For those unfortunate souls who are unaware, Frenzal Rhomb are the truest Australian punk band out and have been for over a decade. Before recording their first full-length in 1995 they had toured with Blink-182, Bad Religion and the Offspring. Think of a faster, more aggressive NOFX, with more offensive and controversial lyrics. If that sounds like your thing, and you can get over the heavy Australian accented lyrics, then please, please check these guys out.
Forever Malcom Young is the band's latest effort, spanning 20 tracks in a little over 30 minutes and giving an opinion on anything and everything. If you couldn't figure it out, the album title is a play on Youth Group's single "Forever Young" and Malcolm Young was the guitarist and chief lyricist of AC/DC.
The title track kicks the album off in an abrasive fashion with heavy, layered guitars and a minute and a half of speed-ranting about how Malcolm Young never gets the credit he deserves. A good opener, but no indication of the assault coming in the next few songs, in particular the eye-popping "Johnny Ramone Was in a Fucken Good Band, But He Was a Cunt (Gabba Gabba You Suck)" which is around 45 seconds of…well…Johnny bashing. The following track is probably the most controversial song off the record: "Red Wine and Alter Boys," which discusses the priests from the news who touch boys. With lyrics like "Is that a dress on your clothesline? [...] Twenty years of angry guilt and hypocrisy just to pass the time / Twenty victims and a government cover-up / tow the party line / you fucked up innocence with holy blessings and the index finger of Christ / and forgiveness is your god-given right but red wine and alter boys are no way to relieve your troubled mind" -- this also takes a stab at the government (If you don't know who John Howard is, ask your president who's tickling his ass). Not only is this song one of the best on the album, but it takes the tempo to a much more audible place.
The next few songs feature some chant-alongs and "Please Go Over There" (the worst song on the album) is the angriest duet in history, but the follower, "Fuck You and Your Stupid Band" is another gem. It takes another stab at religion ("If there's one thing I despise its being fed those right-wing lies") plus the whole emo scene ("They're only the one brand of emotions / And if I don't quite look the part you'll tell me not to even start"). This is followed by "Cruelty to Animals" which claims the wave of cat burnings in Australia (yep, cat burnings) are the new "Yoyo" AKA the new craze. Other good songs to follow are "Medicine Balls," "Holiday Not Vacation" and "Find Your Way Home."
One good thing about Frenzal is that if they know a song is a filler, they will have it over and done with in a few seconds and move on to something better, case of point being their 20-second outbursts about CAPS lock and the text dictionary. Unlike many other bands, the short songs do nothing to hinder the continuity of the album and it flows well all the way through. If you aren't pissing yourself laughing and can pick your jaw up off the floor at the unbelievable lyrical content, this record will have you chanting for many a listen.
Forever Malcolm Young is a refreshing serving of straight-up punk rock. Provided you're not a narrow-minded, easily offended emo religious politician related to Johnny Ramone, you should definitely try to get your hands on this. The band still have connections to Fat Wreck Chords and the Fat Wreck version should supposedly be available in America sometime in the near future.
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