Freak Tension is one of the longest running zines in the Midwest. Originally based in Wisconsin and currently based in Minnesota, the first issue appeared in December of 1998. It is published sporadically and is currently up to issue 14.
Created by author MP Johnson, Freak Tension's primary feature is music reviews. It has received positive write-ups in Maximum Rock 'N' Roll and Flipside for reviews that mock bands, contain elaborate metaphors or take tangents that are never returned from. These reviews appear side by side with random, comedic observations and true stories. Each issue features a piece of horror fiction. Some feature bizarre games.
Freak Tension interview subjects have included bands as diverse as the Varukers, H2O, Shelter, the Groovie Ghoulies, John Doe and the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.
Freak Tension covers typically feature crude drawings of monsters and mutants by author MP Johnson. Some, including the current issue, feature art by Bill Hauser, whose work has also graced covers and T-shirts by Hirax, Ozzy Osbourne and more.