Monday, November 01, 2010

The Kings of Frog Island - s/t

The Kings of Frog Island
The Kings of Frog Island

Clearly a band who doesn’t need anything as pesky as album titles, The Kings of Frog Island is the psychedelic side project of singer/guitarist Mathew Bethancourt, former leader of British butt-rockers Josiah and currently majordomo of grungy garage thumpers Cherry Choke. With Josiah defunct, Bethancourt sets the hash pipe aside occasionally and steers the Kings’ third record towards the earthy hard rock of his original power trio. There’s plenty of trippiness, mind you – Ode to Baby Jane strains guitars through an acid blotter, A Cruel Wind Blows evokes an albatross plunging from wispy clouds into a choppy sea, More Than I Should Know drifts along like Syd Barrett in a rare lucid moment and The Keeper of… would make Hawkwind proud. But a fair chunk of this record is meaty power rock like I Ain’t Sorry, Bride of Suicide and Glebe Street Whores, a mode of expression about which Bethancourt knows a thing or two. Iron fist, kiss velvet glove.

- Michael Toland
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