Review Summary: A mathy, dynamic post-hardcore accomplishment.
Frodus is a textbook example of a post-hardcore band who knew what they were doing. They fall almost directly between hardcore and indie, drawing on attacking chords and hoarse vocals as often as they subtly shift dynamics and play with time sigs and atmosphere. This is most noticeable on their swan song record, And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea
; the band is clearly at their peak and seem especially confident here.
It is notable that Frodus is one of those bands that doesn't have any fifth wheel. Every member contributes something interesting on Weapons
, and they have good ears to boot. While most would point to the guitars on this record in an attempt to define it, I think the amalgamation of individual efforts here is what succeeds: the bass is always as interesting, if not more interesting, than the guitar work, the singing ranges from resigned to shrill emotional yelling, and the drums lay down rhythms that make nearly every track. The guitar is just as important as all of these elements, effortlessly shifting dynamics and patterns to create even more mood on these tracks.
Frodus' willingness to step outside their boundaries is also worthy of mentioning. One of the most amazing tracks here, "Belgian Congo", is a brooding six minute instrumental that is more than just a post-hardcore song without words, establishing the band's individual and collective talents. Songs like "6-99" and "The Awesome Machine" have excellent climaxes and crescendoes. Though the band's sound can get a bit tiresome on some tracks, the next is usually ready to pick up any slack attributed by ushering in new ideas.
And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea
is gorgeous, thought-provoking, and a testament to post-hardcore all at once. While it does have its relatively minimal flaws, it sends Frodus out on a particularly strong note and is definitely a welcome contribution from a group of seasoned musicians. Anyone interested in indie, hardcore, and especially post-hardcore should give it a listen, as it is definitely worth that much.