Freak Mythology
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Freak Mythology

Cincinnati, OH | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | AFM

Cincinnati, OH | AFM
Established on Jan, 2012
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The best kept secret in music

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3. Freak Mythology

Freak Mythology, a four-piece band from Cincinnati, have been making waves in their home state over the past couple years. The group have been playing together in 2012, when the members were all still in high school, but only released their self-titled debut album in 2017. Since then, they’ve placed first in the Cincinnati’s Next Big Band competition and the Madison Theater Band Challenge and toured across the midwest and east coast. With hints of classic psychedelia and crisp pop rock, the band integrate new and old influences into tight and often catchy songs. The band also have a penchant for improvisation, as on their track “Surge,” an instrumental track in which echoing guitars crescendo on top of one another, creating beautiful layers of harmony. - Sam Benezra - The University Network


A month or so ago I reviewed a track by Freak Mythology called “Headed Out” In that review I commented on how dreamy the track was, how superb the guitar solo was and how much I loved it. Well now I have a full album of ‘dreamy’, ‘superb’ and ‘loving it’ goodness to review, sometimes I just love my job.

So the album has arrived, 8 tracks (including the ‘campfire’ fun of the last track “Oh Sweet Ganja”) showing off the hard work that Cincinnati, Indie rockers, Freak Mythology have been putting in for the last few years.

“House Arrest” kicks things off, opening with an upbeat bass line by Caroline Joseph, that soon hits us with, as is typical with Freak Mythology, a catchy easy to ‘join in’ vibe. “Haunting Me” is next, another well played, top notch track. “We’ve got to find a way” sings Brad Wehlitz in the chorus, I’m pretty sure that they have. “Wake Up” sounds mean and dirty as its bluesy beat tells the listener to sort themselves out and …….wake up!

“We’ve got to find a way” sings Brad Wehlitz in the chorus, I’m pretty sure that they have.

Now we are treated to “Surge” I will have to check with my thesaurus for enough words to describe just how good this track is. The guitar work by Brad Wehlitz and Ryan Shephard is both intricate and sublime. You will want to turn this one right up, the playing is beautiful, the whole band blend so well as this 6 minutes of instrumental gold caresses you with warmth and some of the best music you will hear this year.

The guitar work by Brad Wehlitz and Ryan Shephard is both intricate and sublime.
“Get Goin'” tells the story of a man realising that only he can change his life, only he can make that decision to do something about it. A strong message that we can all learn from. The star of this track has to be drummer Travis Hanna, as he plays some amazing beats including one very reminiscent of Jeff Porcaro’s ‘Rosanna Half Time Shuffle’. “Headed Out” sounds even better amongst the other tracks. This track really does take you on a journey. Close your eyes and let the music be your driver. “Where Does the Time Go” is wonderful in the way that the opening section just makes you want to dance in the clouds with a huge smile on your face. The song picks up as the guitars burst into a heavier riff exploding into a rock driven rhythm and then gently returns to the main beat. This band can play. Closing the album is the fun inspired “Oh Sweet Ganja” Showing the lighter side of the band as they sing about something that I know little about (shhh) A great fun way to end a superb album.

Close your eyes and let the music be your driver.

Freak Mythology is an album that displays a band that are amazing players, write astoundingly beautiful songs and are surely meant for bigger and better times. This album has to be listened to. It’s the type of album that you will love after just one play, it is the type of album you will have on repeat. It is the type of album you will play to your friends. For me it is my 2017 Album of the Year and it will take a lot for any band beat it . - Pete Divine


According to the bio on Freak Mythology’s FaceBook page, the band were voted “Cincinnati’s Next Big Band 2017” having formed in late 2012; they blend together a mixture of funk and blues rock with psychedelia to create a sound that can quite rightly be considered as “modern classic rock”. Pete’s Rock News and Views (UK) has selected this eponymous release as ‘album of the year 2017’. They are currently located in West Chester, Cincinnati, and thanks to the wonders of social media I was directed towards this album by Mark Winder aka ’TheRetweeter’ – further proof that if you can filter out the reams of negativity, insults and 'Fake News’ Twitter does have many positive benefits!

I must start by drilling down into that “modern classic rock” designation as quoted in the aforementioned bio, surely an oxymoron as only the passage of time can qualify the use of the term 'classic’? Certainly that may be true but I do feel that the use of the designation is justified – even if it is only a couple of days since I first heard of the band. They are barely 5 years old and clearly appear to be active now so that counts as 'modern’ and having listened to them there is no dispute that they produce 'rock’ music that doesn’t require any additional sub-genre endorsement; so that just leaves the 'classic’ word! Right from hearing the first bars and phrases of 'Where Does The Time Go’ my mind was immediately seeking to identify the numerous echoes that had begun to reverberate in my mind; the love scene from 'Zabriskie Point’ as provided by Jerry García (1970) infused with David Crosby’s 'If I Could Only Remember My Name’ (1971) and cranked up in pace with the likes of Spin Doctors’ 'Two Princes’ (1993), add in a touch of solo Tom Petty as on 'Full Moon Fever’ (1989), Steve Miller Band 'Your Saving Grace’ era minus the organ (1969) , and I could go on – it all sounded so wonderfully familiar and timeless yet absolutely fresh, and not in any way a lame attempt to simply replicate the sounds from years gone by; so 100% yes to the application of 'modern classic rock’! Most definitely I was hooked.

So, enough of my reminiscing and creating a check list of music to re-visit, what about this Freak Mythology album? At the present time I find it quite difficult to view anything without it passing through a 'Brexit’ / ’#POTUS45’ filter, particularly when confronted with lyrics such as this from 'House Arrest’; “Stuck here, I gotta find some work / Stuck here, I gotta pay my dues / Stuck here, my thoughts they lurk / But to them, I’m just another jerk / Stuck here, I just want the world back”, I am immediately drawn in to want to hear more.

Gilbert Shelton’s marvellous cartoons featuring 'The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers’ could be said to be very much part of the mythology of my youth, presenting a critique of the establishment, while simultaneously satirizing counterculture – as I waited for the album to unfold I wondered if this band might adopt a similar philosophy.

The album starts with a builder, 'Where Does The Time Go’, a phrase that frequently circulates in my head as the years progress!

“There’s people around me, and they don’t know / Where does the time go? / Nobody knows ……. I’m a little bit crazy, well can’t you tell, / From the smile on my face / I’m feelin’ pretty well”. This track sees the various elements build to a crescendo of instrumental virtuosity. Track two is 'Haunting Me’ and it invites you in with the introductory lyrics “All these questions, they’re haunting me / It’s all chaos, madness, and creeds / There’s footsteps above me, I’m locked inside / I’ve gotta get out of this place, and see what I can find.” The third track 'House Arrest’ sets off at a jaunty pace with an catchy riff to accompany yet more engaging lyrics and is followed by an absolutely stunning instrumental, 'Surge’ follows; this evoked so many memories of great live gigs back in the mid 1970s! 'Headed Out’ brings things to a close with a mellower and more acoustic vibe and more intelligent lyrics which offer an insightful commentary on the conflict between hopes and wishes for a better life, and the daily grind. If these excellent five tracks aren’t enough then there are others to treat your ears on the band’s Spotify page!

Brad Wehlitz - Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Shephard - Guitar, Vocals
Caroline Joseph - Bass, Vocals
Travis Hanna - Percussion

1/ Where Does The Time Go?

2/ Haunting Me

3/ House Arrest

4/ Surge

5/ Headed Out - Donald Strachen


Discovering Freak Mythology, a four piece from Cincinnati, is a refreshing breath of Americana-embedded alternative rock and roll. The group, whose debut album by the same name, finds themselves amidst a flurry of a very whole, satisfying sound. “Freak Mythology” is an eight song collection that is a snapshot of rootsy alt-rock, bolstered by healthy reggae tones, and underlying beautiful harmonies. The vocals of this band are a tremendous asset, and easily inviting on a listener’s ear.

The record opens with “House Arrest,” a relatable tune about the difficulties of confinement. This lead track has a tapping groove, driven by a pulsating bass and friendly guitar riffs. This worked as a nice foil against the second track, “Haunting Me.” An immediate call to action, “Haunting Me” sees a harmony chorus join a twangy electric search through instrumentation. The bass hound, “Wake Up,” implores listeners to “pick yourself up” and offers other reaffirming synonymities. Reggae tones continue through “Wake Up,” with a fervent guitar solo over breaks at its conclusion.

The party peaks with “Surge,” a hypnotic low end piece. The band invokes a California beach progressive sound on this incendiary, eerie thumper. An all instrumental rendering, “Surge” was a personal preference on the record. “Get Goin’” sees a harmonica outro, exemplary of the group’s numerous capabilities to transform sound. The harmonies shine on “Headed Out” as well, a lingering ballad which describes one’s will to move on.

A question to us all, “Where Does the Time Go” rises and falls with breaks and crashes, painting an introspective portrait for listeners to consider. The last two minutes see some serious solo play before the album moves to its final thought, an acoustic sing along entitled “Oh Sweet Ganja.” An acoustic guitar line and tambourine help this diddy remind listeners that after all, “Oh Sweet Ganja gonna carry you home.” Celebratory and relatable, Freak Mythology wraps on its overlying ability to connect people through song.

This is an uplifting record, delivered in several well packaged entities. The diversity of Freak Mythology’s alternative sound bleeds through each of the eight songs, and is easy to enjoy. - Charles Frank


The record features shuffling drums that you can’t help but nod to, clever guitar and bass riffs, and tight vocals. With eight tracks and 35 minutes worth of music, it’s a quick record, but easy to really dive into. - Abby Kruthoffer


Discography

"Freak Mythology" Released April 7th, 2017.

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Bio

Freak Mythology released their debut album in April of 2017 and in just over a year's time has become Cincinnati's premier rock act, winning back to back battle of the bands style competitions, packing out shows all over Ohio, and just recently a nomination in the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for the best rock act. (Winner announced on November 25th)

Influenced by a wide array of genres, Freak Mythology mixes funk grooves with an underlying psychedelia that conceives a substantial tone of liveliness, with an honest intent. This creates sound that has been described as "so wonderfully familiar and timeless yet absolutely fresh, and not in any way a lame attempt to simply replicate the sounds from years gone by” by music blogger Donald Strachen. 

In April of 2017, Freak Mythology released their self-titled debut record, focusing on their foundation in sound. Featuring the songs 'House Arrest', ‘Haunting Me’, ‘Wake Up’, the mid-album instrumental ‘Surge', 'Get Goin’, ‘Headed Out’, and ‘Where Does the Time Go’, showing elements of the musical diversity in Freak Mythology, and illustrating not only the intense dynamics and complex abilities of the members but also the deeper meanings that are created within the songwriting.

Currently, Freak Mythology is writing, creating, and playing their music around the midwest and furthering the reach of their sound. In their live show, frontman Brad Wehlitz, guitarist Ryan Shephard, bassist Caroline Joseph, and percussionist Travis Hanna come together, in order to bring together.

Band Members