Review: Frontier(s) – The Plains

Released: June 29, 2010

Label: No Sleep Records

Frontier(s), featuring Elliott / Falling Forward front man Chris Higdon, offers two strong tracks on this 7″ that are reminiscent of TSOL’s often under-appreciated mid-80s period where their meanderings into art punk began to take on a bit of a hard rock edge. In fact, this EP’s dark, haunting sound would have fit nicely into the Enigma Records catalog with those TSOL albums as well as the likes of Jet Black Berries and Rain Parade. The thick fuzzy leads of “The Plains” have more than a hint of Dramarama, but they ride a harder edge. “Radiomine” steps back a bit, dabbling in trippy ambiance, reverberating with the best sounds from the basements of 25 years ago.

Finally, a band has drawn inspiration from something in the 80s worth a second take. Best of all, the sound wasn’t overdone the first time around so Frontier(s) has plenty of room to continue making their own mark and bringing a neglected past into the present.

The EP comes on green, white or black vinyl and is limited to 1000 copies. The tri-fold letter-press sleeve has the appearance of a leather-bound book. The whole package offers the best of both worlds, combining great vinyl packaging with a free download for convenience.

Satriani: 6/10
Zappa: 7/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

If you’re curious about my rating system, it’s explained here.

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