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Frente

previously known as "Frente!"


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

indie pop

Status:

Most recent release, Try to Think Less (EP, 2005)

See also:

Frente!'s Facebook page

Wikipedia's Frente! page

Comparisons:

The Sundays, Innocence Mission, maybe Suzanne Vega? (afries@zip.com.au)

Covers/own material:

Own, some covers (like that unfortunate "Bizarre Love Triangle") (afries@zip.com.au)

General comments:

Frente fuse acoustic, jazz, and underground influences into their own hybrid of pop music. Offering gloriously sparse pop and guileless, indelible voice of Angie Hart, Frente! is the perfect antidote to grunge overload. (afries@zip.com.au, quoting from their website)

Recommended first album:

Marvin the Album

Recordings:


Marvin the Album

Release info:

1992—White Records/Mushroom (Australia) Mammoth Records (U.S.)

Availability:

wide

Ecto priority:

highly recommended

Group members:

Angie Hart—vocals
Simon Austin—vocals, guitars
Tim O'Connor—bass
Mark Picton—drums, recorder

Produced by:

Michale Koppelman and Frente!

Comments:

Yep, they hooked me in, too. I wasn't moved when I first heard their singles, but after hearing them a few times I was hooked. The album's a lot fuller than the singles, but it does retain the charm. A definite winner. (pmcohen@voicenet.com)

Frente! finally break out of the Australian closet and go international. This album is a whole bunch of fun and the sound is fresh and invigorating. The female vocals are not the main attraction here—the words quirky and inventive spring most readily to mind. Not always to be taken entirely seriously. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

This is a Desert Island Disc for me. The unexpected success of this album almost proved to be their downfall. Until then they were just another cute, small-time indie band from Melbourne, now suddenly they were endlessly touring the world and signed on the major label. The demands and the pressure were just too much—the bass player and the drummer left after the end of the world tour, while Angie and Simon came close to a nervous breakdown. While everyone focussed on their charm and quirkiness and such, Frente considered themselves worthy of more than the tag of "the happiest band in the world" which they found firmly attached to them after the success of "Accidently Kelly Street". Fact is, soon they were not happy at all. Yet it was also hard for them to break away from the formula that worked.... (afries@zip.com.au)


Shape

Release info:

1996—White Records/Mushroom (Australia), Atlantic Records (U.S.)

Availability:

wide

Ecto priority:

highly recommended

Group members:

Angie Hart—vocals
Simon Austin—vocals, guitars
Bill McDonald—bass
Alastair Barden—drums

Produced by:

David M. Allen and Frente

Comments:

Shape is really very good. The new songs have new textures, and Angie and Simon have a new rhythm section. Their live performance was wonderful, and the studio recordings have a few more bells and whistles yet still are wonderful. Those of us who loved Marvin the Album will, I'm sure, enjoy Shape just as much. While it's too early to pick a favorite, "Horrible" is sticking with me as a particular standout although it is a very short song. (rlovejoy@comcast.net)

Overall, it's not bad. I'm on my third listen, and it's growing on me. A wonderful "change of pace". (Matt.Bittner)

The cover is a fairly bizarre collage of...toes. Yes, that's right. Toes. There's this sort of skin colored circle, and it's fringed by a circle of toes. The whole thing is superimposed on the image of an island. Anyway, interesting packaging aside, I don't much care for the music inside. I enjoyed Marvin the Album, particularly "Ordinary Angels" and "Bizarre Love Triangle." But it dragged a bit in some places. Shape doesn't seem to do much BUT drag. It's just too slow and monotonous. There's none of that spunky upbeat that kept "Ordinary Angels" in my head for weeks at a time. (kebst22+@pitt.edu)

For me it was one of the best albums of 1996. It proves that they are capable of maturing and developing without losing their identity. Most likely it will not be anywhere as popular as the first one, but if they get through this period of consolidation and reflection they just might have a long and fruitful career ahead—and that's something that seemed very doubtful at times. (afries@zip.com.au)


Thanks for Andrew Fries for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-05-29 20:22:31.
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