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A review of...
Kind of Blah by Frog
Second album from this under-loved Queens duo
This is the second album from Frog, who made a critically acclaimed debut that nobody listened to. That self titled effort was described by Gold Flake Paint as "the best American guitar record of the year", yet the band have had little success on home turf. The second album by this New York duo, Kind of Blah, could be described as an electrified country album and should be another nudge in the arm of the general indie population. A nudge to say that this is a band that really needs to be heard.
Now, New York is probably not the first place you'd think of when talking about country, or alt-country or anything that this band seems to be (on the surface). Because although there are generous hints of country and the sunny vibes of West Coast staples like The Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Frog are very much a big city band with a raw east coast sensibility. It's perfectly demonstrated by the wonky guitar that provides the hook to "Photograph" or the jumped up choppy licks on "King Kong".
The album opens with the muted, dreamy "All Dogs Go To Heaven" which pitches inspired, understated sprinkles of uplifting xylophone amongst an otherwise chilled out drawl. The song is probably a good indication of whether you're going to enjoy Kind of Blah, because, although the tempo and themes change frequently during the LP, there's a summery laid back, beer drinking ethos that stays with you through the full 11 tracks. This, I see as a positive, and so should you.
"Everything 2002" - Frog go a little bit weird on this trippy number that channels a number of more psychedelic artists like Akron/Family and Spiritualized.
"Knocking On The Door" - a bluegrass foot-stomper that retains Frog's slightly downbeat mentality. Probably not one for a hoe-down.
"Judy Garland" - the undisputed number one pop single on Kind Of Blah. A song that proves Frog have the chops to be artistically challenging whilst also having a ingrained commercial potential.