The Frights have created the dingy love child between swing, doo-wop, and surf punk in thier 2013 self titled LP. This piece is the work of time travelers who went back to the 1950s so they could record an album in a garage. Using audio distortion and filters, lead vocalist and guitarist Mikey Carnevale sounds like a man from times passed. These megaphone-sounding vocals are then accompanied by chaotic echoing guitars, drums that are beaten and bashed mercilessly, and deep, sensual bass. All of this grimy, hectic sound makes for a record that will cause a venue to go hog-wild.
A few months after highschool graduation, Carnevale, bassist Richard Dotson and drummer Adam Lomnitzer (2012-2014) formed this band as a joke to play one set. Due to the energy from the crowd in their hometown of Poway, San Diego, The Frights ironically became a real deal. They signed a deal with Postmark Records at the same show and produced this LP a year later.
The most famous track of this album “Crust Bucket” is a prime example of this sound that hits from back in time. Filled with doo-wop style “oohs” and “aahs” as well as Canevale’s whaling vocals, “Crust Bucket” is the pinacle of this record’s sound. “I’m alone and I got my family/And they won’t stop asking when you leave/Cause they know the drugs taking over me/And I can’t overdose if you’re not right there with me/Woah, and I love you baby/Woah, and I’ll be your honey/Woah, and I love you baby/Woah.” Lyrically this record does not dive too deep past girls and going on dates with them. Despite lacking lyrical depth this record describes the honest feeling of new romance. It’s filled to the brim with cutesy and cheesy lyrics that are perfect for a crush.
The end of side A, “Hard Ticket” is a prime example of these hot-blooded lyrics. “Every summer, every morning/I wanna see you in the light/I wanna see you everyday, every night/Oh every time I catch your smile/I wanna be there for awhile/I wanna tell you everything is alright.”
“Hard Ticket” really emphasizes this intense feeling of new sparks flying. With the intro of this song consisting of captivating, low and slow bassline and Carnevale’s whiny yelps that build up to an explosion of the chorus, track six aims to give listeners the confidence to shoot their shot.
The Frights blended the old and gold sounds of swing and doo-wop with dirty punk influences to create a mixture of sound that ranges decades. Whether they have given surf punk a clean cut refinement, or dragged old swing and jazz through the mud is up to the listeners. However one thing is for certain, it’s one hell of a listen.
Recommended Track: “Crust Bucket”
Favorite Track: “Cold”