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Frogg Cafe - Bateless Edge CD (album) cover

BATELESS EDGE

Frogg Cafe

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 176 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Pasta Fazeuhl

Ever since I initially heard the first two minutes of Bateless Edge, I knew I was in for a real treat. From the Indian-influenced opening and the Zappa-esque arrangements to the haunting melodies and superb musicianship, I knew that Frogg Café's latest album was going to be a real treat. And I was proven correct. This is a highly-original and enjoyable album that amazed me at first listen. The frenzied jazz rock mixed with beautiful melodies and progressive rock sections captured me immediately, and they don't intend on letting go anytime soon. Frogg Café has really crafted a superb album here: Bateless Edge is definitely something they should be proud of.

The music on this album is pretty unique. The most prominent genres are jazz fusion and progressive rock, although there are other influences as well. A song like Pasta Fazeuhl is almost purely avant-garde. The extensive use of xylophone, marimba, and various other percussion instruments give Frogg Café a distinct Zappa-esque sound. After all, they began as a Frank Zappa cover group. All of the songs on Bateless Edge are terrific, although the moody ballad From the Fence has always been my favorite. The vocals on that song are simply breathtaking. The opening track, Terra Sancta, is another favorite of mine. One of the best things about Frogg Café, however, is how talented the group is. As I've mentioned, the vocals throughout the album are terrific, but the instrumental portion really takes the cake. Picking one musician out of the pack is difficult, but as a single unit, these guys are remarkable. One thing that stood out to me was James Guarnieri's drumming. He can go from an intricate prog rhythm to jazz rock frenzies at the flip of a coin, and I love that about his style.

The production on Bateless Edge is great. This is a really clean and professional sounding album.

Conclusion:

Bateless Edge is a really noteworthy album by this American band. If you like crazy jazz rock mixed with prog and avant garde, there's no reason not to check out Frogg Café. This is an exceptional band, and I can't wait to hear more from them in the near future. When an album is as unique, enjoyable, and professional as this one is, it'd be a crime to give out less than 4 stars. Although there is occasionally a section that's too drawn-out or slightly inconsistent, it's more than made up for in the end.

J-Man | 4/5 |

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