Will Preston

Frost* – Tour EP

by on May.08, 2009, under Albums, Music, Review

Despite being the band the industry needs, ‘Frost*’ has passed the ever straining eye of the mainstream music industry, that tends to overlook such talent in favour of something cheap, short lived and generic. Experimental, powerful and melodic, this modern progressive rock band shows that the genre is far from being dominated by aging bearded rockers and musicians with far too much talent.

With minor success with their first album ‘Milliontown’ and a well received tour that followed, the band provided fans with this tour EP that gave a little glimpse into how the next album will sound, as well as providing some juicy bonus’s to quench the fans thirst for more. The EP is more of a secluded showcase, rather than a flowing album, with unrelated songs being slotted together in no particular order. But it still doesn’t fail to impress.

The route for this musical journey is still laid before us. First stop is the title track of the upcoming album ‘Experiments in Mass Appeal’, a seemingly calm song to start off. A metronome heartbeat, perhaps a reference to Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, starts the ball rolling down a slope that gradually expands as more instruments join in.

First we have a guitar playing a suspenseful melody, with the bass following behind before a melodic grand piano gracefully dances around the rhythm. Vocalist Jem Godfrey provides a cryptic verse, probably best left to your own interpretation: “Of all things you claim to be/The earth beneath the industry”.

An abrupt silence is interrupted yet again as the band appears to explode with sound, energy and passion that would make a burnt rock jump up in excitement and surprise. Progressing into a futuristic sounding guitar solo battling against the epic sounding band, yet another abrupt silence brings us back to the calm melodic guitar, before taking no time in revisiting the graceful, yet tragic sounding, opera that is the full power of the entire band.

After wiping the sweat from my brow, it was time for the next track; ‘Wonderland’, the other song from the upcoming album. Taking a similar approach to the previous song, the tone conveys more feelings of hope and aspiration, with a calm beginning leading gallantly into yet another powerful display of emotionally charged song writing. So far, my mouth is salivating for the release of this new album. Next we have some nice EP exclusive bonuses.

Paying tribute to one of the most well known progressive groups, ‘Frost*’ digs up and reanimates a lesser known song by the Electric Light Orchestra. ‘Here is the News’ retains the electronic sound and train-like pace of Jeff Lynne’s original, whilst adding a heavy guitar focus and an interesting variation on the chorus’s vocal harmony. This cover is a hard song to stop listening to; you’ll be making friends with the repeat function on your CD player.

Unfortunately the adrenaline runs out on the next track ‘Wedding Day’; a synthesiser driven ballad with use of annoying effect that makes you think the band recorded the song on the sunken wreck of the Titanic. Not to say it’s a totally bad song, it just seems a bit out of place after three emotionally rousing tracks. An ambient, yet dreamlike, affair that I often tend to skip in case I fall asleep.

There is nothing much to say about this track, other than it sounds like an experiment with noisy effects rather than a song, but that’s hit and miss nature of this unusual genre. To finish off this showcase is the alternate take of ‘Snowman’, a song from the first album. The previous version was carefully smudged with electronic effects that gave off a wintery feel, music to walk through a snow covered landscape with an expression of childlike wonder.

The new version abandons the bulk of the breezy background noise in favour of a cleaner sound, almost as if we are sitting indoors next to a large fire rather than enjoying the white mystery outside. A little tame and disappointing with a supposedly 3 second joke ending that makes you jump with fright. With three out of the five songs living up to the bands expectations of composing mainstream friendly experimental rock, this EP will keep you warm at night though the cold wait for the next album.

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