Chris Squire’s endorsement of Frost* in issue one of ‘Classic Rock presents Prog’ magazine pointed out that the genre had indeed progressed with such music that their album Milliontown had presented to the world. Not bound by what had gone before or shackled by the sound of the ’70s, band creator Jem Godfrey had combined his considerable success in the so-called pop music business, writing with what appeared to be some of the production measures employed in his writing for Atomic Kitten, Shayne Ward, and Holly Valance.
Utilising the energy of metal but using heavily compressed sounds created with modern-sounding synths and glitches, Frost* has ploughed its own furrow in the Prog field and has produced three studio albums. The last one, Falling Satellites, had produced a few more songs in the recording stage that did not end up on that album, and they have decided to release them as a six track EP called (appropriately) Others.
So although these songs hail from 2016, such is the futuristic (admittedly a dated term) nature of this music that these tracks could have been beamed in from the next century, where women wear tight space suits, everyone lives in harmony, and no one holds up the PC card because they don’t have to.
Fathers smacks you around the head with a start that’s as subtle as opening your front door one morning and being hit by a shuttle craft. Uncut lockdown hair will literally be parted by the air that is moved by your speakers. It is classic Frost* and is so processed there is a thought of what might be left if the track was rinsed in warm soapy water to see what’s left. But, of course, the dirt in the bottom is the magic ingredient that has exemplified this act. There are credited band members, but it’s almost as if the Borg have programmed the entire five minutes to blow human’s brains out. A huge salvo of a battle charge.
Clouda has the voice of what has been left on the hard drive after assimilation and the realisation of real drums and players now bear fruit. The predilection for a good sample dominates this EP, especially Exibit A which starts with captured voices forming a rhythm back bone which harks back to the science fiction of the first album. A song that appears to be about something slavish in electronic plastic that does nothing to take away the vision of the surviving Earth, worth the entry fee alone fellow androids.
Fathom is a novella from the perspective of the female partner of a protagonist who appears to run away to the sea? This is what used to be known as a grower, as it is quite beautiful on repeated listens and is a companion piece to the final track. However, before that the sampler is again dusted off and little breaths and noises from some ladies are used and sequenced as a percussion track for this thoroughly experimental stab at pleasing the aliens at their coming out party – Eat builds with some great synth strings until they all need plugging in for an overnight charge.
Finally, Drown is a lovely cuddly injection of morphine that roots itself with old fashioned piano, strings, and the gentleness of a warm breeze that would cause Charlie Brown and his now cloned gang to smile at the peacefulness of the effect. It’s the feeling one gets as your wetsuit slowly warms after the cold water has abandoned its purpose in the realms of temperature…
The Frost* universe has always needed a realignment of current to begin to “get” what’s happening, and this EP is no exception. Starting with a hammer blow and ending with the inevitable and required pain killer, this is a great slice at modern prog and a worthy teaser for what surely must come next in the form of a fourth album. Thank you the future, for this offering.
01. Fathers (4:54)
02. Clouda (6:55)
03. Exhibit A (5:35)
04. Fathom (3:58)
05. Eat (4:40)
06. Drown (5:58)
Total Time: 32:00
Jem Godfrey – Vocals, Keyboards
John Mitchell – Guitars
Nathan King – Bass
Craig Blundell – Drums
Andy Edwards – Drums
Record Label: InsideOut Music
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 5th June 2020