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Frog - Whatever We Probably Already Had It
Digital
£5.99
Out 30th November 2018

Frog

Whatever We Probably Already Had It

Audio Antihero

Expected: 30th November 2018 | 8 track indie rock album

Hailing from 'The Swamp' in Queens, NYC, Frog return with Whatever We Probably Already Had It, the follow up to their lauded 2015 sleeper hit Kind of Blah. A frantic collection of emotional garage rock, wyrd Americana and broken pop.

Debuting in 2013 with a self-titled EP on the now defunct Monkfish Records, the duo of Danny Bateman (Vocals / Guitar) and Tom White (Drums / Bass) flew largely under the radar in their native NYC but received an emotional endorsement from Tom Johnson of popular UK music magazine Gold Flake Paint: The best American guitar record of the year. Seriously. It's like every cult band from the past decade bottled in to half an hour of music.

Two years later they built on the slow burning reverb melodrama of their self-titled with debut long player, Kind of Blah, a textured, melodious, eclectic and ragged love letter to New York City past and present, real and fictional. The album received a more immediate response this time with national airplay from the BBC and a terrific critical response from numerous notable publications. Gold Flake Paint called the follow-up essential, London in Stereo deemed it utterly brilliant, Various Small Flames mused that Kind of Blah is America, while the likes of DIY Mag, CLASH, The Grey Estates, The Line of Best Fit, The 405, The Skinny, ThrdCoast, Loverboy, Austin Town Hall, Artrocker, The Deli, IMPOSE and numerous others had much to say about this unique band and this unexpected debut album. The duo followed the release of the album with a well reviewed 2016 tour across the UK which was later documented in the 2018 film Kings of Blah by director Alex Coppola.

Recorded upstate New York, Whatever We Probably Already Had It is another evolution for Frog as they strip away some of the layers of their previous work in favour of something rough, raw and live sounding. Songs like the intoxicating American, the desperate and delirious Something to Hide and the frenzied Journey to the Restroom live within the groove, big and brash, while Bones and God Once Loved a Woman deliver a purer melancholy and sincerity than heard on loaded earlier material like the poppy Judy Garland or the menacing Rubbernecking. There's a new urgency and intimacy to these recordings but the power, feeling, energy, originality and personality remain.

The songwriting is still wholly their own, a bizarre mix of allusion, metaphor and helpless frankness; it is at once cagey and wholly sincere. American sees Bateman wrestle with the contradiction and guilt of wrapping himself in old glory as he tours his American band, sardonic and desperate he yelps: Yes by God I'm American / God is great he's hilarious / What the fuck y'all staring at before a ranting O yes / God bless the USA / I'm Ok / Call the paramedics / Call a priest / Call fedex / I'm a beast / I'm pretty / Fuck with me? Forget it.

Bones and God Once Loved a Woman revisit cold walks and troubled romances in the sort of timeless NYC mirage that Kind of Blah glamourised in All Dogs Go to Heaven and Irish Goodbye. But here they feel more distant and it's unclear if these are memories or dreams, or if it even matters? Bateman croons: Kid, do you know that you are the guardian of a part of my life that I had forgotten?

Bateman's conflicted loser rockstar persona reemerges briefly in Journey to the Restroom with a shrugging Yes Miss, I'm the king of all of this shit. It's unclear how much of this is a brag or a confession. The album is full of juxtaposition, Don't Tell Me Where You're Going the most traditionally Americana song on here but opens with the teasing contradiction of an electronic drum loop. When Bateman mutters 4-5-6, 7 on down, never gonna make it out of this town it's hard to know if he ever really wants to. Despite critical acclaim and a hungry cult fanbase, Frog never became the DIY Kings of New York but for what it's worth, they still hold their place as the Kings of Blah and/or the Kings of all of this shit. This eight track mini-LP is a welcome return from a one of a kind guitar band. A wild combination of style, sentiment and influences, Frog continue to expel beautifully unpredictable guitar music.

"A safer bet there’s never been – this record is essential."
Gold Flake Paint
"The best American guitar record of the year. Seriously. It's like every cult band from the past decade bottled in to half an hour of music"
Tom Johnson, Drowned in Sound
"Imagine the euphoric pop of Small Wonder getting caught in a time warp to the wild west with Modest Mouse’s ‘Satin in a Coffin’ and you just about scratch the surface."
DIY Mag
"I was taken aback by its apparent simplicity; a simplicity that at first masked a wealth of subtle nuances, wry homages, and nostalgic narratives that were enough to make listeners lament growing up anywhere other than suburban America"
The Line of Best Fit
"A record whose sheer flood of ideas couldn't be denied."
CLASH Music
"Utterly brilliant...they make you nostalgic for memories you never had and take you back to places you’ve never before been."
London in Stereo
"Makes me grin so hard I think my face may actually split into two separate parts."
The 405
"A real treat: hunt down debut album Kind Of Blah forthwith."
The Skinny
"Perfectly melancholy."
IMPOSE
"Making you pine for romances you’ve never had - 4/5."
Artrocker