New Album Review

Album Review: Froth – Duress

Image result for froth duress

Favorite Songs: Catalog, Dialogue, A2, Xvanos

FCC Clean

As hilarious as it sounds, Froth was conceived from an ironic joke. An idea from two El Segundo, California friends Joo Joo Ashworth and Jeff Fribourg, who would release publicity photos and stories from the road into the ether without ever performing or recording anything tangible. An LP was in the works that would feature 20 minutes of nothing at all…silence, which would be pressed on vinyl with the help of a friend, curious to see how this mockery would pan out. Though there was the concept of a real band, in actuality there wasn’t one. At least not one that transcended into reality from the humorous minds of two buddies.

Fate seemed to intervene in 2012 when Fribourg, a music enthusiast, put together a small festival and one of the acts would have to cancel. Looking to fix the problem, Fribourg and Ashworth stepped in to give the newly dubbed Froth the chance to see some action. Assisted by bassist Jeremy Katz, who had only just bought a bass the previous week, and drummer Cameron Allen, Froth put on a disastrous performance but it was the start of something real and authentic.

Fribourg, who was the initial guitarist, had been replaced before Froth recorded its second record. Then that replacement was replaced by Nick Ventura in 2015 and the band then toured extensively across the US and the UK.

Now with their fourth release and second full-length, Froth’s Duress continues the quest of perfecting a sound that is not quite psychedelic and escapes just outside the realm of garage-rock. Though they have been said to be going more to the route of dream pop, I’m not really so sure. There is a lot to unpack with this band as there are many layers to comprehending the music, though it is still packaged in simplistic containment. 

The opening track Laurel is a great introduction to the sound and feel of the album. Two guitars work in unison to create a montage of the satisfying arrangement, with weird stompbox effects and bends that kill. 

Detail is abundant on the record, with every space and every second accounted for. There are some cool intros by varying electronic devices, whether that be by an omnichord or the keys, which are also used as cool segways into other parts of the songs. 

Dialogue is an intriguing one. It has a more traditional rock vibe, with its elegant cleans and sharp dirty riffs that cut through with single notes and more killer bends. The main melody is echoed by the keys which eventually paves the way to an imaginative bridge that just plain jams with two-guitar harmonies that bring the song to an abrupt stop. 

One thing that really got me into this band was checking out some of their performances on YouTube. Seeing them do their thing in a live setting makes you appreciate them so much more. Rather than having to soak in the music to get past the slight weirdness of it, seeing them play together instantly immerses you in a fascinating experience. These dudes just rock out. That’s it, nothing more and nothing less. Be sure to add this one to your library and give it a listen. 

– Justin Capoccia