Frausdots - Couture, Couture, Couture (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Couture, Couture, Couture (2004)

Sub Pop

Hey, remember the 80s? The neon day-glo t-shirts? Chunky bracelets? The side-ponytail? The lightning stripes? How about Duran Duran and that whole decadent nightlife culture? Frausdots do. And I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. In general, I think bands that emulate a time period that they're not a part of is dumb. But hey, whatevs.

The brainchild of Brent Rademacher and Michelle Loiselle, Frausdots features help from members of the Cure, Warlocks, the Tyde, Rooney, Mia Doit Todd and Brian Jonestown Massacre. I totally lifted that from the press sheet, but I figured some of you care. So there it is. Yup.

Sure, it's catchy at times. And there is some interesting things done here musically, but to be all 80s, they use weird analog to digital transfer of recording, and the production is crap. And for the type of music they're playing (fashion-oriented pop-rock with hints of electronica), they really are one of those bands that could use slick production. And I think the record suffers greatly because of that. It sounds too much like some people recorded it in a basement, which works if your band's name is "Youth Revolution!" or "Angry Angst Squad!" but when you're a throwback 80s band, you should really embrace modern technology.

The opening track, "Dead Wrong," opens with a tribute to America's "Horse With No Name." Fitting, since this record is supposed to incorporate the "big blur between drugs, music and fashion in the city..." (quote from Rademacher himself). To be honest, when I want to listen to drug music, I'll just turn on the Stooges or the ODB, a-thank you very much. That being said, "Dead Wrong" seems to be the only track on here that grabs my attention. It's a bit more spacey and out there where everything else is a bit more straightforward indie-rock oriented. I guess in my mind, if you're going to have a throwback 80s band, you either better be dancey, or sound like Depeche Mode. "Current Bedding" seems like a valiant effort to fulfill the dance quality that I'm longing for, but it peters out after a promising introduction. The closer, "Tomorrow's Sky," closes out the record the way "Dead Wrong" started it – dancey and poppy and interesting.

But other than that, there's a lot of filler on this record. 'Nuff said.