THE KINGS OF FROG ISLAND – IV album review: 9,5/11!
Genre: Psychedelic, Stoner rock
Sounds Like: Sgt. Sunshine, Sienna Root, Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound
The amphibians of fuzz are back with a re-release of their highly underrated album IV. Officially released digitally in 2013 through Electrohasch Records, IV is now seeing the light of day through Kozmik Artifactz Records. The album is now available on cd and vinyl, so thank you Kozmik. We have become huge Frog Island fans here at Rotation11 as their music is more than your traditional fuzzed out stoner rock. Not only do they broaden the elements of psychedelia, but add some King Crimson-like exploration to the music. Each album has its own feel and mood as we find them easy to get lost in, just throw their entire library on shuffle and you’ll understand. IV is one of those loner albums that will put you in a fuzzed and tranquil mindset.
What are the highlights of the album?
First off, IV was meant to be listened to in its entirety as the original release is two separate songs, each weighing in at 20:16 minutes. This new version is broken into seven fuzzed-out, psychedelic tunes. Kicking off the album is laid back stoner driven “The Tenth Stone”. What a terrific opening cut, the muffled vocals and groove is very infectious and that’s before the addition of the female backing vocals come into play. The following track “The King Is Dead” starts off in heavy mode, than transitions towards a serene ambiance with spoken word vocals.
“Volonte” is next and boy this one is catchy as all hell, it bleeds of Brant Bjork-like smooth stoner rock, it will easily get stuck in your head. The bass work and percussion on “The Night Juno Died Weaving Shadows” is absolutely tremendous. The soft vocals are captivating and pleasing to the ear, which is a highlight throughout IV. The last song “111111 Long Live The King” is a majestic, fuzzed tune. After the meandering opening, the song kicks into a Kyuss “Gardenia” like massive riff before surrendering to a psyche vibe that Kings of Frog Island only know.
How is the production value?
The Kings of Frog Island have tremendous chemistry that shines throughout their entire catalogue and IV is no different. So, whether you’re listening on headphones or cranking this out on a pair of Bowers & Wilkins floor speakers, the experience is very pleasing to the ear.
How is the vocal performance?
The vocals are one of the main draws to this album. We don’t think we have ever heard a better use of the muffled vocal effect, they are tranquil and alluring, just listen to “The Night Juno Died Weaving Shadows”.
Does the album art reflect the music?
What’s not to love about this cover, they’re embracing the name of the band.
What adult beverage to enjoy while listening to this album?
Grab a four pack of Murphy’s Irish Stout. This is one hell of a flavorful stout that enhances the listening experience of Frog Island.
What are our final thoughts on IV?
It’s a must have album as their distinct sound will only enhance your stoner rock collection. After listing to this album, we are confident that you will want to further explore their splendid catalogue of fine work. – 11/14/2016
1. The Tenth Stone
2. The King Is Dead
3. Witches Warning
5. In The Watchers Blood
7. The Night Juno Died
8. Weaving Shadows
9. Eleven Eleven Eleven
10. Long Live The King