Album Review – Froth ‘Duress’

Froth is a band from Los Angeles consisting of Joo-Joo Ashworth (guitar), Jeremy Katz (bass) and Cameron Allen (drums). Together, they’ve explored a range of sounds shoegaze, psychedelia and post-punk over several albums, a steady regimen of East LA house shows, downtown DIY gigs and support tours with alternative rock icons Interpol and Ride soon. 

After a two-year hiatus, Froth is back with their most fully realized work to date, ​Duress​. Co-produced with longtime friend and collaborator Tomas Dolas (Oh Sees/Mr. Elevator) at his analog-focused Studio 22 in Cypress Park, CA, the record is unapologetically experimental yet undeniably accessible – combining some of the band’s strongest hooks with left-field sounds and unexpected flourishes of electronica.

Froth’s latest album Duress is an experimental and diverse sounding work opening with a 90’s indie noise rock feel as noted in the single “Laurel.” In a statement by the band, the song is described as being about an internet debate:

“This song is about a guy who listened to the Yanny/Laurel thing and he can only hear Laurel. He’s really passionate about Laurel being the correct pronunciation to the point where he will die before admitting otherwise. In the end, he reveals that he loves his girlfriend more than he loves the correct pronunciation of ‘Laurel/Yanny.’”

“Catalog” sort of opens like a Love and Rockets track before becoming more subdued and almost blends right to the next one (Dialogue). A2 is an upbeat mostly exploratory instrumental with a bold guitar lead up to the last minute, when vocals kick in. “Department Head” is a slower more moody track with ends in a blip of electronics. “77” is a lo-fi experimental electronic sound over drum machine with distant vocals.

“John Peel Slowly” is a short, spaced out pure instrumental with odd beats and  piano that doesn’t quite match to make it more avant-garde. “Xvanos” is a standout track that continues the spaced out sound with a stately opening sort of like post punk procession over processed vocals with a steady tambourine sound. “Slow Chamber” and “Syndrome” close the album on a dreamy shoegaze note, which shows Froth are still well versed in this sound that they are often associated with.

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