poison to the mind

21Sep/053

we’re not using titular punctuation

More live bootleggy* stuff with girls singing; we'll get back to out-of-print records and such in a day or two.

Australian twee-core band Frente managed to blow their career by being associated with a novelty song twice, in different countries and with different songs. Their big hit at home, a bouncy piece of fluff with a Play-School video, brought them broad commercial success for a time, but also had them unfairly tagged as bright and cartoony kiddie music in the mind of the general public. After this, they managed to break overseas in a minor way with a cover of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" (or of Even As We Speak's cover of New Order's etc, but never mind that), only to - of course - then be thought of as "that band that did that acoustic version of Bizarre Love Triangle..."

They regrouped, shifted line-up and recorded a more "mature" follow-up album with Booga Bear and Cure producer Dave Allen, but it was too late to redeem their reputation, and sank like a stone under the weight of a massive, advance-gobbling array of limited-edition multi-formats (no shit: 7"s with individual polaroids by each member of the band, shaped CD singles which form a foot when you buy all three versions, all kinds of nonsense). And then seven years later they reformed! and did a new EP! and a sold-out tour! And then started hibernating again.

But lead singer Angie Hart is actively playing solo and with other bands in LA and Australia, and is doing the Annandale TONIGHT in Sydney. So here's some stuff from Frente's own turn at the same venue nine months ago.

This is from their "naive period", when Hart and co-writer Simon Austin were cranking out songs that strained to break one minute and eschewed any faffing about with choruses or repeated motifs or anything like that. See the EP Whirled for more:
Frente - Risk (live at the Annandale 2005)

"Labour Of Love" was the medium-sized hit off that EP, and a re-recording later headlined an OS compilation that took the New Order cover to the world. Probably sums up their aesthetic better than anything else:
Frente - Labour Of Love (live at the Annandale 2005)

"Sweet" is a new song, that gave 2005's Try To Think Less EP its title. A return to core values!
Frente - Sweet (live at the Annandale 2005)

In its original form (as a between-albums single), "Lonely" swirled into a sample/singalong of Barry White's "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" in its latter minutes. Here they extend the appropriation, spinning off into a few other tags, starting with Ol' Dirty Bastard's classic "Got Your Money":
Frente - Lonely (live at the Annandale 2005)

(Said interpolation induced bouncing and shouting delight in FBI's Levins, incidentally)

I was actually thinking they might shun this like they shunned (and mocked calls for: "What? No, we don't know any Kenny G") "Accidentally Kelly Street", but then it was hardly a surprise for it to turn up as the final song of the night:
Frente - Bizarre Love Triangle (live at the Annandale 2005)

Buy:
There's not a lot of choice, really - the band (or Angie or her website bloke or something) had arranged to buy up the stock of their two albums from the Australian record company, so said company promptly remaindered the lot through two chains of $10 shops. The comeback EP is available by mailorder from label Popboomerang, though. And while you're there,they've also got an EP by Angie Hart's band Splendid, featuring a song by Simon Austin.
ALSO! or for furriners: get these plus others from Angie-Hart.com

Bonus:
These two sound a good bit rougher than the tracks above, due to enhanced instrumentation and audience enthusiasm overwhelming the recording equipment, but if you're still hungry: biggish hit "Ordinary Angels" (from first album Marvin The Album - really, you can see how people got put off), and "Sit On My Hands," from the second album Shape
Frente - Ordinary Angels (live at the Annandale 2005)
Frente - Sit On My Hands (live at the Annandale 2005)

*not that this is dodge or anything, all legitimate and above-board, just recorded by a mini-disc perched atop the soundboard stack

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Thanks for sharing the great Frente songs from the gig that was on this year..

    A big thumbs up from a die hard Frente fan….

  2. Gracias por estas espectaculares canciones de Frente…
    Thanks por these spectacular Frente songs…

  3. Howdy, mate, and thanks for the mp3s. If you wouldn’t mind, could you also link up the site’s online store in your “buy” section? Address is http://angie-hart.com/store/. Cheers, Matthew.


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