FRIGS - 'Crop Circles'
FRIGS have the rare gift of finding beauty in the disgusting.
Tension in music is so important. It can be relieving, off putting and even scary sometimes. But making music that focuses on building and playing with tension is so difficult to master. Too dissonant and it can be nigh on unlistenable, whereas some bands take on it can be bland and forgettable. Toronto's Frigs promotion tool for their following UK tour dates is an exercise of musical tension that differs from the usual methodical take on uncomfortable listens. It helps to have a voice as compelling as frontwoman Bria Salmena. Whilst not technically a musical instrument, her cracked emotional squall of a voice provides a layer of crumpled warmth over a soundtrack designed to incite basic human unease.
"Crop Circles" is a dangerous song on first listen. It's based over a repeated arpeggiated guitar riff and basic (read: classic) post-punk back drop of simple clean modulated guitar, bass and drums. It's initial impression is somewhat fleeting, it's peaks and troughs not immediately evident. But the points of interest in the song are subtle flourishes of broken guitars and blasts of synth-pads that almost feel like a good gust of winds.
The chorus isn't meant to be catchy, but Salmena's breathy sigh of "oh yeah, you still call me honey" is as beautiful as hook that you'll hear in a post punk song all year. The words are less important however than the way Salmena sighs and croons her way through the song, she can go from sounding like the female Jeff Buckley to making noises that echo the feelings of sexual frustration. Post-punk as a genre this year is almost overly aggressive, but FRIGS have released a track here that is the eye of that aggressive storm- quiet, but just as deadly and even more important.
Words by James Kitchen
Catch FRIGS at the following UK live dates
Nov 5th | Prince Albert, Brighton, UK
Nov 6th | Old Blue Last, London, UK
Nov 7th | Hare and Hounds, Birmingham, UK
Nov 8th | Rough Trade, Bristol, UK
Nov 11th | The Castle, Manchester, UK
Nov 12nd | The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, UK
Nov 13th | Hedrow House, Leeds, UK
Nov 14th | Head of Steam, Newcastle, UK