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The Frog Tape

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Album Review

Declaring itself "werewolf music" and urging the listener to "play on Halloween night!" Quintron's The Frog Tape is more atmospheric than downright frightening, but it definitely evokes eerie goings-on in the dead of night. Originally sold only on Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat's Halloween tour, the album, as its name implies, mixes recordings of chirping and croaking frogs (courtesy of "The Boys Club Swamp Frogs") with Mr. Quintron's Phantom of the Opera-esque organ playing and gleeful cackles, along with the occasional yell or scream from Miss Pussycat. The result is one of Quintron's most abstract albums since Internal Feedback. Tracks like "The Throat" are genuinely unsettling because it's difficult to tell, at first, if the track's cavernous croaking is coming from a human, a frog, or a machine. Mixed in with the more abstract pieces — which range from the simple but effective intro, "Horror," to the hypnotic pull of the aptly named, 14-minute final track, "Frogs" — are tracks that bear a closer resemblance to Quintron's later, more song-oriented work, including the drum buddy-driven "Scary Office" and creepy covers of Johnny Mathis' "No Love" and "Bride of Frankenstein" (aka a zombiefied version of "The Wedding March"). Meanwhile, Quintron's version of "Stray Cat Strut" makes the song sound as if it was always meant to be played by a Hammond Model D electric organ and accompanied by a chorus of frogs. A spooky good time, The Frog Tape reflects the sci-fi mischief underpinning all of Quintron's work, and is also a hip soundtrack to Halloween parties or any other time requiring spooky, but not clichéd, mood music.

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Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Robert Rolston (aka Quintron) has described his organ playing as a cross between the stylings of Raymond Scott, the composer whose music was famously used in Warner Bros. cartoons, and jazz organist Jimmy Smith. Aside from his organ playing, Rolston is a multi-instrumentalist who performs on traditional items like guitar, drums, and trumpet, as well as homemade inventions such as the Disco Light Machine, an attachment for drums where light is triggered by sound; the Spit Machine, a drum machine powered...
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The Frog Tape, Quintron
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