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Molotov Cocktail Party (1994), 6/10
Fireflies (1995), 5/10
F-Letter (1996), 7/10
Conglomerate International (1998), 6.5/10
And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea (2001), 7/10

Virginia's trio Frodus, formed by vocalist and guitarist Shelby Cinca and drummer Jason Hamacher, debuted with the screamo hardcore of the brief mini-album Molotov Cocktail Party (1994), that contains their signature song Sasquatch, the visceral punk-pop of Business Creep, the frantic garage-rock of Aliens Think You're Special.

Fireflies (1995) is an inferior collection of confused songs like the single Fireflies (with saxophone solo), Honest Praise The Great Motivator and Rocketry is my Plan, at the intersection of post-rock and hardcore, something like a less cohesive version of Drive Like Jehu, a style that they called "spazzcore".

F-Letter (Lovitt, 1996) perfected their deformed intellectual screamo in complex agonizing songs like War Dialer and Dumb Terminal, without sacrificing much of the impetus (the pounding Formula), and peaking with the anthemic and hysterically noisy Swing Set (perhaps the standout). It even includes a lengthy instrumental jam and garage freak-out, the nine-minute Buick Commission.

Conglomerate International (1998), a much more eclectic collection, partially influenced by Devo (as evidenced by opener Intention - Removal, by the visionary instrumental The Day Buildings Mysteriously Vanished, and by their cover of Devo's Explosions), expertly corrals anger (The Misaligned Men of Flomaton) and desperation (Down With Flames) in their brainy post-hardcore eruptions. Angular, limping musical excretions like Conditioned coexist next to blasts of pure hardcore adrenaline like Deviant Recovery Network. There is also an electronic intermezzo Transmissions From an Unknown Origin and the trance-like Psaurcacneosisa, which are almost the negation of their spazzcore.

And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea (Fueled by Ramen, 2001) was even more varied. There is still quite a bit of violence: they even evoke MC5 in the beginning of Out-Circuit The Ending, and a rabid version of AC/DC in Year Of The Hex, and descend into southern blues-rock in the second part of There Will Be No More Scum while resurrecting their original spazzcore in The Awesome Machine. At the same time the trio indulges in convoluted creations like The Earth Isn't Humming (a sort of funk-punk ballad). And at the same time they embellish the album with the mysterious folkish instrumental Belgian Congo and the surrealistic alien-industrial vignette Hull Crush Depth, which are more than mere intermezzos.

Radio-Activity (2002) collects live performances.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )