Philly is pretty consistent when it comes to churning out great bands and Frontyards is no exception. Frontyards is a five piece indie garage rock band, who recently released their first full length album Carlito on July 22nd.
Let me first start by saying album is extremely unique. There are so many diverse sounds that vary from track to track. With that being said, sonically it isn’t cohesive. However, somehow each song works so incredibly well together. I'm stunned that I haven't heard of Frontyards prior to Carlito's release, but it's safe to say I'll be following them from here on out.
Enough generalized gushing over Frontyards and on to more specific gushing of particular songs by Frontyards.
“Ohio (Westbound)” is my first favorite track off of this album (I have many favorites, but I’m going to try to limit it). The percussion particularly stands out in this song creating an impressive foundation for the menagerie of sounds that build upon it. This is an entirely acoustic song that evokes a summertime feeling with a subtle afterthought of being vaguely melancholy. The relatively short song features soothing vocals and simple, yet sharp lyrics: "the clouds in the sky aren't as thick as they seem they're not/ they will not catch your fall". This song, like many others on the album, contains a strong narrative quality to it. A quality I immediately welcome. My only complaint is that I wish the song was longer, but the brevity of the track is what adds to its addictive charm. Still a lady can dream, right?
This song is immediately followed by another one of my favorite songs off the album “Bleached (Wilma Diss Track)”. The name of the song says it all. It’s a diss track that follows the story of a person that is trying hard to fit in a place where they don’t belong. They ultimately end up losing themselves in their desperate attempts to fit in, while simultaneously emitting a conceited energy. The lyrics end on “you bleached your life”, which symbolizes the death of who they once were. The vocals are, once again, right on point. The frequent pauses in both the instrumentation and vocals emphasizes the lyrical content, carrying the song in a really intriguing way. This is an easy song to hit repeat on time and time again.
When it comes to listening to songs on repeat,“(In)side” is probably my most played song. There are moments of gentle acoustic guitar interrupted by heavy electric guitar and explosive drums. The song’s narrative plays with the lyrics by weaving an unexpected tease into the final line. I won’t give away that spoiler, but I could listen to this song all day. In fact, I often do.
“Adonde Waltz?” is the last track on the album and the final song I'll be highlighting. Acoustic and electric guitar coexist beautifully on this track. The vocals strain in a pleasing style adding a weight of emotion (or feels as they are more commonly referred to as these days) to the contents of the lyrics. The melodic intensity rises into an epic crescendo before abruptly fading out-- a clever way to both end the song and the album.
Picking a select couple tracks to highlight from this album was an extremely challenging task. Carlito is quickly becoming one of my go to albums. For now, I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that I'll be able catch Frontyards on tour in the near future.