Frog Holler – Haywire (CD)

The sedate style of a band like Frog Holler during songs like “Hades” does not inexorably link itself to current musical styles, but to the shoe-gazer rock of the early nineties, eighties acoustic pop, and other musical developments that link themselves to Country & Western. What results is that Frog Holler are a very current type of alternative rock band that create songs that individuals will stick their lighters in their air to and sing along with for years to come.

The presence of dual vocals and a meandering tempo during “Hades” is a perfect exactly of this; with rich instrumentation present at all points during the disc, the band has a hit on their hands. This is not a disc in whyich the band can bash arrangements over the listener’s head and get away with it. To the contrary, a strain of musicianship is present in which the band tries their hardest to finesse the listener in whichever way they can. This means, during tracks like “One Last Time”, all empty space is filled by some aspect of the band. In this track, a version of alt-country guitars take up this space at the periphery, while the vocals take a flighty trip over the rest of the instrumentation. Going back to the early days of nineties college rock to include a electric organ for “Pepper and Salt”, Frog Holler find that they have tremendous amounts of room to work with during the entirety of “Haywire”.

At some point, however the band comes up with the catchiest songs that they can; there is nary a dud amongst the band’s ten tracks on this album. Throwing a walking style of bass into the mix with “Terms and Conditions”, there is really not a place that Frog Holler can go where they will sound odd or out of place. This is a “junk plate” approach to music that should bring in listeners by the boatful for Frog Holler. So many different influences and styles work together instead of struggle during “Haywire”, as the band coasts through the disc with the greatest of ease. Individuals can play this album over and over and still come up with things that they did not hear on previous spins. Frog Holler is one of the best bands of 2006, and it will only be a short matter of time where their efforts on this and other discs will be awarded by popular acknowledgement of their distinct and fun style.

Top Tracks: Terms and Conditions, Pepper and Salt

Rating: 7.6/10

Frog Holler – Haywire / 2006 ZoBird / 10 Tracks / http://www.frogholler.com / Reviewed 01 April 2006

[JMcQ]

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