The Frustrators - Griller (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Frustrators

Griller (2011)


The Frustrators' Griller EP is the band's first material in nine years, a long-awaited period for the punk band featuring members of Green Day (Mike Dirnt) and Waterdog. While their prior effort, 2002's Achtung Jackass was described by one review as combing new wave and goofball punk, Griller sounds far more mature–for the most part, and in spite of the continued use of what seems like the band's mascot chicken.

There's just a shade of both Jawbreaker (but with far cleaner vocal delivery) and Descendents (but more taut and serious-sounding) in the Frustrators' mid-tempo pop-punk. What they do is inherently simple and melodic, but it makes for an enjoyable experience with few frills. The new wave sounds are referenced vaguely in the guitar tones of "West of Texas (Part 2)" and "Prettiest Girl", but it feels more Replacements than any other '80s movement in the latter.

There's a huge, laid-back restraint to Griller, and it couldn't be more representative than on closer "We Need to Talk (It's Not You, It's Us)". Musically, it hearkens back to early Green Day themselves, and maybe Blue Album-era Weezer too. Lyrically, it's a bitter, somewhat goofily themed breakup song, since it's a band breaking up with a fan, actually–it's the one deviance from "maturity," perhaps.

This isn't a Holy shit! comeback effort for the Frustrators, but it's definitely not bad either. Worth checking out for elder pop-punk fiends.