Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Frog Eyes - Tears of the Valedictorian

Download: Frog Eyes - "Reform the Countryside"

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to have my hands on this record yet. According to Absolutely Kosher, the album's not supposed to drop until May 1. In any event, a friend of mine sent this to me last week, and I pretty much haven't stopped listening since. After a slight dip in form with 2006's The Future is Inter-Disciplinary or Not at All, Casey Mercer and Frog Eyes have pounded out another worthwhile batch of chaotic pop sprawlers.

I've always thought that Frog Eyes sound like a fingerpainting. The melodies are splotchy and splattered all over the canvas, but every so often the different noises come together in an oddly beautiful way. At his best, Mercer writes pleasant-enough pop songs, the sort of stuff that my Grandma could enjoy if you stripped away all the keyboards, distorted guitars, compressed vocals and all the other crap he piles on. But the best thing about Frog Eyes is the extra stuff. Most artists ruin songs in the studio, but the sweep and weird layered expanse somehow transforms Frog Eyes' best material, like "Reform the Countryside."

(Pete Farrell)

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