Thursday, January 11, 2018
Cassette Review: Frustrate "Demo 2016" (Crass Lips Records)
The word frustrate to me is a great word because sometimes it's the best way to describe how we feel. If you have the power to change something and cannot, you can be upset or mad, but most of the time the things which we wish to change we simply have no control over and that is frustrating. This can range from anything like the bus schedule to death. I just feel like frustration is such an under-used emotion and so many people get mad but they get mad about things they can't do anything about so this is the more appropriate term.
Musically, Frustrate does not disappoint in terms of their name. If this was folk rock or it sounded like Weezer even I think I'd be a little bit surprised. Taking on a name like Frustrate, you need to be... well, if being angry is Level 1 then being frustrated is Level 2. It's that step above anger, and as such this music doesn't need to just be pissed off because of its name: it needs to be so much more than that. And, in a lot of ways, it is. A combination of punk and hardcore music I'd say that the delivery is punk and the attitude is hardcore. It has that feeling of something old school like Dead Boys, a bit newer like Refused and even a bit newer than that like Bane.
Through these different elements, Frustrated forms a sound all their own and I think it could spawn some new genre between punk and hardcore. I feel like a lot of punk and hardcore music is rooted around anger and as such this is a step beyond that and so I wouldn't put this in the same genre as others. It can be just as fast and make you think of a circle pit as anyone else and yet at the same time the guitar lines are something other guitar players should be jealous they're not creating.
Any collection of songs which starts with "I Hate You Stupid Fuck" (And it's not just a title) has to really deliver a certain amount of intensity and Frustrate does. This demo was released on cassette by Crass Lips Records around a year after it was on Frustrate's Bandcamp page and so it might feel older but it's still new to me. Regardless, I hope that it has not been the only contribution we will hear from Frustrate as bands like this seemed to be more common for me to hear years and years ago but not as much anymore. The world still needs bands which sound like this so hopefully this isn't the last time I write about Frustrate.