Dan Bateman, lead singer and guitarist of Frog, writes that their new album, Kind of Blah, is “an attempt to engage modern musical ideas from a 1950s style of arrangement, and a was a complete failure in that respect but a success in most others.” The album drops May 25th on London indie label Audio Antihero.
Frog cites many 1950’s and classic country influences. Those influences aren’t readily apparent at first listen, but upon repeated (and repeated) spins of Kind of Blah, I recognize what Bateman meant. The songs ache with a particular type of confessional honesty, one that classic stars like Hank Williams traded in. In Hank’s day, you could just say “I’m so lonesome I could cry,” but nowadays it’s a little tougher.
I watched you from the kitchen window
I want to call you I just play nintendo
Croons Bateman on catchyalater, the 8th track on Kind of Blah.
Repeated mentions of sodas, Metrocards, late-night McDonalds, and video games make this record feel like it comes from somewhere a few layers underneath the skin. Scenes of lonely Queens, nighttime drives around New York City, desperate sex in tiny apartments, and even Patrick Ewing build a character behind the tunes as well. You feel like you’re inhabiting someone’s mind, someone sensitive, a little bit desperate, who might fall too hard for the wrong girl or just be too afraid to talk to her.
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