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Bananimals

The Frogs

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Album Review

Once again unexpectedly emerging with an official album after a long silence, the Frogs stepped back from the smooth sounds of Starjob with a new collection of often rough, perversely charming, and always entertainingly offensive tracks. A fair number of songs could easily constitute a part two of It's Only Right and Natural, mixing the same elements of sweet folkiness and gay-themed lyrics. "La Da Da Da, La Da Da Dee, La Da Da Dum Dum" — indeed the title as well as the chorus — talks about French kissing some guy and not minding his dentures. Meanwhile, "Love in the Sand" lazily describes a scenario with another fellow where he "blew me...a kiss." Not everything is quite so focused — thus, of course, "Love Me or Die, Bitch" ("make up your mind which!"), with alternately beautiful and stomped piano. An even more perversely pretty example is "Golden Showers," where the music and tender singing are quite lovely, even if the water sports being celebrated aren't swimming and water polo. The hints of melancholia and distress which underpin a lot of the band's best work crop up more than once, sometimes in the simplest of ways, as they do in the lead piano on "One of Them Wore Wings, the Other Did the Painting." Dennis Flemion is still in fine, scraggly voice — alternately breathy, aggressively camp, or just plain screwed up (refer to "Evil Arnold [With the Ugly Name]" for a good example of the latter). When he gets to slamming down some of the morons of the world — thus, "U Bastards" ("you should be sent to hell/you rotten motherf*ckers") — his singing is at its sweetest. "Fur z Musik Biz (10 Years to Waste)" is perhaps the perfect epitome of such an approach — a sickly sweet, tenderly arranged "up yours" to the industry that is simply mind-blowing.

Biography

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...
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Bananimals, The Frogs
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