The Frantic - Audio & Murder
Label - Sinister Muse Records & Empyrean Records
Release Date - October 30th, 2007
There's not a lot of real punk music left anymore, not punk music with passion. Most of that kind of punk these days tends to be of the political variety, but The Frantic have created a record that encompasses these qualities, while still feeling like a good old-fashioned party.
These young Chicagoans (the oldest are just eighteen) combine the raw power of The Sex Pistols with the hooks of Set Your Goals. Audio & Murder bursts into action with a shout of "We're the Frantic! Who The fuck are you?!" and Ramones-esque "hey hey hey"s over pounding drums and stuttering guitars. "Big Papa" features a massive vocal hook in the chorus along with rapid fire verses that are bound to get a crowd riled up. There's even the faintest touches of synth accenting the guitars.
The growling vocals and undercurrent of power chords continue throughout the next few tracks, and the band doesn't loosen its grip on the listener for a second. "Fast Girl" provides prime opportunities for fist-pumping and crowd participation, as does the driving beat of "Frantic Summer." The lyrics aren't particularly deep, but they're relatable - tales of best friends and ex-girlfriends galore. Every suburban kid will key into the short spoken bit in "Frantic Summer" where two of the guys talk about having nothing to do since there aren't any shows that night.
"Movin' Along" is an acoustic ballad about moving to the city and not looking back to ex-girlfriends. It's got a country vibe to it, which doesn't fit the rest of the album at all. Regardless, it's a pretty song in the vein of Limbeck or Steel Train. After that divergent track, the band leaps back into their regular sound with "Rock & Roll Renegades" and keeps it there for the rest of the album.
The most entertaining track on the record by far is the closer, "Heifer." Clearly someone had a bitter breakup:
You are a fat fuckin' heifer / I said / you fat piece of shit
The best part is that this chorus is one of the biggest hooks on the entire album. There's also handclaps and gang vocals - this will be a fan favorite for years to come for this band.
Audio & Murder clocks in at 25 minutes and 51 seconds. On one hand, I think that's far too short and I want to hear more. On the other hand, there isn't a single track I'd consider to be filler, and any attempt to stretch out the running time would have dragged the album down considerably. It's a great debut album by a band that has heaps of potential; I hope Audio & Murder will catapult them into view of the music community.
01. We're The Frantic
02. Big Papa
03. Fast Girl
04. Frantic Summer
05. Movin' Along
06. Rock & Roll Renegade
07. Audio & Murder
08. I Don't Want To Be Alone
09. Always Gonna Roll
10. Hollywood Homicide
For Fans Of: The Ramones, MxPx, Dude Ranch-era Blink-182
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