It cannot be just coincidence that year on year December brings some of the relevant year’s best and often most dramatic releases. Maybe it is just that they generally come within a concentrated two week burst with the year’s final pair of weeks more likely to be party time for all so that it is more noticeable than in other equally productive months but there does seem to be a real gathering of striking encounters as the year makes its departure. The debut album from UK duo Frauds simply adds to the evidence, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice a glorious cacophony of noise bred rock ‘n’ roll infested with post punk and post hardcore rapacity.
Formed in late 2012, Croydon hailing Frauds consists of Chris Francombe (drum/vocals) and Mikey Alvarez (guitar/vocals), a musical partnership which seems to hail from well before their latest venture burst into life. Inspired by the likes of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Mclusky, Hot Snakes, and Drive Like Jehu, the pair initially began jamming together again with the intent of only playing covers. Soon though their own imagination and creativity took over and new songs emerged. Since then the band has become a potent presence on the capital’s live scene sharing stages with the likes of Idles, Life, HMLTD, Tigercub, Demob Happy, Kagoule, USA Nails, Slaves, Blacklisters, Queen Kwong and site favs The St. Pierre Snake Invasion along the way. Fresh from tour dates alongside ex-Reuben front man Jamie Lenman, Frauds are poised to nag national attention with Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, a niggling hard to see failing such its raw majesty.
Let’s Find Out kicks things off, a riveting tendril of guitar winding around ears and soon joined by the thump of Francombe’s beats. Second by second the web expands, Alvarez’s guitar creating a clamorous jangle with post punk hues to its sharp spice. Vocals equally have a caustic edge, courting the repetitious magnetism of the encounter with punk attitude and ferocity. Sonic shimmers and distortions only add to the virulent nagging, the track as much an intro as a complete offering luring ears and instinctive attention into the waiting depths of the album.
Next up, Smooth instantly twists and turns around the senses, its post punk/alternative rock antics as invasive as they are seductive. Like the spawn of a union between The Three Johns, The Droppers Neck, and Mclusky, the song swings along drawing the listener deeper into its feral majesty before The Feeding Frenzy envelops ears with its noir clad atmospheric drama. Sonic smog devours as vocals provoke, the underlying volatility brewing a ravenous toxic drone as flirtatious as it is debilitating.
From its virulent inhospitality, the mischievous exploits of Sandwiches emerge, the song a rash of hooks and rhythms around brash vocals; all carrying a liquor of humour and captivating causticity. Again there is an eighties post punk discordance in allegiance with modern creative antipathy and again everything uniting in a corrosion of punk irritability which simply sparks ears and an instinctive appetite for noise rock. As it evolves with increasing imagination, the track feeds ears with a delicious groan of bassoon-esque guitar; its barracuda tone pure manna for these senses and matched in addictiveness by the duo’s vocal lures. There are numerous major moments within the album but this is the pinnacle with ease.
The psychotic rock ‘n’ roll of Just Come Of Age comes next to be a strong rival though, beats a kinetic psychosis matched by the wandering tendrils of guitar and vocal theatre. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster easily comes to mind as the song plays with the imagination, crawling over the senses with predacious glee and tenacity.
Suck Jobs keeps the thrills high with its senses scathing sonic enticements and vocal abrasions, the song mercurial in air and relentless in infectious dynamics while Doom prowls and seeps through the body with grievous intent. Its suffocating tones devour mood and thoughts, dragging attention by the throat into a finale which is pure punk ferocity. The track is one of the least easily accessible trespasses provided by the album but joining all in leaving pleasure brimming.
With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice concludes with firstly Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve, another carnally tart and compelling stroll with an Engerica hue to its visceral contagion, and finally through the transfixing saunter of Give In. Rhythmically hypnotic and melodically haunting with a just as appetising acrid edge, the song slowly entangles the senses, its own individual drone like bait viral persuasion becoming more chafing and disturbing second by second.
With a hidden scar of punk as its actual final breath, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice leaves pleasure high and anticipation for their next move lustful. As earlier mentioned there have been numerous really stirring propositions this year yet it is hard to remember many as glorious as the debut from Frauds.
With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice is available now through Till Deaf Do Us Party Records and available @ https://fraudsfraudsfrauds.bandcamp.com/album/with-morning-toast-jam-juice
Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017
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