. Anyway, he's still around so I'm going to stop talking about him like he's dead or something. He's a man of many talents - his comics are fucking hilarious and I implore you to browse the list of 1,500 or so bands that he has names for, but has yet to start. Visit http://www.sloppyworld.com/.
The 'Suck It Sessions' features some of John's most fundamental song subjects and seeming obsessions - among these, we find drugs, Little People in their many forms and fashions, hermaphrodite porn and various prurient sex practices, 80's sitcom child (and otherwise short statured) actors, and something else important that I know I'm forgetting. This album also features several entirely gutted and reworked covers by George Michael, Bette Midler, Prince and even Juice Newton. Freeman loves his 80's culture, but I assure you these transmutations are just as powerful, endearing and insulting now as they were back then. Being a musician of prolific output, I believe this album (transferred from a lo-fi cassette) was recorded only in a day, but I could be wrong about that. His music enjoys quivering and sometimes squealing, high pitched, vocal stylings, an open E guitar tuning and really wrong headed humor. For comparison he's the degenerate lo-fi little brother of Geza-X.
Dutch Treats - sounds disgusting, but is completely delicious.