Odd Frontalot Would Go Kathartic This Album
Posted on October 5th, 2011
Filed under: Reviews — Karl Olson @ 7:59 pm
So with that seemingly gratuitous OFWGKTA reference out of the way, some thoughts on the Godfather of Nerdcore’s most recent outing.
As I listen to Solved, I think the best way to think of it is that Solved doesn’t have a ton of immediate gratification. It’s consistent and no question the cleanest production on a Front album to date for the most part, but it’s also not as out of the gate punchy as previous releases. This is in part because the theme songs aren’t quite as snarky as some of his previous releases (barring perhaps the perfectly honed “Nerd vs. Jock” and the cosplayer-watching to self-commentary anthem “Victorian Space Slut”,) and in general it’s a little more sedate. The pace is literally less frenetic most of the time, and it doesn’t substitute in crazier production choices to make up the gap.
In a sense, it’s a victory lap record, released ten years after the first rumblings of Nerdcore as genre started to come together, but it’s one coming off two (Final Boss and Zero Day) albums that had a surprising immediacy and intensity in retrospect, and that certainly had songs that were no question natural singles and plenty of them. In a sense, that’s the concept of the record – everything is solved, no problems, no “the man is ruining your life/you are the man ruining some one’s life” dark notes – but part of what I think some people came to Front for were the more charged moments. The jabs at power and privilege were ultimately a much defining characteristic of Front than I think anyone was conscious of, and even if it’d be weird to write like that when you have the band with the 4th biggest rock song of the past decade guesting on your record, it’s part of people’s perception I think, and perhaps where some find issue with the album. There is a bit of that flavor in the skits, but it’s much inwardly focused. It’s funny because really, he could make that conflict and self-deprecation the center piece of a song or album these days and people would love it. Well, maybe that’d be too far in the other direction.
That said though, while it’s a different, relatively happier Frontalot, it’s not a bad Frontalot, and perhaps better than if he had tried to keep up doing songs about voter fraud and protesting without feeling it or coaching it in a more themed/comedic song about a military computer taking over. Even if the album doesn’t have much of that kind of punch, it’s still a really fun, enjoyable LP that gets better with every listen, and the production is just stellar the more I think about it. At a listen it’s not an obvious album, but it’s better with each spin. You should give it a listen or three, if not a purchase. You may not find the Front you expected, but you’ll find something great nonetheless.
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