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Split Enz - Frenzy CD (album) cover

FRENZY

Split Enz

 

Crossover Prog

2.80 | 23 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

IMHO, this is the last album from Enz that can interest the progheads unless they are into new wave-type that will pollute the airwaves and ears of the youth some five years later in the early 80's. By the time this album was out, Nick Judd was probably a distant memory, but the Finn brothers, Raynor and Crombie soldiered on with their weird arty-pop rock that was losing a bit of its prog tendencies with each new album, but the group remained quite adventurous sounding like Devo and Autobahn-Kraftwerk on one side, like Queen and 10CC ion the other. What might surprise the proghead is that this 1978 album seemed quite a bit ahead of its time, as you'd expect this to be from 82 or 83. A relatively tame artwork (comparing to the usual nutty looks adorned by the band.

Right from the opening I See Red track, you are struck with a . frenzy pop where the short tracks (13 of them) only worry about the essential, and can even sound post- punk/new Wave electro pop at times (like Hermit, Marooned, She Got Body and the closing Mind Over Matter), which is definitely a step downwards for us progheads. But one has to remember that after the group's move on the opposite side of the planet, they had to survive to UK's ever-changing musical scene, as a return trip seemed very difficult. So they chose to ride the ultra-pop wave but keeping their pastiche sound and quaint humour.

But spread throughout the album, there are still some tracks that are reminiscent of their previous albums (Give It A Whirl, Master Plan, the slightly Genesis-esque Stuff And Nonsense, the frantic title track, Roughest Toughest with its slight mellotron touch, Betty and the dynamic Abu Dhabi) and could easily fit on Queen's or 10CC's better albums. One could even mention The Sparks when talking of this present album. Not only are most of these songs (we can safely talk of standard songs here) well written, somewhat complex, full of subtle sound effects, and present the ambiances we like.

If you've been wondering what Enz is doing in the PA database, I suggest that you try out the first few albums and look no further than this album; unless you're sure you're into 80's electro-pop. I wouldn't exactly call this album good, but it is the very last one that deserves a listen, IMHO.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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