FRONTBACK – 2019 – Don’t Mind the Noise (Review)

FRONTBACK - Don't Mind the Noise

1. Intro – 00:29
2. Fearless – 04:17
3. Let’s Play Rock’n’Roll – 03:26
4. I Arrive When You Go – 03:41
5. Rhythm is Dead – 03:22
6. Back to Hell – 03:29
7. Always on the Run – 03:13
8. Glory Days – 02:52
9. When the Wind is Gone – 04:29
10. Movin’ On – 06:28
11. Sunny Days – 03:59

Year of release: 2019
Label: Black Lodge Records

Recently, the editor-in-chief asked me if I am also interviewing men or only women. Well, for me, the rock world doesn’t exist without ladies. Without their grace, style, presence, and above all their outstanding artistic talents. I just discovered another interesting band led by an amazing female singer – FRONTBACK. This hardrock quartet from Sweden has just presented its latest production, entitled „Don’t Mind the Noise”.

It begins with a half-minute collage in which against the background of crows we hear menacing lion roars. A quick slide down the bass string and „Fearless” starts. Anlo Front’s voice, as said on band’s Facebook page, actually has something of Gwen Stefani in it. However, it is clearly heard that this is her natural timbre, not deliberate imitation. In next song in the order, „Let’s Play Rock’n’Roll”, I like the harmonious choirs in the chorus that strongly remind me Paramore. It’s such a nice leap, something like a mash-up of the No Doubt’s „It’s My Life” with „That’s What You Get” from Hayley Williams’ band’s repertoire.

The slower fragments of „I Arrive When You Go” are quite southern rock-based, thanks to the syncopated riff which uses a technique popular in this genre which involves suppressing the strings with the right hand, but for the most part this track is another quick shot. Permanently it gets slow in „Rhythm is Dead”, which I like from this whole set probably the most. In this song from Anlo’s vocals, due to the fact that she sings in higher registers than in previous songs, echoes of Gwen and Hayley disappear, and this can be counted as a plus, after all, it is known for a long time that the main technique of most reviewers when assessing young bands is comparing individual elements of their work to famous names. If such an operation is impossible – a huge plus for the band. However, the are also some associations that are not so obvious. That’s how I got with „Back to Hell”, whose main riff, with the exception of the last chord, reminds me „Światła i Kamery” by our native De Mono. Overall, however, it is a fully Texas song, ideally suited to listening while driving.

Gwen Stefani’s echoes come back in „Always on the Run” because Anlo sings again in the low registers of her voice range. An oriental flavor appears in the music layer – the guitar theme that appears immediately before the solo is clearly associated with typical Japanese tunes.

Speaking of „Glory Days” I have to refer to direct similarities again – the intro of this track, as well as its main riff, stinks for a kilometer with Maiden’s hit „Fear of the Dark”. But I have to give Frontback that even patents already used can be ripped together in an intelligent way.

Listening to „Don’t Mind the Noise” and slowly starting to understand what kind of sound the musicians wanted to achieve, I was waiting for some sublime stadium number. „When the Wind is Gone” fulfilled this role. The moderate tempo, sublime riffs with long resounding notes of varying heights and orchestrations in the background make this song an ideal candidate for closing the basic set at concerts based in the bigger venues. You can wave your hands, you can raise lighters.

Along with the first bars of „Movin’ On”, the classical hard rock face of the band returns. In this song, the group perfunctorily uses sound processing, first in the short bass solo that starts all over, and then in Anlo’s spoken part, more or less in the middle of the song. The album is crowned with „Sunny Days”, which is the clearest mixture of No Doubt and Paramore on this album. This number, literally sounds like taking vocals from the former and the instrumental layer from the latter.

At the beginning I noted that the timbre of the vocalist’s voice sounds natural despite all these associations. After listening to the whole album, I can say that this claim can be applied to all aspects of Frontback’s music. The way they play, the way they sound does not have any artificiality, and considering the fact that in guitar music based primarily on riffs it is getting harder and harder to create something original today, I must admit that it is a really solid album.


Patryk Pawelec

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