'Duress' by Froth, album review by Adam Williams for Northern Transmissions




In the Oxford Dictionary the definition of duress is “threats, violence, constraints, or other action used to coerce someone into doing something against their will or better judgement”. This feels symptomatic of Froth’s new record, also called ‘Duress’; a listening experience that feels like you’re being put under great duress, such is the laborious shoegaze on offer on the LA outfit’s fourth LP.

Let’s cut to the chase, it’s only really ‘A2’ where Froth sound motivated to create an engaging sound on their fourth outing as a band; with an elongated intro that has more purpose that the rest of the 9 tracks put together, this is where ‘Duress’ sounds rough ‘n’ ready whilst embellishing on the shoegaze and psychedelic influences that power the album as a whole. Rippling like a jam, the song’s improvised aesthetic shows where Froth’s album could have gone if only they’d applied more oomph and pace. The only drawback is when JooJoo Ashworth’s kind of spoken, kind of slurred, kind of nothing vocals come into play. Elsewhere on the album, when you have a big chunk of it that slowly meanders and appears aimless sonically, to have vocals that are buried beneath the din but also sound lazy, it makes for an entirely mediocre and forgettable listen. Musically, the album would work well as a soundtrack to noir crime drama but with the added boring vocal and no visual accompaniment, it’s nothing more than an arduous dirge. There are some nice flourishes of drum machines and atmospheric forays into post-rock noise that might interest the most hardened post-rock devotee should you wish to take the gamble on this album.

It would seem Froth’s album title is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy; duress by name, duress by nature.

Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams

Live Dates

5/29: Tacoma, WA @ Alma Matter #
5/30: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir *early show, all ages* #
5/30: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir *late show* # (Sold Out)
5/31: Spokane, WA @ Volume Fest
6/1: Seattle, WA @ Crocodile #
6/3: Victoria, BC @ Copper Owl #
6/4: Vancouver, BC @ Clubhouse #
6/7: Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room, Desert Daze Presents $
6/19: Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse *
6/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
6/21: El Paso, TX @ Love Buzz *
6/22: San Antonio, TX @ Lime Light *
6/23: Austin, TX @ Barracuda *
6/24: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/25: Houston, TX @ Satellite *
6/26: Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Cafe *
6/28: Madison, WI @ UW-Madison *
6/29: Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Arts Festival *
6/30: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
7/2: Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong *
7/3: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Rooftop * %
7/5: Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom *
7/6: Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz *
7/7: Toronto, ON @ Baby G *
7/8: Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory *
7/10: Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag *
7/12: Denver, CO @ Globe Hall *
8/23: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Fuzz Club Festival

# = w/ Black Marble
* = w/ Versing
% = w/ A Place To Bury Strangers DJs (DJ Set)
$ = Release Show w/ Adult Books

Duress comes out on June 7th via Wichita Recordings


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