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Geoff Tate’s Queensryche – Frequency Unknown: It Can’t Be That Bad…. Can It?

Geoff Tate’s Queensryche.
Frequency Unknown

Well kids… Here it is… In your face… Goddamn!… This is a sham of a sham. I know I’m late to the party for reviewing this album, but I wanted to be able to make an informed and honest review of both albums by the two faces of Queensryche. So after a quick scan of Frequency Unknown about a month ago, I am prepared to give it a go.

There is a saying in journalism, “It’s better to be right, than first.” I think Geoff Tate should have listened to these words and took them to heart when writing, recording, and mixing this album. The fist with rings on two fingers showing a bold “F” and “U” would lead you to think this is Mr. T’s not so subtle dig at his former band mates who fired him. A little “I pity the fool who fires me.” and though Tate claims, this isn’t the case, he isn’t fooling anyone.

He also isn’t fooling anyone into thinking “F.U.” is more than a Geoff Tate solo album with the Queensryche name on the cover. Despite guest contributions by K.K. Dowling, Dave Meniketti, and Lita Ford, the songs sound murky, disjointed, and lacking.

Yes, the album was rushed in order to make label deadlines and to beat the other Queensryche to the marketplace, but there is more that points to the issues with the “King of the Empire’s” work.

The main problem with the last few ‘Ryche albums has been the overall crappiness of the songs. This has a lot to do with the songwriters Mr. Tate has been using. When former Rock Star: Supernova contestant winner, Lukus Rossi, helps to pen the opener and first single, “Cold” and it is the best song on the album, you can see how working with Jason Slater, Kelly Gray, and the other usual suspects, is a liability instead of the strength. “G Love”, seems to think it is.

“Dare” is so uncomfortable to listen to because of its very clear message to Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton. It’s just a lame burst of lyrical taunting.
Before I get the positives, I must discuss the re-recording of the Queensryche classics, “Empire”, “Silent Lucidity”, “I Don’t Believe In Love”, and “Jet City Woman”. Tate freely admitted to doing this because Deadline/Cleopatra, offered him a lot of money to do so. Who doesn’t like money? But if you are going to re-record these songs, you have to do them justice, and give their legacy respect. In short… Yuck!

F.U. isn’t all bad. The strange thing is, that if Tate would have taken “A World Without” [Brad Gillis of Night Ranger on guitars], “Fall” [Meniketti on guitar, and “Weight of the World” [Chris Poland of Megadeth on guitars],], along with “Cold”, then worked harder on the re-makes of the classics, this would have been a good album. Not a Queensryche album, but a much better GT solo album than Kings and Thieves was.

Michael Kirk

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