1990 November Q Magazine (50)


The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Freaky Styley

Available for the first time in the UK, The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ debut LP was produced by the Gang Of Four’s demon axeman Andy Gill. True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes and Police Helicopter faithfully reconstruct the Gang’s funky puritanism but substitute brattish West Coast doggerel for incisive Marxist analysis. High on tightness and technique but low on ideas, the Peppers rely on joky white-boy raps like Green Heaven, a “wacky” cover of Hank Williams’s Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used To Do and the sicko shock tactics of Mommy Where’s Daddy. Thankfully the singer shuts up for Grand Pappy Du Plenty, a spacious instrumental that closes the LP and hints at a molecule of musical depth.

Despite George “Funkadelic” Clinton’s production credit, Freaky Styley is fake-funk that can’t be dragged far enough from parody to actually be anything itself. Hollywood is a bastardised cover of The Meters Africa while If You Want Me To Stay sounds like something scraped off the bottom of Pence’s pedal bin. Aging schoolboy japes abound on Thirty Dirty Birds, Sex Rap, Yertle The Turtle and Catholic School Girls Rule but it’s doubtful that fans of their current brand of cartoon metal would be much impressed. Charlie Dick