FROST* are back with some quality leftovers on the Others EP that heralds the start of what looks like being a productive and FROST*-y 2020.
Release Date: 5th June 2020
Label: Inside Out Music
Formats: CD / DL
Great to have the potent force of Jem Godfrey and John Mitchell (joined by Nathan King) back doing some epic music-making. There’s never enough FROST*.
Not so much of a stopgap, but a reference point. The epilogue to 2016’s Falling Satellites (hard to believe it was so long ago) and prologue to the upcoming 13 Winters anthology-artbook thingy due later in the year. Then there’s the promise of a new studio album scheduled for September. Talk of 3 buses arriving at once…
A smooth transition comes courtesy of six tracks that serve to remind us of what FROST* do really well in addition to hinting that they are in no way averse to heading off into WTF territory.
The latter is served in spades by Eat. Now what does that title convey? Nutritional habits maybe or perhaps something much more suggestive? Is it just my imagination (running away with me)… Perhaps there’s a clue in the music whose supercalifragisexiness initially seems most un-FROST*-like. John Mitchell’s huskiness as he utters the likes of “I like the things that you do” sit alongside a very sparse and funky groove worthy of his Purpleness; all “oww -oww”s and 007 strings.
It’s a brilliant diversion that adds to the epic Gothic signature FROST* that comes with the frantic opening Fathers – an unrepentant drums and bass tour de force. One that slams the brakes on out of nowhere, first on a false ending and then for real with an innocent “night night.”
The thundering battery gets juggled with some pastoral intervals in Clouda to emphasise the dynamics. The techno opening of Exhibit A that seems to offer a manic lecture on the curse of celebrity, evolves into a hardcore electro prog rave. “This is what you always wanted, These are all your dreams come true.” The massive intensity belies the fact that FROST* more often than not get tarred with the prog brush. They may have been cast in the progressive (rock) fire, but have constantly evolved into a many-headed beast.
Bold and close to an edge; positively visceral at times, there’s a thankful respite on a couple of tracks, notably the dreamy faraway ambience on Drown. Aptly titled as the flickering keyboard lines and smooth texture dominate the piece.
Great to see the return of a band who’ve always had something significant to post. Let’s just hope and keep fingers crossed that the new music that emerges from such a fruitful partnership is as tasty as the aperitif of Others.
Listen to Exhibit A , of which Jem Godfrey says: “It’s good to be back with a cheerful song for these cheerful times! This is about being careful what you wish for when playing the fame game”: