let’s go to the hop
Following 2020’s ribbitingly raw Soft ‘G’ EP (reviewed here), Froggy & his mysterious crew of snack-headed bozos are back with their debut full length album of amphibious pond-core.
Mixing 60’s garage with first-wave London punk is the job of lead-off tracks Ringe Rock and Pond Scum. The drumming is tighter than you’d expect, the bass gurgling, guitars raucous and, coupled with Froggy’s angry rants now peppered with a more laid-back disposition, it’s clear there’s been some growth in confidence. Ultra-cheap keyboards feature prominently, as on the catchy Being Louche Is Not A Crime, cockney-accented vocals and great drumming elevated by a gloriously cheesy keyboard solo (“he’s so louche!“). Or the council estate, WILD BILLY CHILDISH pounding of Good Livin’, wonky circus keys adding texture. The crew go all in on joyous side one closer One Chord Frog, a minute-long, garage punk blaster sporting a killer chorus and just the one chord. Oh, you boys.
Side two opens with Growin’ Grapes. Y’know, call me old Mr grumpy pants, but I’m not sure I’m ready for Froggy-as-Southern-revival-preacher, waxing lyrical about his hemorrhoid problem. Maybe by the second or third album (New Wave Of British Pondcore? The Shape Of Ponds To Come?), but this early in his career? TMI. There’s a dance instruction song (Do The Frog), a wearily predictable attack on Kermit (Fuck You Kermit) and a brilliant slice of sweary, garage punk in Tadpoles (“keep yer tadpoles out of the pub!”). That I’m ready for. The hijinks close with the epic Space Frog, practically a rock opera at 3:27. A countdown and some cheap sci-fi sound effects usher in the revelation that Froggy was the first frog-man on the moon. Eh? A final flurry of kitchen sink keys, one more shouty chorus and we’re done here.
Head-scratchingly bizarre and not about to change the face of punk, or garage punk for that matter, one thing for sure is that Froggy & The Snackheads are the apex predators of the UK pond scene. With ten songs in a little over twenty minutes, you ain’t gonna get bored and, while the gibbering humour may be hit n’ miss, there’s some quality, rough-house garage punk larks to be had. I do think that Froggy & his pond pals missed a trick by not releasing this on a lily-pad shaped picture disc but I guess bright frog-green coloured vinyl will have to do.
Released on 1st July by Kibou Records (UK) and Amok Records (Germany). Listen to some advance tracks and pre-order now at Kibou.