The debut LP from Toronto four-piece FRIGS sees them follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadians Ought and Preoccupations and make a play for the post-punk big-leagues. The group are equally adept at groovy, angular brute-funk jams - ‘Talking Pictures’ is the pick here - and sludgy primal rages like closer ‘Trashyard’. Vocalist Bria Salmena is a commanding presence and possesses a fantastic, larynx-shredding bellow.
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I was like "where are the vocals?" but then I figured my headphones weren't working. Everything back to normal now. Also I can't decide whether I'm offended or not by the sleeve which seems to be a woman chained up in a fish tank. Could be a man with long hair though. Either way it's still murder of some sort.
Luckily the music is better than the sleeve. It's in the spindly avant guitar style of the likes of Women and Pre-occupations with an androgynous vocal style that is ripped right out of the Pylon book of growly screaming. Opener 'Doghead' sets the tone with some wailing vocal over a stop/start guitar attack. Women really started something with this sound as bloody everyone is doing it. This Toronto band have some pretty nice dark undercurrents though and 'Talking Pictures' develops beautifully, the twin guitars twanging away delightfully with some pretty nice ascending chord structures.
The best track is 'Chest' with it's kraut grooves and repeating vocal salvos and lovely switch for the chorus where everything becomes sweet....but just for a second. I'm not sure we need another band that sound like Women but Frigs do a nice job of replication and add a few new ideas to the pie.
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