Album: With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice
Label: Till Deaf Do Us Party
Release Date: 08/12/2017
By Sam Cutbush
Frauds’ debut album showcases their ability to make 2 people sound like about 5, as well as their ability to mix high energy rock with eerie sounds and have a whale of a time doing it.
Opening track Let’s Find Out starts with an interesting riff that, for me, never really goes anywhere. Backed up by just a kickdrum, you’re left waiting a minute and a half for any vocals. The lyrics do grab you when they finally arrive, and they become more desperate and intense as the song goes on, but the music should match it, and it doesn’t. Next time I listen I’ll probably skip straight to Smooth, as here is where the album really starts for me. Sounding like a brawl between Weezer and Pixies, the energy here is palpable. Lurching from sparse verses to a wall of noise in the chorus, Frauds really hit their stride. The Feeding Frenzy has an organ-like synth riff that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Queens of the Stone Age track. This is another minimalist track like Let’s Find Out, but it’s shorter and sweeter, and has far more urgency. Before you know it you’re asked “who’s eating sandwiches in someone else’s garden?”, and we arrive at possibly my favourite track, Sandwiches. The loud-quiet dynamic is back with a bang, and the vocals really let loose. After an angry middle 8, a Come As You Are-esque guitar sound sees the song, out, with the question no longer about sandwiches, but whether or not we can be friends. Well so far I’m warming to you guys! Just Come Of Age is next, and the ‘POG’ style sound that Royal Blood have massively overused is the bedrock of the song. The lyrics here remind me of David Bowie, seasoned with a little of Joe Strummer’s rage in places. These guys do the loud stuff really well, and I’m keen on taking in a live show as I expect they are something to behold. Suck Jobs is a brutal tune, starting like a groovy Talking Heads homage and stepping on a few effect pedals to kick it up another gear as we go. Doom has about as appropriate a title as a song can have, as it’s got a very doomy sludgy feel to it. Shocking that… It’s massive, and must have some kind of world record for the top heavy ratio of intro to lyrics, with the vocals coming in for the last few seconds. Sorry to bring them up again, but where Frauds differ from Royal Blood is that they’ve made good use of an effect they revisit repeatedly. They just seem to have so many more ideas, which is very evident in the sprawling Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve. The album ends on Give In, a 4 minute opus that starts out slow and gentle, picking up as the synth comes in. It gets bigger and bigger, with more layers of synth added to an already volatile mix before grinding to a halt so sudden you think your phone or whatever device you’re on has crashed. Which is a certain kind of exciting.
Overall, Frauds have put together a highly entertaining and unpredictable album, and I really dig 8 of the 9 tracks, which to be honest is quite rare these days. My advice: Give this album a listen, give it a few more, then do all the liking and following stuff, then go see them. Then, repeat the process (apart from all the liking and following stuff, you only need to do that once).