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Hopscotch Lollipop Sunday Surprise

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Album Review

The idea that the Frogs would release an album with such a gooey, sticky title seems completely ridiculous on first blush — but then again, nothing is forbidden in the realm of the Frogs, which perhaps explains the bunny costumes on the front cover. At once an extension of the usual realm of obsessions and taboos that make the duo so distinctive and a dive into crisper, focused musical realms, Hopscotch could almost be called a stab for mainstream attention if it weren't so enjoyably wrong. Compared to the rougher joys of Bananimals, Hopscotch generally but not entirely relies on drum machines, clean arrangements, and straightforward hooks for most of its length, with smart, subtle production touches filling out things. It's not quite Starjob all over again, but there's a similar dissonance between the radio-friendly music and the subject matter. There's doomy metal drama, Nine Inch Nails industrial beats, sweet, dinky synth-pop, and more — even a soaring arrangement of Bob Dylan's "Billy." Longtime fan Billy Corgan again anonymously helps out as Johnny Goat on the completely straight-faced end-of-a-romance number "The Longing Goes Away." Jimmy Flemion takes the vocal duties for the most part, his warm voice effortlessly delivering lines that still leave one wondering just how serious the proceedings are. For all the trappings, though, this is still the Frogs, and that means, well, consider some song titles for a start: "Nipple Clamps," "Better Than God," "F**k Off," "Bad Daddy" (and, but of course, "Bad Mommy"). "Bad Daddy" itself is a complete scream, with soft orchestration and bells — even harmonica — gently supporting lines like "Bad daddy's children on crutches/At 4:30 takes one out of the oven." The album wraps up on its strongest number, "Enter I," another spin on the rock messiah pose the band works with so well, with suitably over the top music heightening its sheer pleasure. May the Frogs continue to thrive.


Formed: 1980 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the more remarkable acts to emerge from the indie rock scene of the 1980s and '90s, the Frogs were a group with something to attract and offend nearly everyone -- they were canny songwriters who could write and perform melodically satisfying tunes in a variety of styles, but they enjoying marrying them to lyrics that were usually absurd and frequently offensive, drawing eccentric humor from issues of race, sex, contemporary culture, and the music business. While the larger mainstream audience...
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Hopscotch Lollipop Sunday Surprise, The Frogs
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