(1988) Bite Down - Ann Arbor, MI
FROGS The Frogs (Frogs LP)
...Best new record of the issue, beating out even the Bats and The Scene is Now. The brainchild of "brothers" Jimmy and Dennis Fleming, this highly refined way rhythmic and layered folk-pop-rock. Acoustic and electiric guitars, drums, strings, and two positively fantastic vocalists are used here in various combinations to create 16 eclectic and essentially perfect songs about god, society, and sex. Nothing else I've heard in a long time can match the Frogs for severe inconoclasm AND extraordinary listenability. These gays, oops, guys, are musically perfect. Really.
Now, are these guys really gay? To be honest, I don't know. I haven't heard the "Homo-Love" cassettes (send away for 'em at the address below) where the Flemings' gay supremacist manifestos were supposedly unfurled but there is a hint of the homo angle on this lp. In the song "Layin' Down My Love For You", an embarassingly emotional tale of sweet fuck love, there is the line "We were lying in the grass/ You had a f-i-i-i-i-ne ass". Ahhh... On the other hand though, in "Persian Cat" they sing that "She makes me meow forever". Clearly "cat" is a euphemism for "pussy" which is itself synonomous with "cunt", "snatch", and "red snapper". Also, "meow" is most probably a coy term for orgasm. Hmm... And yet on another hand, there is the line addressed to a person of unspecified species/gender in "Whether U Like It Or Not, I Love U" that goes "Whether U like it or not I'm going to hump you/ Dry hump you/ tonight". Uh, anyone for pansexuality?
Besides love, (gay and/or straight) there are many references to (goyim) religion. There is a moralistic tone in all of the Frogs songs but the explicit concern over spiritual right/wrong is very pronounced in songs like "Fucked Over Jesus", "Hades High School" and "I'm A Jesus Child". Also allusions to god, lord, etc. abound in a number of other songs. One of the most disturbing references comes at the end of the throbbingly urgent power grunge of "Fucked Over Jesus" when the singer goes "I don't think that any-any-anyone can (fuck over jesus)/ Except maybe Sammy Davis Jr. can". Huh? I mean, Sammy is Jewish and he is tight with Sinatra, but still... Truly bizarre.
Seriously, the Frogs are totally fucking geniuses. Musically, they have no peers outside the best of New Zealand's wired pop shit. Take into account the Frogs' total conceptual and lyrical profundity and you're talking about a band that's so far ahead of the pack it's absurd. And the more i think about it, those Prince comparisons make ALOT of sense.