October 28, 2004

Quintron "The Frog Tape"


You may think you know what they sound like, you may think they simply go 'ribbit', but in all actuality, they're the source of some of the more disturbingly mysterious sounds you'll hear at any forest or lake. Emitting a low-cycle hum, mixed with other odd, inexplicable noises, if you're ever in the presence of a large group of frogs, you'll hear a sound that's most...unsettling.

Of course, it would require a swamp-raised musical marvel like Mister Quintron to fully realize the potential of frogs as musical collaborators, but he's done it, and here it is. Actually, The Frog Tape was first released as a tour-only cassette, but then some people complained that this surprisingly ingenious collection needed to be reissued, and here it is. Enlisiting the assistance of the Boys Club Swamp Frogs, Quintron and his cast of thousands has created what is perhaps the best Halloween mood music since The Exorcist soundtrack.

True, there aren't very many 'songs' on here; a cover of "Stray Cat Strut" is nothing more than the melody line from the song repeated over and over on organs with the frogs in the background. For the most part, it's just haunting-sounding organ and the frogs. As novel as the concept may seem, The Frog Tape is far from a novelty record. In a weird way, it's quite the entrancing listen; the frogs are heard throughout, providing a disturbing hum over Quintron's signature organ accompaniment. Sometimes you can't really hear them, sometimes their presence is overwhelming, but those frogs, they're there, man. If you don't like frogs, then I highly suggest you skip over the final magnum opus, the 15-minute frog symphony entitled, quite simply, "Frogs."

The world needs more halloween music--and The Frog Tape would actually be quite the compelling soundtrack for haunted houses, twisted parties and just plain old weird folk. And, true, you might not listen to it outside of the last week of October, but then again, do you really listen to your Christmas records after the 25th?
Didn't think so. All Hallow's Eve just got a new addition to the canon.

--Joseph Kyle

Label Website: http://www.skingraftrecords.com

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