Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Fright's New Album "You Are Going To Hate This" Produced by Fidlar's Zac Carper Get's Weird

The Frights new album "You Are Going To Hate This" produced by Fidlar's Zac Carper runs deceptively deep the longer you listen to it. On one hand there are a few songs that you would expect from this three piece punk pop band from San Diego (if you have had the chance to see them live) that fall into that do wop / surf punk (kinda) lane and, in fact, one song in particular entitled "Kids" made me think of Fidlar instantly. The other tracks are All I Need and You or Me and while they are ok in their own right it is the other songs (that veer into a more abstract art pop sound) that provide all the fireworks.

Take Afraid of the Dark with it playful production and rapid bass lines. Mikey Carnevale's vocal performance is wide eyed and pulls you in. It has a carnival at night quality. Tungs is like funky tropical punk with emo tenancies. Haunted starts off slow but hang with it. It has such a weird aesthetic and full of veiled imagery. During the more detached sounds, I thought a bit of the Buttertones in a cavernous horror movie. It vacillates between that sound and a David Lynch dream sequence. Growing Up is cool pop pushed through a kind of art punk filter, It engages but I wanted it to go to some unexpected place but it did not. The title track You Are Going To Hate This chaotic punk sounds that touch the fringes of early Pangea terrain and I like that.

The most "We're not in Kansas anymore" track is Puppy Knuckles. With it's weird seemingly ramping down cadence and heavy synth sound it gets real lush and then real spartan with weird touches. I love the production and Carnevale's vocal presentation feels somewhere between The Killers' Brandon Flowers and Twenty One Pilot's Tyler Joseph, in fact I felt that Joseph tone on the last track Of Age as well which might be the sleeper on this album. Clearly the most pop smart track on "You Are Going To Hate This"- Of Age has some truly beautiful production that is more befitting of Kishi Bashi than a scrappy punk pop band from San Diego.

In the end, if I had my druthers and in my humble opinion, The Frights' "You Are Going To Hate This" would feel like a more cohesive album if you left out the 3 tracks I mentioned at the beginning of this review. That being said, Zac Carper (as producer) and the boys Mikey Carnevale (guitar /vox), Richard Dotson (bass) and Marc Finn (drums) have artfully crafted a very cool piece of work that dares to be different.

Robb Donker

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