Despite the assertion from the editor of Mess And Noise that my blogging is all “NME this, or Franz Ferdinand that”, my desk seems to be currently sadly bereft of new releases from major labels, or even major indie labels.
Instead, I’m reduced to scrabbling around among the scrag-ends of cultural abandon – or, as the chairman of the board of judges for the AMP put it, “dwellers on the fringes of society” – sorting through the remnants of CDs put aside to listen to that should have been listened to damn years ago but sadly a life spent devoted to “NME this, or Franz Ferdinand that” doesn’t seem to be paying the bills so I’ve only just got round to buying a new computer that actually plays CDs. It seems appropriate that the first such search should throw up Portland’s Boo Frog – pond-dwellers and scum-suckers like myself, wallowing in the deep primordial ooze that once spawned The Cramps and all that nastiness. The music is raw and timeless, psychedelic and trippy: all fuzzed guitars and mean gruff male vocals and Dead Moon-flecked female. One suspects there’s only a minimum of musicians playing, because Boo Frog clearly understand the way silence and the space between the silences can unsettle. There’s no bass. Why would there be? Why would there be? Reverb, as ever, is their queen and castle and legacy and floating jetsam pushing aside the barges of woe.
The search also threw up a press release that indicates Boo Frog formed in the spring of 2009 at a Lux Interior memorial, and recorded all the tracks on their debut deep-end swamp rock album Boo Frog during the three hottest days in Portland’s history, which seems relevant but now I retype these words I can’t quite put my finger on it somehow. Ah yes, context. I dunno. This seems like everything The Racounteurs could be, but are not in any shape or form. I kept expecting ‘Crushed’ to break into 13th Floor Elevators’ ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me‘. Boo Frog are hard. Boo Frog are heavy. Boo Frog crush.
And so it goes.
Do yourself a favour. Quit reading all my blog entries about Franz Ferdinand and NME for a second, and have yourself a little listen to Boo Frog. Pulverise that brain.
P.S. I’ve written about guitarist/vocalist Erika Meyer before.