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Frumpy - Frumpy 2 CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.96 | 116 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars A heavy German band that initially released albums between 1970 and 1972 (with a posthumous live album in '73), Frumpy played in a hard n' heavy adventurous rock style made very distinctive by the gutsy and (dare I say) ballsy lead vocals of female singer Inga Rumpf! There were a few progressive related bands from the time that were fronted by women, but none could compare to the powerful and distinctly `un-feminine' sound Inga delivered. While their music was heavily dominated by sludgy electric guitar riffs and aggressive Hammond organ, the band also included blues, folk and psychedelic touches, with some brief classical elements too. Their second album, simply titled `2' is easily comparable to Nektar, early Pink Floyd, Uriah Heap, Atomic Rooster and Jane (and maybe even a little bit of Beggars Opera with the classical touches), but Frumpy really do sound like no other band!

With a trippy lyric and a shimmering Earth and Fire quality, album opener `Good Winds' drifts along on toasty warm vibes. The piece is bookended with drowsy acid-folk slide guitar similar to the early Floyd psych albums, especially reminding of David Gilmour's `Fat Old Sun'. A lengthy instrumental middle is a slow-build scorching Hammond organ ripple that spirals deliriously around leaping melodic bass and driving drum-work. Inga's English language vocal throughout is reflective during the verses before roaring to life in an almost Ozzy Osbourne manner for the overwhelming chorus. A very powerful opener with plenty of tasty sounds! `How The Gipsy Was Born' has a plodding muscular heavy groove, but also more of a breezy and cool swing to it with a fun (yet still pretty out- there) lyric and sultry vocal. Thick scratchy organ grinds away over bashing drums and wailing electric guitar soloing. An abrupt call-to-arms fanfare in the middle sees the piece move into an early Eloy and Grobschnitt stomp with swirling violent Hammond tearing shreds all around.

The second side begins with the eclectic `Take Care of Illusion.' With a more eerie dark nightmarish lyric, most of the piece is bombastic and frantic, Inga bellowing brimstone fury over thrashing guitars that cut loose and maniacal Hammond organ rumbling. It surprisingly briefly floats into a more ethereal ambient passage in the middle, almost Egyptian motifs woven throughout the music, before attacking intimidating bluster kicks in again and the band make an infernal addictive racket to end on. Getting the lightest of Mellotron veils and a sombre vocal out of the way at the beginning (but with a quick reprise at the end), `Duty' quickly reveals itself to be a Hammond organ masochists wet dream, just wall to wall with the instrument. Very jammy, up-tempo and relentless, it's also overloaded with acid-fried fuzzy wah-wah guitar that alternates between weeping and assaulting, blitzkrieg drum soloing working up an almighty sweat and chunky galloping slab-like bass, altogether sounding very much in the vein of the early Birth Control albums. Quick little classical themes incorporated in recall the first three LP's by Beggars Opera, plus there's a little light orchestration to bring a sweeping grandness.

Fans of the above mentioned bands and those wanting to hear a very distinctive female vocalist should look into this group right away, and ideally fans that liked the tougher female singers of bands such as Sandrose and Ruphus will definitely be interested to hear this album. Lovers of the dirtier and less-fancy German bands, and just maybe even Krautrock fans, and those who dig Hammond soaked early prog rockers, will likely find much plenty to appeal here as well. Full of fire, intensity and kick-ass playing from a red-hot band, Frumpy's `2' is a damn fine German prog- related rock album.

Four stars.

Note: Cheers to my good buddy Tom Ozric who pointed out to me just after I bought the CD that the singer of Frumpy wasn't a fella! See, pays to look at the CD booklet before pressing `Play'!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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