Frogg Café - Bateless Edge

(CD 2010, 77:21, 10T Records 10T10043)

The tracks:
  1- Terra Sancta (12:10)
  2- Move Over I’m Driving (7:59)
  3- Past Fazeuhl (14:01)
  4- Under Wuhu Son (20:12)
        a. In The Bright Light
        b. Left For Dead
        c. Brace Against The Wall
  5- From The Fence (12:03)
  6- Belgian Boogie Board (10:31)

Frogg Café Website        samples        10T Records

The first thing that comes to mind while listening to opening track Terra Sancta of the new Frogg Café-album Bateless Edge is Phish, and therefore by relation Frank Zappa. This is jam band music with a huge dose of fusion, especially in the guitar solos which could have been performed by Alan Holdsworth. This music has the touch of weirdness that Zappa was able to bring so well into the music. Taking both references together, you know that you have a CD which has long and meandering tracks (Phish) which make for a challenging, but worthwhile listening session (Zappa).

Bateless Edge is the fourth studio release of this New York based band. Frogg Café are able to give the jam band feel by their way of singing in Terra Sancta and at the same time the weirdness by incorporating violin and trumpet in the a-tonal song Move Over I’m Driving which admittedly is a difficult listen. In fact, there is a nagging feeling that these guys make their music more difficult than necessary (Past Fazeuhl) by concentrating on the weird time signatures Zappa used to apply, which makes the listener’s attention gradually wane. And that couldn’t have been the goal of the band!

** André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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