Josh Freese - Just a Minute: Vol. 1 (Cover Artwork)

Josh Freese

Just a Minute: Vol. 1 (2021)

Loosegroove records

Orange County drum titan Josh Freese took a nod from his session-mate Danny Elfman, producing twenty COVID fueled panic attacks into a collection of bizarre digestions of brain-thoughts with Just a Minute, Vol. 1, a short-music-for-short Instagram app fans, complete with paired 60 second video-ettes.

As with Freese's previous solo efforts, the LP is rag-tag with random thoughts and genres, often knocking the wind out of itself on accident, but the 2020 themes ring throughout the twenty minutes, leaving a bit more of a lasting aesthetic than 2009's (albeit still killer) Since 1972 and 2000's Notorious One Man Orgy.

"Ain't Nuthin Funny Bout 2020" sets the scene for the album with marching snares and pitch-shifted spoken-word from Freese, as "Where I Have to Go" opens up punk drum loops and odd time signatures, "The Dwarves and the Queens" is a glam-punk standard, complete with low-end saxophone from brother Jason Freese. "Can't Get Married, Can't Get Buried" unleashes lonely thoughts of Costco and the Freese family of poodles under killer synths, while "Baby's First Beard" brings the spooky punk rock to full master. An absolute high moment of the bunch.

"I Might Fix It" and "Headlock Headlock Nicolas Cage" deliver killer catchy vocal hooks and punk rock riffs, while "The Ghost of Hardy Fox" dishes out more creepy ass Freese a-la carnivale. This routine is repeated ten-fold, as "Disneyland is Closed" showcases Josh vox over lone palm-muted guitar, "Foaming Meats" is a cog-wheel of horrifying chants, and finally "Heavy Metal Car Collection" introduces the most Vandals-esque punk rock of the collection. Killer song.

"Wanda is White" is a crooning love swing dedication to Freese's favorite poodle, inviting his brother back for more woodwind work, "2020 Blues" is about as generically produced as the musician can get given the title, and "Get Help" pipes in as a pop punk anthem. "Margot Robbie," "I Took You to the Fair, Didn't I Ruf," and "Your Body is a Nightmare" are about as sonically apart as possible, from more nicotine-soaked Hollywood blues rock, to a delicate piano ballad, and finally a fuzzy new-wave punk scorcher, however the variance and cohesion is as refreshing as it is so electronic-boy in the flesh.

The short LP roasts shut with more glam-punk in "Learning to Like It," the eerie corporate anthem of "Mom Buns," and the psychotic saxophone infused ballad/closer "Lock Down," in which it can be assumed absolutely that the Sting/Offspring/Vandals/Devo/Danny Elfman/etc/etc drummer has completely lost his fucking mind lacking his usual schedule of gigs and sessions. Freese is a mastermind, and while this might be more of the insight into a crazy man's soul than a showcase of talent or merit, it is a fun listen. Definitely recommend Just a Minute, Vol. 1.