"Frozen Jungle"

(I Like Records 2002)Frock - Frozen Jungle

The debut album from Frock, a band that is essentially one person, Fredrik Kinbom, and a rotating cast of musicians for the album, is a variety of things. "Frozen Jungle Entertainment" is mellow, low-key and endearing one moment, showing rock and aggression another moment, and hinting at musical experimentation in another moment; the album is, if anything, simply not boring.

Opening with the catchy, Simon and Garfunkel-sounding "Coincidence Rocket Ride," Frock introduces the listener to the dreamy vocals, that for the most part, don't oscillate too much from this original sound throughout the album. With that if-it's-not-broke-don't-fix-it mentality, the second track, the ballad, "The Refugee" is similar sounding, with its pretty melody. Starting with intense drums that die off quickly and segue way into finger-picking guitar, "Looking At You (Transatlantic Version)" brings to mind later, acoustic guitar-based Beatles songs such as "Julia." The slow, mellow atmosphere doesn't last as "Monday Adventure" pushes the rhythm faster, incorporating handclaps with yet another nice melody and giving it a more rock feel. "Lagoa Wish" is definitely a highlight with its Simon and Garfunkel feel, foot tapping rhythm and dreamy vocals. The song is also a great example of the simple but nice lyrics that Kinbom has penned for the album; "She says: Hey, open your eyes / You'll see the same sky / You will reunite." Although "Frozen Jungle" makes you remember the earlier "The Refugee," the song is another dreamy, finger-picking guitar song, almost like a fairy tale with its closing lyrics of "just like once upon a time." Frock decides to break their Simon and Garfunkel sing-a-long with "Turning Off The Telly At Dawn," a more aggressive song, compared to the rest, that despite the abstract second of brass and occasional odd vocal slides, that sort of works but sticks out like a bit. "Violin Terror," the eighth of ten tracks, is another highlight with sliding hi-fi sounds mixed with the acoustic guitar and dreamy vocals, creating an original sound that slowly builds up power and, towards the end, adopts the earlier aggression in a weird and abstract moment that compliments the song. The simple but melancholy "Dust of the Same Star" adds a noticeable bass and flute part that compliment the lyrics "we are dust of the same star" without overdoing it. The final track, a bonus, is "8 Holes," an endearing and not overly complicated - closing the album nicely.

"Frozen Jungle Entertainment" seems more of an album for relaxing or as background music than something that really grabs you and doesn't let go. However, the album isn't trying to be obnoxious or overdramatic, and seems comfortable with its laid back sound. This makes it worth a listen, especially for Simon & Garfunkel fans. The short, matter of seconds experimental and weird clips inserted at the beginning of nearly all of the songs don't really seem to help or hurt the album overall. The album offers a lot, suiting many tastes with a revitalized, fresh sound.


buy it!