Frog Eyes, a Canadian born band centered around frontman, Carey Mercer’s powerful singing voice. Frog Eyes has been playing since about 2001 and has released several albums. The band has received praise time and time again, and has a loyal following of fans. Now in 2013 they prepare to release another album to be adored by fans. There’s no doubt the band may have done a little maturing between now and their last album in 2010; all the same, they come packing the same good ol’ vocals. Carey’s Cold Spring, the latest Frog Eyes album, is sure to win the hearts of fans once again.
Carey’s Cold Spring has probably one of the worst starts and best finishes to an album I’ve ever heard. When you first hit play, and “The Road Is Long” begins to play, everything seems okay. “The Song Is Long” may have been a better fit title however; nearly six minutes of boring melodies and redundant drum beats go by. Then as you progress through the album, things get a little better. Carey Mercer’s voice is powerful, but sometimes overbearing. As each song goes by, a balance between vocals and instruments begin to form. Although Mercer’s voice is still the center of attention, there’s a more polyphonic sound, and the two parts compliment each other greatly. The album ends with “Claxxon’s Lament;” the pure contract from start to finish is amazing. This time around, Mercer sings with a more tender tone, the guitar is more prevalent and emotional, and the drums are subtle yet powerful. This is what Frog Eyes is all about: raw emotion.
Certain songs really make the album worthwhile. For instance, “Needle In The Sun” sounds great with it’s atmospheric guitars and the occasional interjection of an extra vocal part. The drums get a little more energetic, and the guitar solo is awesome. It’s that moment of showing off the entire band’s talent that draws you in. “Seven Daughters” is another fantastic track. Mercer gain’s a very insistent sound. Something about the song just screams, “Rock Opera!” Overall, pretty good.
Comparing Carey’s Cold Spring to Frog Eyes’ older work is like comparing Dio to The Pixies. There’s a totally different vibe, and it’s hard to say whether that’s good or bad. Most notably is the change in Mercer’s voice from an older song like, “Odetta’s War” to the new, “Don’t Give Up Your Dreams.” Mercer is cleaner, fuller, less dynamic yet more effective. This may not be the typical Frog Eyes album, but the evolution is impressive.
Admittedly, Frog Eyes probably isn’t for everyone. Despite this, it could be said with confidence that the band is still great, and probably worth of shot –especially if you’re a fan of great singers. There are times that will leave you begging for more instrumentation, and parts that will have you wondering where Carey Mercer has been all your life, but all the same, Carey’s Cold Spring is a pretty good album.