Much has changed for Froth since their debut LP Patterns, a study in retro-pop efficiency, was released on Lolipop Records last year. From touring the country and selling out shows at home to drawing the attentions of international carpetbagger Hedi Slimane, the band’s profile has outgrown their slim setlist by leaps and bounds, forcing them to get serious fairly quickly; a tall order for a group that, as they’ve oft repeated, started as a joke.
Kudos to the boys, then, for not blinking on Saccharine Sunshine, their new Mock Records 7-inch. They neither dispense with the 4-chord guitar pop they do so well nor commit the amateur’s mistake of changing their sound solely for the sake of difference. No, Froth still sound like Froth, albeit a bit gloomier, gazier and altogether more bummed out than what you might recall from the sparkling chord progressions of “Lost My Mind” and prom-worthy swooner “Oaxaca.”
On B-side “Distant Ties,” Froth’s musical calling cards—shimmery omnichord, jangly choruses, tempo changes—remain much the same, at least to start with. They take a solid psych-pop hook and some “eyes/lies” rhyming schemes and mess it around in a dreamy blend of shoegaze, adding watery guitar lines and a lot of experimental fuzzery before letting the whole thing collapse into a vocal-less outro that takes up half the running time. The transitions aren’t completely smooth (is that a dropped note in the middle?) and they haven’t quite mastered the art of blending their disparate ideas into a cohesive whole, but all loose ends resolve into the languid longform outro wherein Froth stretches their musical limbs over 2-minutes of repetition-repetition-repetition à la their sometimes tour mates and nearest local comparisons Cosmonauts. It’s a mess, this, but a good one.
Saccharine Sunshine comes out today on Mock Records. The haul is 500 records: 100 on clear vinyl, 50 on grey swirl and the rest on plain old black. Order your copy here.