Froth // Patterns
Recommended Track: Lost My Mind
Listening to Froth, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the last five decades ever happened. That’s not a criticism, it’s a fact – they’re just unabashedly fond of the pop beats of ca. 1964, back when people actually danced to rock and roll. Happily, on Patterns, they nail that retro style, with clean, shimmery, vibrato’d guitar and walls of block-chord organ complementing big, groovy drum beats on pretty much every track. Were it not for their tendency to switch up tempos and time signatures several times per song, they could have played your mom’s prom (witness the slow-dance perfection of “Oaxaca,” which then of course blasts into a hard/fast/loud section at the end).
For my money, “Lost My Mind” is probably the strongest cut here. There’s a stuttering, off-kilter verse that eventually switches up into an uptempo 4-chord jam; it’s pretty much the apotheosis of Froth’s style. I guess they agree with me, because they use roughly the same riff on “Gone”; there, though, they take the core structure and twist it twelve different directions without really developing any of them. I’m down with the experimentation, but it turns out to be the album’s weak point.
When this record hews closely to Froth’s proven formula, as on “Lost My Mind,” it’s pretty much flawless. It leaves me wondering, though, where they can go from here – the more experimental tracks on this record don’t point in very helpful directions. They seem at their best when they get in, croon efficiently, and get out, rather than trying to switch things up all the time to keep them fresh. We’ve got bands like Jaill to satisfy our yen for sneaky math; I’m hoping Froth will fully embrace the straight-up pop they do so well.