steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Frank Lenz

"Conquest Slaughter" CD

Velvet Blue Music

Genres: folk-pop, folk-rock

December 2005

The dark and slightly amateurish cover to Frank Lenz's Conquest Slaughter doesn't exactly separate it from the pack, but I'm certainly glad I rescued it from the monstrous piles that comprise the Indieville stacks. Lenz, a scene veteran who has played with the likes of Pedro The Lion and Starflyer59, composes melodic folk-pop songs usually based around loose, laidback rhythms and sweet pop hooks. The formula is a lovely one, remaining both relaxing and engaging - a combination that's often difficult to put together.

"Circus Cat" could be Conquest Slaughter's strongest song. It boasts a dark, chanting background behind a pretty yet unsettling melody sung by Lenz. At six minutes it's treading in dangerous waters but somehow it never gets bland. Opener "The Man With the Curse on his Head," meanwhile, is completely different - it's a cute, uplifting pop tune with a warm, pretty chorus. All of the songs share a sparkling melodic style, but remain original and unique nonetheless. Only strange minor-key opus "Lonely, Handy Chap" and Songs: Ohia influenced "I Feel Canadian" flop a little.

Overall, Lenz's Conquest Slaughter is a rewarding and original folk-pop record that truly deserves your attention. Perk your ears and give this a listen.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2005]