FKÜ might be the oldest old-school thrash band you’ve never heard of. As the story goes, the original lineup of Freddy Krueger’s Ünderwear (amazing name, BTW) formed in Sweden way back in 1987, influenced heavily by S.O.D. With no recorded output, they went on hiatus for over a decade before finally re-forming, shortening their name, and releasing their debut Metal Moshing Mad in 1999. As the title implies, 4 – Rise of the Mosh Mongers is their 4th album.
FKÜ‘s family tree is impressive, though random as hell. Drummer Dr. Ted Killer Miller hails from Wuthering Heights and Loch Vostok, both of which are solid (although I question his medical credentials). Guitarist Pete Stooaahl played in ’90s thrashers-turned-nü-metallers Lost Souls, who fucking sucked. And a little research reveals that vocalist Larry Lethal is actually none other than Lawrence Mackrory of the mighty Darkane. And this assortment of people is supposed to play crossover thrash? How the fuck is that supposed to work?!
Not surprisingly, “Larry Lethal” is easily the most interesting thing about this album. In the context of FKÜ, he utilizes a style that combines the range and vibrato of Rob Halford with the grit of Steve Souza from Exodus. Perhaps as a result, Mosh Mongers boasts some melodic moments that most retro-thrashers would be incapable of [Do people even say “mosh” anymore? — Steel Druhm]. Witness the near-power-metal choruses of “Black Hole Hell” and “A Nightmare Made Thrash” for proof. It’s public knowledge that Mackrory is a damn powerful vocalist, but his change of style here may come as a shock to people who only know him from his Darkane work.
The other members of FKÜ are competent, if unremarkable. The songs on Mosh Mongers are straightforward and riff-driven, with very few guitar solos throughout, proving that the original S.O.D. influence is still in full force. In fact, if you’ve heard that band’s Seasoning the Obese EP, you have a fair idea of what to expect from FKÜ — well-executed thrash with tongue firmly in cheek at all times.
Although the songs here are put together reasonably well, the album overstays its welcome slightly. The 4-part “Überslasher,” a series of very short joke tracks spread throughout the album, is annoying and damages the album’s flow considerably. Otherwise, the songs are lean and mean, with only closer “Anthem of the Moshaholics” breaking the four-minute mark. Still, I’m pretty sure nobody needs 17 tracks of this stuff.
FKÜ is most likely the result of a few old friends having a good time and cranking out some old-school jams. It’s not intended to be groundbreaking, or ambitious, or particularly original. In fact, one gets the sense that the band themselves are aware of how ridiculous they are (the word “mosh” is in four of the song titles, for fuck’s sake). Still, in keeping with the ground rules established in my last thrash review, I am forced to give this a 2.0, with apologies to Dr. Ted and company. If you guys somehow end up playing in my town, I will be there, headbanging until my teeth fall out [Good thing Dr. Ted is a doctor, eh? — Steel Druhm].