steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Frequency

Self-titled CD

Noreaster Failed Industries

Genres: eighties pop, synth pop

2406 Phillips Dr.
Alexandria VA

Aug 27 - Sep 3 2004

This is just bizarre.  You think you know someone (in this case, it's Trans Am's Sebastian Thomson), but then you turn your back on him for a minute and he puts out a bizarre, eighties-throwback synth-rock album.  Then you listen to it, and you can't see where the motivation came from - why would anyone want to record songs like these? - but you give it the benefit of the doubt, and buckle down to give it a few more plays through.  And slowly, you start to grow used to it - to appreciate the simple melodies and corny production values.  And before you know it, The Frequency's self-titled album begins to find a little home for itself in your ten-CD changer.

However, I will not say that this album is a particularly great release.  It is entertaining at times, and works as a suitable pastime, but it is far from brilliancy.  Thomson's best compositions are the most melodic ones.  "Erasing Myself" is quite catchy when given a chance, and "Moonburn" takes its success from an amazingly Moroder-esque synth solo, despite brandishing a mediocre vocal part.  "No Control," meanwhile, is one of the album's most immediately infectious songs - its dreamy guitar line really seals the deal.  As an almost obligatory inclusion, "Music as Entertainment" seems to clarify The Frequency's fun-fueled ideology - and perhaps scoffs at musical pretension.  I hear ya, Sebastian.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]