Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Frau - Demo

All-woman hardcore punk band featuring members of Good Throb and Woolf, less prone to flensed-Pixies rise-and-fall of Good Throb, or the art-garage weirdthreat of Woolf, Frau are just as uncompromising in their hardcore punch, but more streamlined for the attack. Like those bands though, it's got that clattering energy where the different instruments are clearly distinguishable and seem to rip around chaotically knocking chips out of each other as they bounce forward.

Hostile lays it out, a song that contains one of those perfect FUCK YOU! GET PUMPED! punk summations in the line "WHAT I LACK IN SUBSTANCE AND STYLE/I MAKE UP FOR BEING HOSTILE" . The songs built of a catchy bassline and some stabbing guitar, all backed up by an undercurrent of keening feedback getting right in your brain and making you feel real weird. I really like the feedback on this tape, it's not enough to be oppressive and ugly in a Merciless Game kinda way, but it's present enough to be unsettling, a thin sharp edge on this noise.


Safety Instructions is a terrific song, over another great repetitive bass/guitar interplay it lays out a nervy anxious love story written like a twitching uncomfortable fuck-off to the doomed twattish romanticism of something like There Is a Light That Never Goes Out. In The Smiths's number "to die by your side well the pain and the privilege is mine" and yeah, it's a sweet line but it's easy, too easy. Life and love is a more complicated dangerous proposition. Fuck a deathwish. The choice to live, the desire to make someone safe in an always unsafe world is a scarier thing than fatalism and suicide pacts. Safety Instructions gets that Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy, not a template, and is full of the jagged present fear of caring about someone more than you care about yourself, its vows of protection are more daring for how unsteady and unconvincing they are. Those sorts of promises are always an effort to convince yourself as much to anyone else.


It's that sort of rawness that pervades Frau's stuff from the sarcastic punk crack of High Heels ("HAIRCUT! HAIRCUT! AM I ON TREND!?") to the stop-start pained/directed rage of Accused and more declarations of renegade spirit on Trouble, it's a punk tape sparking furiously against itself. Rickety in its construction, curt, barely holding together the basic materials of its scathing tone, snappy drums, guitars set to aggravate, clean earworm basslines and the vocals that can pierce and rage on Paris, run along with the bluster of Sherman's Gone and smear themselves into noise on Trouble before the whole thing terrifically blares itself to pieces in cut-crash blastpunk on Nada.



Available here.

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