Frog Eyes
Tears of the Valedictorian
Label - Absolutely Kosher
Album Review

When it comes to 'challenging' lead singers, Carey Mercer takes the biscuit. Frog Eyes is a quartet from British Columbia, Canada, and they'd sound a lot like fellow Canadians The New Pornographers if not for Carey Mercer's Tom Waits/ Captain Beefheart/ Nick Cave/ The Cramps lead vocals. Those lyrics (you can try to get to the bottom of what they mean, but there's always the chance that they don't mean anything at all - although there is no doubt that a title like Caravan Breakers They Prey On The Weak And The Old was written by some kind of a genius) are delivered with such pulpit-pounding intensity that it's easy to get swept along. And, like Dan Bejar's Destroyer, Frog Eyes, on this outing, are thoroughly convincing. Rocking as hard as The Hold Steady mixed with the compulsion of Battles, the melodrama is laid on heavy. There's a fair chance you'll recoil, but that would be a shame - there's a chance that Mercer is right...


Mike Rea