Frog Eyes from Victoria, Vancouver
Island are a Post-Punk/Post-Rock collective surrounding
singer and guitarist Carey Mercer as well as his spouse
and drummer Melanie Campbell. The Canadian band seems
to be only bound to its own world, especially when it
comes to Carey Mercer with his extravagant lyrics and
his distinctive voice, sounding like a wild mixture
of Bowie and Beefheart. Their sound is strong, but not
because of heavy riffs and powerful drums. Their energy
is rooted in quirly layers, in an incessant, whirring
flow, in an intensity which doesn't want to be restrained
when it comes to voice, instruments and arrangements.
Exertion and unpredictability are prefered to any kind
of arbitrariness. Responsible for this is not only Mercer,
but the band he has gathered around himself. His wife
Melanie Campbell for example, who has been there from
the beginning and created a very special way of playing
drums, enforcing the voice, letting it jump and move.
However, since their last release "Tears Of The Valediction"
in 2007, the band line-up has changed a lot. Even though
Spencer Krug, Mccloud Zicmuse and Michael Rak have left
the band, Frog Eyes soon got a suitable replacement
for them when Ryan Beattie and Megan Boddy joined the
group. On their Spring 2010 album "Paul's Tomb: A Triumph"
which has been released via Dead Oceans, the majestic
shredding between Mercer and Ryan Beattie recalls everything
from Neil Young/Danny Whitten's work on early Young
recordings to Tom Verlaine and even, occasionally, Hendrix.
The synths weave in and out of this buzzing wall of
sound, and new Frog Eyes member Megan Boddy's sweet
backing vocals are a kind foil for Mercer's wail. The
rawness and punk rock spirit delivered on their new
record is grounded in an approach of recording many
of the vocals live off the floor. It is an album with
weight. It's wrapped in a gauze of fuzz, but a fuzz
that's neither yesteryear nor painfully now. Frog eyes
are an extraordinarily good live band which loves to
tour, the encounter with the audience and of course,
the irretrievable moment of the show.