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Frontier(s) - There Will Be No Miracles Here (Cover Artwork)

Frontier(s)

Frontier(s): There Will Be No Miracles HereThere Will Be No Miracles Here (2010)
Arena Rock Recording co.

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: colincolin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The worst thing about the debut LP from Frontier(s) is that upon taking it out of the mailer from No Sleep Records, I discovered my favorite song from the CD version I'd downloaded ("Dirty Pets") was seemingly absent from the vinyl. This is quite a shame, as it's bound to end up on my year-end mixta.
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The worst thing about the debut LP from Frontier(s) is that upon taking it out of the mailer from No Sleep Records, I discovered my favorite song from the CD version I'd downloaded ("Dirty Pets") was seemingly absent from the vinyl. This is quite a shame, as it's bound to end up on my year-end mixtape of hits. Anyway.

Frontier(s) marks a return to form of ex-Elliott frontman Chris Higdon. There Will Be No Miracles Here sonically resembles the series of 7"s Elliott released between U.S. Songs and False Cathedrals: loud, distorted guitars and soaring vocals over simple but great hooks that build to some great crescendos. The most noticeable difference is the rather fantastic, fanatical drumming of Eagle Barber (ex-Stay Gold). And where Elliott was lyrically famous for songs about failed or famous romances, Frontier(s) seems more politically pointed.

Higdon's voice has never been stronger, and like Elliott, remains the most powerful instrument in the band (just edging out the drums, because man, they are fantastic). In "Bones" alone, his vocals start in a light accompaniment and build with the song to a thunderous, almost maniacal chant of, "Hear the bones on the street / rattle on, rattling / rattle on."

While much of the sentiment on There Will Be No Miracles Here seems to come from the heart of a nation morally defeated by nearly a decade of war, Higdon still is able to bring the powerful but cynical ambition of hope to the lyrics, as "Abul Abbas" ends in what some could consider a sequel to "Lie Close," a standout from Elliott's False Cathedrals. Over soaring guitars, Higdon screams, "You and I were born as one / together we will stay. You and I / we will stop the world / and never lose our way." And in the CD finale, "Dirty Pets," Higdon's voice is at its best as he questions, "Who in the world is going to save you like I can?"

There Will Be No Miracles Here is not guaranteed album-of-the-year material, but it puts up a pretty good fight as a contender. Fans of Elliott will not be let down, as between the LP and the 7", this band has not yet released a song I'd consider skippable, much less "bad." I could see this getting too quickly overlooked, but in a time when so many bands are seemingly unsure who to emulate and rarely have an original spark, Frontier(s) just takes a cue from who they've been before and have released a welcome sound that is all their own.

The vinyl version of There Will Be No Miracles was handled by No Sleep Records.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
eelsupinsideya (September 23, 2010)

Good album but to my ears, not great.
Shame Ratterman isn't involved - I thought he was as much of what made Elliott great as Higdon.

scully (September 22, 2010)

Need to listen to this more but I got a bit bored during the first 2 listens.

dev (September 21, 2010)

This actually could be album of the year for me. Except those damn Gaslight kids put out a rocker as well...

icapped2pac (September 21, 2010)

Yet another record I haven't had time to properly digest, but I was fairly bored with the simple structure of so many of the songs. It's hard to listen to Chris without Ratterman's creative drumming and not compare.

inagreendase (September 21, 2010)

normally i loathe how pitchfork scores things in fractions, but this is an 8.5/10 for

Colin, honestly, I want to overhaul our scoring system and go to that format. But I don't know how the other editors would feel. And I think it would create a shitstorm.

Mystereohasmono (September 21, 2010)

Love Elliott so much. This is a 7/10 for me.

moneenerd (September 21, 2010)

I got this record. So fucking great. WE ARE SECRETS is the best track, imo.

insinceredave (September 21, 2010)

Good review, I like the sound of this

happynolucky (September 21, 2010)

i can't wait to listen to this

colin (September 21, 2010)

normally i loathe how pitchfork scores things in fractions, but this is an 8.5/10 for me. i rounded up, but i'm not totally sure of that score. solid record for sure, though.

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