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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Belt

ALBUM REVIEW: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - Fronzoli

A treasure trove for guitar riff lovers

So often enjoyment of music comes from a feeling rather than too scientific a judgement. And so songs like ‘Lithium’ by Nirvana with a chorus of repeated ‘yeah’s can hit harder than those painstakingly crafted to convey deep meaning.


Sometimes all you need is a memorable or catchy riff and the lyrics, to all intents and purposes, are superfluous. Which brings us onto Fronzoli – the sixth album from Australian psych-rock five-piece, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.


Without a lyric sheet or substantial notes on the 10 songs, the typically outlandish lyrics – or ones which can be accurately made out – struggle to tell a story. What, as ever with the Crumpets, is in no doubt with this album is the smorgasbord of invention and technically proficient guitar-playing.


When not veering into a slightly frustrating out-of-reach composition, the results are great. First single and opening track, ‘Nootmare (K.I.L.L.I.N.G) Meow!’, wastes no time in laying down complex metal riffs with thrashy drums, with lyrics appearing to refer to time spent at an arcade. This and ‘Sierra Nevada’ are two hard-to-beat heavy rock tracks, the latter unleashing a monster riff which dovetails with psych verses which call to mind Ty Segall.

Psych rock voyagers - Psychedelic Porn Crumpets


‘(I’m a Kadavar) Alakazam’ is perky and riff-laden, ‘Dilemma us from Evil’ dives deep into the psych element of their output, with lyrics conveying bewilderment about our existence and ‘Hot! Heat! Wow! Hot!’ is a ferocious punk number which pleasingly races in all sorts of directions. ‘Illusions of Grandeur’ is a brief, folky song with the best lyric on the album – “if you were infinite, you’d still want more” – and features beautifully plucked guitar, while final track ‘Mr & Mrs Misanthrope’ just about pulls off being a three-minute track in three clear parts, divided with distortion and lines from either the small or big screen. It starts with sunny guitar befitting of the Beach Boys before sharing a one-off unhappy chorus and finally, harmonised ‘ooo’s as the band play out the album.


Elsewhere, the tracks are all decent, with fleeting moments of excellence. At various points, lines from TV and film crop up, the funniest being a young girl’s voice explaining why she has a gun (“to get your attention”). The mish-mash of sounds, lyrics and samples can be slightly overwhelming but, overall, the Crumpets pull off yet another heavy psych-rock musical kaleidoscope.


Fronzoli means ‘something unnecessary added as a decoration’ – an appropriate title for an album featuring eloquent, yet often indecipherable lyrics, which decorate the consistently excellent guitar playing of frontman, Jack McEwan, and Luke Parish – the riffs and tunes coming from the duo a treasure trove for lovers of the instrument.


Rating: 8/10


Fronzoli is out tomorrow (10 November) via What Reality? Records

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