Frog
Kind of Blah


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sowing STAFF
May 27th, 2015 | 86 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kind of awesome.

For a lo-fi recording that tops out at just thirty six minutes, Frog’s sophomore album Kind of Blah packs an unprecedented punch. It’s the kind of record that sounds like it should merely float by, traveling in one ear and out the other without leaving much of an impression. After all, that’s what a large portion of lo-fi music has become – this aimless pursuit of something ethereal or transcendent with no underlying purpose. Kind of Blah doesn’t fit into that category. For one thing, it was recorded under an old New York City bowling alley, lending it an inimitable acoustic quality. But the appeal of this album, and to a larger extent the band, extends well beyond the atmosphere they’ve created. Frog fills this piece to the brim with strange instrumental choices and the most atypical of musings, lending it a robust and refreshingly forthright personality that’s difficult not to relish. Simply put, Kind of Blah is the opposite of what its title suggests.

Frog has a distinct personality that is hard to mimic. Everything they do feels like it was accomplished for a specific purpose pertaining to their own lives, with unique lyrics like “I poured kerosene on my old dirty magazines, Mom and Dad don’t be mad at me”, and “Fuck with me darling and I’ll make you pay.” It’s the kind of album you return to for the sheer fact that it’s utterly different, and lead singer/guitarist Dan Bateman sprinkles these candidly frank gems throughout the record to ensure that the experience is both odd and emotional at the same time. In Kind of Blah, you can hear traces of Neutral Milk Hotel, Los Campesinos!, and even The Antlers. Frog’s reach extends all over the collective indie radar, but the taste of their influences is impeccable and it shows in the way they subtly pay homage to each one. One of the most enjoyable tracks on the whole album is ‘Fucking’, which mildly recalls Vacation era Bomb The Music Industry!, as it glides atop Thomas White’s energetic drumming and the occasional emotionally-tinted glockenspiel which is thrown in for good measure. The catchiest part of the refrain is just Bateman melodically singing “Fucking all the time”, and that’s part of what makes Kind of Blah so easy to get along with. Frog feels like your neighbor’s garage band, with the caveat that they’re actually incredibly talented.

While Kind of Blah certainly balances its slow pace and minimal atmosphere with a carefree sense of youth, some of the best moments on the record are its most gloomy and stripped-down ones. ‘Bad Boy’ comes to mind instantaneously, commencing with applause before delving into an artist bearing his soul on stage acoustic atmosphere. Haunting ooh’s drive the sense that this track means more to Bateman than all the others combined, although it may not even be true. It does pick up the pace slightly before falling back onto a gentle, cloud-like acoustic outro. If you’re looking for Frog at its most heartfelt, there is no need to search any farther. ‘Everything 2002’ succeeds in a similar vein, consisting of little more than synthesizers that almost resemble a pan flute underneath Bateman’s exhausted-sounding laments. Everything about Kind of Blah is instrumentally barren, which lends itself to such soft confessionals. Not all of them are potent masterpieces, but at the very least Frog always throws something into the mix to make each song totally unique from the other eleven on record. When executed correctly, less can be more – and on Kind of Blah, that is certainly the case.

Frog is the kind of imperfect band that we all love to root for. Sometimes they sound like they’re a beer away from losing their shit, but most of the time they’re just laid back and trying to have some fun while hopefully also selling a couple records in the process. They’re you and me, and because they openly and honestly pour themselves into their music, it’s easy to attach a special bond to them. Sometimes Kind of Blah is a little too reckless for its own good. Sometimes the songs don’t have the desired effect. No, it’s definitely not a perfect album – but then again that was never the aim. Here, Frog has crafted something truly different, uniquely flawed, and indisputably special. And that’s kind of awesome.



s
Recent reviews by this author
The Felice Brothers From Dreams to DustOther Lives For Their Love
Kacey Musgraves star-crossedSleigh Bells Texis
Make Sure NinjutsuKanye West Donda
user ratings (61)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sowing
Moderator
May 27th 2015


39193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is such a cool album, I stumbled upon it while looking for music since there weren't any big releases that interested me this week. As it turns out, I just happened to find one of my favorites of the year so far.

Digging: The Felice Brothers - From Dreams to Dust

TheBarber
May 27th 2015


4001 Comments


I could get behind this, noice laid-back review too

Digging: Islaja - Palaa aurinkoon

Jots
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2015


7400 Comments


saw this while perusing bandcamp, didn't think to try but might as well. you've been cranking these out lately

PappyMason
May 27th 2015


5702 Comments


Great review man, really enjoyed reading that.
This sounds pretty interesting, I'll try and give it a listen.

SharkTooth
May 28th 2015


14283 Comments


already on Frog's Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/frogtunes/posts/998827010140962

deathschool
May 28th 2015


27315 Comments


Awesome review, Sowing. Will be checking due to the BTMI! comparison.

Judio!
May 28th 2015


8469 Comments


Not too crazy about this so far, but good review anyway Sowing.

Sowing
Moderator
May 28th 2015


39193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Judio I assumed you'd like this of all people

deathschool
May 28th 2015


27315 Comments


Of ALL people

Judio!
May 28th 2015


8469 Comments


Idk, maybe its the vocals but something about this really isn't doing it for me. Granted I've only listened to the one track linked on this review so far.

Sowing
Moderator
May 28th 2015


39193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, that's like one of the least interesting tracks. It's the only one I could find on SoundCloud to embed.

Judio!
May 28th 2015


8469 Comments


Ah. Well in that case I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and jam the rest, I trust your judgement.

Sowing
Moderator
May 28th 2015


39193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I can't promise you'll like it, but I'm not usually a huge fan of lo-fi indie and I thought it was great.

henryChinaski
May 28th 2015


4452 Comments


Song should be called All Frogs Go To Heaven, sounds promising though. Will check this out. Nice write-up!

piroga84
May 28th 2015


362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"sound like they’re a beer away from losing their shit"

hehe you're absolutely right





Sowing
Moderator
May 28th 2015


39193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I switched the embedded track because I found a different one that I think most of you will like more.

RadicalEd
May 28th 2015


9546 Comments


Linked song is pre sweet, his voice is a bit annoying though. Will check the album. Nice review as usual.

Sowing
Moderator
May 28th 2015


39193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually hear a little mewithoutYou in his voice

RadicalEd
May 28th 2015


9546 Comments


Don't take this to hard, but the mewithoutyou vocalist is exactly the kind of vocalist I don't like.

YakNips
May 28th 2015


19994 Comments


yea idk why i got my hopes up vocals are not good
and this is barely lo-fi



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy