The Frenetics - These Mistakes Took Years Of Practice (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Frenetics

These Mistakes Took Years Of Practice (2001)

Union Label Group

If I had a canon of Canadian indie-rock gods their ranks would certainly include the Constantines, the New Pornographers and the Weakerthans among others. Montreal's The Frenetics, while not being admitted to that group (yet), show an incredible amount of promise.

The Frenetics are an energetic indie-rock trio from Montreal. Their debut full length, "These Mistakes Took Years Of Practice" shows the band well schooled in both the British pop and Canadian indie scenes. There's aspects of Zumpano's unpretentious soft-pop, the speed and quirkiness of the Buzzcocks and shades of Elvis Costello thrown in for good measure. Singer / guitarist Malcolm Bauld's vocals have the range of Zumpano's Carl Newman and the smoky edge of Jets To Brazil's Blake Schwarzenbach. Take all these ingredients and put an unlikely candidate behind the boards, Greg Smith of street punk band the Ripcordz, and you have quite an interesting album.

There's a sense of urgency to the songs that give them a bit more punch is typical for this style. The album opening "Are You Waiting?" firmly establishes the band's sound and influences. The rapid-fire verses and group shouts of "Something To Risk" are an interesting change of pace and help build one of the more interesting arrangements on the album. Tracks like "Best Bet" or "Sweet and Compact" have a lot to offer to those interested by the virtues of the "emo" trend but want to avoid the heavy-handed high-school drama that goes with it. The album closes with fantastic verse-chorus interplay and the vicious lyrics of "Canker."

"These Mistakes Took Years Of Practice" flows very well and finds the right balance between bouncing punk instrumentals and frantic indie-rock vocals. The Frenetics consistently sounds fresh and strike me as one of the more interesting bands to emerge from the Montreal scene in recent years.

Are You Waiting

Something To Risk