First Appeared at The Music Box, September 2003, Volume 10, #9
Written by John Metzger
Three years ago, Frisbie unleashed The Subversive Sounds of Love, a power-pop gem that rightfully was praised by critics, adored by fans, and received plenty of airplay on college stations across the country. Under ordinary circumstances such attention would have meant the quick turn-around of a sophomore effort. But Frisbie is not an ordinary band.
In 2001, drummer and songwriter Zack Kantor fell into a severe depression and subsequently learned that he was struggling with a bipolar disorder, which eventually forced him to leave the group. In the process, he left behind a wealth of material that had yet to be recorded, and it’s these songs that form the basis for period., Frisbie’s second outing. Those expecting the lush arrangements that graced The Subversive Sounds of Love, however, may be in for a bit of a surprise.
Frisbie is now a trio, and period. features Steve Frisbie, Liam Davis, and Eddie Carlson performing an acoustic concert that was recorded at FitzGerald’s, the esteemed Chicago-area venue that plays host to the annual American Music Festival. No, Frisbie has not jumped onto the alt-country bandwagon, and despite the unplugged atmospheres of period., the group’s soaring power pop anthems remain entirely intact. Much like it did on its debut, Frisbie combines an array of musical pop culture references and styles in ways that allow the ensemble to avoid being pinned to one particular element. There are moments when the band sounds like Buffalo Springfield, Simon & Garfunkel, The Hollies, The Beatles, and a whole host of other ’60s pop-rock acts. Yet, each reflection lasts only for a moment, offering simply a fleeting glimpse into the past before the melodies pull the listener back into the present day strains of what can only be described as Frisbie music. The bare-bones production allows the tight harmonies of Davis and Frisbie to shine, while the openness of the arrangements finds Carlson’s bass dancing playfully around the intertwined guitars. Frankly, there just isn’t any other group crafting tunes quite like this, and without a doubt, period. proves that as long as the lyrics and melodies are strong, a song can be placed within a sparse or an elaborate setting and work equally well in either.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box