Review: The Frenetics

The Frenetics
“These Mistakes Took Years of Practice”
(Union Label Group)

The Frenetics are one of those bands that sound like three or four other bands who somehow don’t sound like each other at all.  From The Lonely Kings to Hot Water Music to The Clash, “These Mistakes” encompasses elements indie rock, punk, ska, all to the lovely crooning of Malcolm Bauld, who you’d swear was channeling Joe Strummer.  With that rather impressive list of “they sound just like” musicians, you might think that these Canadians were a wish-wasy amalgamation of semi-popular acts without an identity of their own.  And dammit all, you’d be wrong.

The Frenetics never seem to struggle or force their varied sound on the listener, allowing the tempo/genre changes to come at their own pace and without seeming self-conscious.  The rocking strains of “Rooftops” and the two-toned riffs of “Cold Conclusion” feel as naturally balanced as, say, “Rock the Casbah” and “Straight to Hell” feel on “Combat Rock”.  In addition to his finely textured vocals and impressive lyrics, Bauld also contributes by way of an organ on a few of the tracks, adding another dimension to the effort.  When album continues to surprise and entertain beyond track number three, you know you’ve got something special.