The Cardinal Times

Review: The Frights are becoming normal

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The Frights, an American band formed in 2012, has just released their new album “Hypochondriac” on Aug. 24th, 2018. The band has three members: Mikey Carnevale (vocals/guitar), Richard Dotson (bass), and Marc Finn (drums). This new album is a departure from who the Frights used to be and is an uncreative stain on their amazing streak of albums.

Instead of returning to the bouncy and chaotic style of their early EP’s, their first album “The Frights,” in 2013, or the awkward yet empowering, and unique sounds of “You’re Going To Hate This,” from 2016, the band resorts to a bland sound that melds in with every other slightly grungy band.

Although The Frights used to be categorized as surf rock, I would say that they’ve fallen into the all too crowded genre of slow alternative rock or grunge. Before their album Hypochondriac I would’ve compared them to The Butter-tones or Surf Curse, but after listening to their new album it wouldn’t be fair to compare them, because their music sounds like it was made by a different band. It would be like comparing apples and oranges, it wouldn’t make sense.

The band is going in a more vulnerable direction with this new album which on the surface seems like a good idea. But the way the album sounds makes you confused on why you should care about the problems referenced in the songs. The songs don’t pull you into the deep, relatable emotions and problems that were expressed so well in past albums.

The songs also don’t make me want to get up and dance. Instead it makes me want to sit down and try to decipher what exactly I’m listening to and why. The album is a self deprecating attack against the songwriter, Mikey Carnevale. Carnevale is telling us too much with his lyrics instead of showing us with the music itself. Their album “You’re Going To Hate This,” 2016, did a very good job of matching lyrics with the melodies to make an enjoyable and creative set of songs. Although it’s a choice of the artist to express themselves through their mu- sic, this album just seems like the shell of someone we used to know, making for an album that old fans can’t relate to.

Overall the album isn’t all bad. It may be bland, unoriginal, and underwhelming but it has its moments of being okay. The song “Me and We and I” is pretty decent. It has the addition of the harp to add an elegant touch to the song that sets it slightly apart from the other songs. “Hold Me Down” has an energy inducing finale. But “Alone” stands out, it gives off a warm feeling, even with its melancholic tone.

Compared to the band’s past albums this one really falls flat. Out of five, I would rank it a two. It’s dry and over- done. Hopefully The Frights can reconnect with their chaotic surf-rock roots. Otherwise we may have lost The Frights to becoming normal.

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