The Frights // The Frights
Recommended Track: Cold
You guys. I think I have a crush. There. I said it. I’m smitten with The Frights’ self-titled full length.
I don’t even know where to start — It all happened so fast. We met just the other day on Bandcamp.
After I saw the San Diego surf punk trio play Church of Fun in Los Angeles, I decided to check out their recordings online. Sparks flew. The planets aligned. It’s almost as if Cupid shot arrows into my ear canals.
You see, the album caught my eye with its artwork. A still from “The May Irwin Kiss,” the first motion picture to capture a smooch in 1896, is all you really need to introduce an album that explores themes of relationships.
That’s what this album is. It’s full of love and break up songs. Ok, now. Surf songs about hooking or splitting up. Sounds kind of cliché, right? Wrong. The Frights makes surf the most and so much more.
At the start of “Tommy’s $20,” my cheeks blushed. Swoon-worthy psych guitar riffs rendezvoused with reverb during our hellos. The song then turned 180 degrees and exploded into a raunchy rockabilly tune. Full of raw grit power, Mikey Carnevale’s vocals charged into the backbeat-driven snare before flowing back into those luscious psychedelic riffs. I might have to sit down for a second.
To be honest, my knees buckle during every encounter with “Cold.” Carnevale channels early Lennon vocals a la “Twist and Shout.” Richard Dotson’s bass groove makes my mind numb and heart melt into one of those infinity pools. Then there’s the come up. Mid song, the drums quite down while Carnevale keeps up a doo-wop vocal. Yelps in the background heighten my pulse before the song eventually explodes right back into that swingin’ twist-worthy riff.
Then there’s “Crust Bucket.” The epitome of a classic ‘50s doo-wop song, it starts off slow with a waltz-guided twang guitar riff. Carneveale’s soft croons drift away once the beat picks up, igniting back into those high-energy howls that somehow echo into every corner of the room.
To be honest, I’m frustrated. Because usually nothing ever comes out of crushes like this. This can all be one-sided. The songs probably don’t even know I exist.
The only thing I’ll look forward to for the next couple days, weeks or months is listening to this lovely, glorious album. Nothing but pure listening satisfaction may come from this. But, hey. Quite frankly, I don’t have a problem with that. Let’s just make this last, ok?