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The Golden River (Bonus Tracks)

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Album Review

If David Lynch had written a Motown ballad during the filming of Dune, it probably would have sounded a lot like "One in Six Children Will Flee in Boats," the leadoff track on British Columbia's Frog Eyes' sophomore effort, the unsettling, beautiful and difficult Golden River. Songwriter/mouthpiece Carey Mercer twists the forced imagery of Tom Waits into nightmarish, apocalyptic poetry that references beheaded Queens, lonely hunters, and bleeding babies with a subdued yet manic energy that threatens to explode at any moment. Golden River suggests what would have happened had Eddie Vedder quit Pearl Jam directly after Ten, joined the circus at Coney Island and spent the next ten years perfecting — with one near-fatal accident — the art of sword swallowing. Whether he's wistful and hushed — yet still prone to bursts of falsetto — ("Latex Ice Age") or assuming the role of a croaking carny ("World's Greatest Concertos"), there's little doubt that Mercer is vehemently content with spending the album's entirety in one form of pain or another. This is garage rock for a Sergio Leone film, and while Melanie Campbell's whip-crack drumming may draw comparisons to Meg White, it's the "Astronomy Domine"-era Pink Floyd tapestry woven by keyboardist Grayson Walker and the springy leads of guitar player Michael Rak that put Golden River on the lost, ripped and burned portion of the rock & roll map. [Golden River was reissued in 2006 by Absolutely Kosher with 12 bonus tracks.]


Formed: 2001 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canad

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Victoria, British Columbia quartet Frog Eyes are the antithesis of their quiet Canadian city. Utilizing the carnival atmosphere of Rain Dogs-era Tom Waits, the frenetic energy of vintage Cramps, and the diabolical scheming of pre-Murder Ballads Nick Cave, the post-punk collective created an atmosphere of psychedelic unease with their 2002 full-length debut, The Bloody Hand. Lead singer Carey Mercer, who mined similar territories in his previous group, Blue Pine, leads the indie rock ensemble, which...
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The Golden River (Bonus Tracks), Frog Eyes
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