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The Kings of Frog Island: III

The Kings of Frog Island formed in Leicester, England in 2003 and released their self-titled debut album in 2005. The band includes Mat Bethancourt (vocals, guitars, bass, percussion), R. "Dodge" Watson (drums, percussion) and Mark Bruteux (guitars, bass) with guests Gavin Searle (vocals, synths), Gavin Hunt (bass) and numerous other musicians. Their latest album is entitled III, the last installment in the band's so called album trilogy.

I have not heard the previous two releases so I am not sure if there is an overall theme running through the three albums but their latest is firmly entrenched in the psychedelic/stoner rock realm with just a little bit of spaciness creeping its way in every now and again. This is guitar based music and the riffs vary from bone crushing intensity to delicate guitar phrasings. The tempo is mostly slow to mid-tempo and the band's main influence is Queens of the Stone Age but others come to mind like Alice in Chains, Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Black Sabbath. Distorted fuzzy tones are used throughout and the riffs often drift through the songs with a drone-like intensity.

There is a darkness here that is almost palpable and nowhere is it more intense than in the album opening track "In Memoriam". Not a heavy song by any means but it is more than a little creepy with its sparse drum hits amidst a barrage of outside sound effects, sounding very medieval, while a person recites a long list of names who are to be executed. Thus the tone is set for the rest of the album.

Fuzzy guitar riffs and crashing cymbals highlight "Glebe Street Whores" with its early '70s heavy psychedelic vibe and distorted guitar soloing. "Bride of Suicide" is another trippy psychedelic affair with droning vocals and layered guitar riffs. The haunting "Dark On You" features doom laden guitar work that harkens back to the early days of Black Sabbath and "The Keeper Of…" begins with eerie sounds before heavy sustained riffs and distorted chords resonate through the droning soundscape. The song ends with the repeated words "I am the keeper of all capable beings", a fitting ending to one of the album's best songs.

The ominously titled "Gallowtree Gate" ends the album with marching style drums that build in intensity along with slow plodding riffs.

Stoner rock is alive and well and bands like The Kings Of Frog Island are the reason why. If heavy psychedelic/stoner music suits your fancy you will probably want to dig into this one.


Track Listing:
1. In Memoriam
2. Glebe Street Whores
3. Bride Of Suicide
4. Dark On You
5. The Keeper Of…
6. More Than I Should Know
7. Ode To Baby Jane
8. I Ain't Sorry
9. A Cruel Wind Blows
10. Gallowtree Gate

Added: November 9th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Label Website
Hits: 1588
Language: english

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