Having just finished tours with Future of the Left and the one and only Jamie Lenman, Croydon duo Frauds have now released their debut LP ‘With Morning Toast and Jam and Juice’ via our friends at Till Deaf Do Us Party Records. They’ve come a long way from their beginnings as a two-piece playing obscure punk covers they liked to tell crowds were original arrangements.
An opening blast of Idles-style guitars and big drumbeats signal the start of the record on ‘Let’s Find Out and this soon evolves into a noisy, mathy piece in the vein of Pneu or Brontide. It’s intense and powerful with the spoken-word vocals coming in to discuss cesspools and living in the dirt. This is followed by the pure riffage of ‘Smooth’. This song is scuzzy, melodic and in your face with the distinctive statement ‘I’m kicking and screaming’ summing up the overarching message of the album. This is followed by ‘The Feeding Frenzy, a two-minute riot that finds the duo rallying against the disgrace of backstage toilets.
‘Sandwiches’ has witty lyrics full of self-observation and comes off like Art Brut covering a Refused song (which is actually something to behold), while the scattergun approach and almost disco feel to ‘Suck Jobs’ reminded us of Marmaduke Duke. It discusses how terrible men can be to women with gang culture (‘Were you with the lads?’; ‘Are you with the boys?’) being condemned. ‘Doom’ is a big, theatrical piece that has elements of rock opera in it. It’s over the top, but you can’t fail to go along with the ride. The penultimate (and, once again, fantastically named) ‘Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve’ opens with an intricate blast of heavy guitar before the band then give a bullshitter a blast for their actions: ‘You either do or you don’t’. When they recall the way he tried to chat up a barmaid, they proceed to call him out on his ignorant and disgusting attitude: ‘You filthy old drunk… deluded skunk… greasy old CUNT’.
The world needs bands (and people) like Frauds right now and this album expertly combines a wicked sense of humour with important observations on the way the world is set and how we can all do better. It’s also packed with moments that can’t fail to make you rock out.