Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Written by: MAK on 14/11/2016 17:07:03
Spanish trio Flying Frogs consider themselves to be a melodic hardcore band, according their biography. But maybe that term was lost in translation, as these guys are far from a hardcore band, judging by the majority of their most recent album, “Playing Again”. Instead, they play music that sounds closer to the recognisable melodic skate-punk that emerges from the likes of Epitaph Records and Fat Wreck Chords; you can instantly pick up on influences from the likes of Lagwagon, NOFX and No Use For A Name.
For the overall backbone of Flying Frogs, I pick up on the positive energy mixed with angst that one would expect from skate punk: the riffs are gritty, the beats are fast, and you can sure as hell expect all kinds of fun carnage. Then, the catchy vocal melodies unveil a melodic influence, with the vocals at times resembling those of Nikola Sarcevic of Millencolin. Impressively enough, the lyrics are in English and the accents are close to sounding American — whereas commonly I’ve found Spanish punk bands to sing in their native tongue.
Early on into the release, we are treated to the sort of songs that get your blood flowing. “Open Your Mind” is the first standout track in this regard: it has everything from the steady fast beats and crunchy guitars, singing which hooks you in enough to start humming along with no delay, and frontman Gerva even showing off his guitar technique with a nice little solo. “Reset” follows up with the same intensity in the riffs and relentless drumming, adding an infectiously hooking vocal melody to the chorus. “Welcome” is then one of the few slower songs on “Playing Again”, giving the listener a much-needed break from the exhausting high-tempo tracks that dominate the album. Its overall tone is chilled out melo-punk-rock, and this time it’s the musicianship that pricks the ears instead of the vocal melodies. Not that it is intricate, but the rhythm changes and drum fills grab your attention more than they do on the other songs.
When it comes to the alleged hardcore influence, “Hardcore City” is perhaps is the only song that resembles that genre. It’s harder hitting; the vocals are aggressive and shouty, and while the tone isn’t full on brutal, there is a certain sense of anger to them. Apart from that, the flow of the album is very much all-inclusive skate punk. Listen to a song like “Nanana” — it’s as hooking as the title suggests; a rapid singalong piece with more awesome riff work. “Ready”, as the final song, showcases the blend of the band’s melodic side and the energy of skate-punk. The guitar rhythms and drumming in the intro and in between the verses are all punchy, and totally captivating. The verses balance it out with calmer singing segments, and the music is equally as toned down in those parts as well. The closing part is then all out anthemic, with passionate singing and the instruments played as hard as they can be to make a huge impact with which to end the album.
This is another one of those records that could be said to sound like a carbon copy of those who influenced Flying Frogs, as hints of Millencolin, Lagwagon and NOFX are incredibly strong, but the Spaniards nonetheless make this an enjoyable listen. “Playing Again” is more impressive than a bog standard release to listen to in the background. These are songs that keep your attention throughout, and have you humming along to the “nanana” parts, among others. Based on such a thoroughly enjoyable listen, one then pictures how wild the live shows could be.
Download: Nanana, Open Your Mind, Hardcore City, Ready
For the fans of: Lagwagon, Millencolin, No Use For A Name, NOFX
Release date 02.09.2016
Melodic Punk Records